Refashioner v.1.0 memorabilia…  So: we have changed to a simple beautiful webstore because, sadly, we never had access to our own site (it was hijacked by the developers). And since the old site broke all the time, including at the exact moment InStyle published its #BestOfDigi in November last year, we never did shout about it. But here it is. Was. Belated thank you InStyle!

Thought we’d re-emphasize the mission… 


In a recent websurfing incident I found the shot above, and could not rest till I’d tracked down the whole story. And it’s a great story…

Laurence Chauvin-Buthaud (that’s her, above) was born in Adibjan, Ivory Coast, raised in Switzerland, and is now based in Paris, where she founded her line in 2011. She called the label Laurence Airline—her name, and, well, airlines—because she says she’s always traveling. This is because the clothes are made up in Africa, because, after training at Studio Berçot, and putting in time with Marc Jacobs at Vuitton and as a trend reporter on Canal+, that’s where Laurence’s passion lies. The work is both deeply African and mulitculti high fashion —no ethnic themery or worthily eco tribal kabuki here. Scroll down and let it speak for itself. Maybe you clocked her work on the Diesel+Eden Studio Africa project last year; I didn’t—and can’t believe I missed it. Those peacock pants! Sigh.

I asked Laurence a few qs, as she prepares to launch the e-shop next week:

Refashioner: At your atelier in Abidjan, how many local artisans do you employ and did you train them? 
Laurence Chauvin-Buthaud: We have trained and now employ 10 fully qualified workers proficient in manufacturing high quality level apparel.
Where/how do you source the fabrics? 
We source our Premium cotton fabrics mainly from Italian companies and we complement with print materials from West Africa.
Do you design and have them made up or are they existing patterns?
We now start to design our own patterns. We will still use existing African patterns produced and bought locally, it is part of our DNA.
Why menswear?
Before launching LaurenceAirline as it is now, while showcasing my womens line,  men constantly expressed to me their desire to design clothes so they could express their own creative taste. They were sensitive to my work, I detected their desire to express more personal aesthetics. The idea of offering colorful basics in a contrasted range of colors and fabrics to men willing to express their individuality was born.  It is a challenge to propose pieces that men are ready to adopt and make their own.
Any plans to add womenswear?
I love to explore the minimal structure of the masculine wardrobe as a base to explore unexpected color and material associations. I imagine them as a unisex pieces.
And finally: Are you working on more USA outlets? Where can we buy your pieces? 
We would love to work with more USA stores, doing business with America is cool!
Thank you Laurence! Meanwhile, till the e-shop goes live, some highlights from the lookbooks of the past five collections… 



Q: What connects AbFab, London’s revolutionary upcoming $250m Garden Bridge, a mid-1970s pudding-bowl-cut action hero, and industrial-scale clothes recycling? A: Joanna Lumley, of course.

Brits all adore Joanna Lumley, who played the divinely unbearable Patsy Stone on Absolutely Fabulous, and the cool kick-ass Purdey on The New Avengers—and stars in the Wolf of Wall Street— she’s a proper National Treasure. But since the extent of it isn’t so known over here, here’s a guide… 

Not only did Lumley create our favorite ever fashion icon, the Vogue-ed-like Bolly-Stoli-swigging Patsy Stone, but the 67-year-old also fronted the Marks & Spencers/Oxfam clothes-recycling campaign called Schwopping, and now has caused, single-handedly, the most exciting new building project in London: a garden over the Thames at Temple, by Olympic architect Thomas Heatherwick. Really. She envisioned it 15 years ago, then fundraised and campaigned relentlessly, and often alone, till the Gov just the other week greenlit the Garden Bridge —and threw in $50m. It’ll open in about 3 years.

Then today she divulged fashion/beauty tips to Good Housekeeping UK. Every one a winner.

• What’s the point in plastic surgery? I’m looking to play older. 

• I put my own looks together: a favourite coat, a bit of vintage, a bit of high street

• I like clothes with a bit of a swagger

• Buy the next size up. I never care what size my clothes are. 

  I cut my hair myself and colour it. It’s so much easier to do it yourself.  

 I don’t exercise. I’m just unable to sit still. 

You see? Divine. Sometimes I miss England.

                             —-Kate Sekules


Stacy Iannacone, owner of Ritual Vintage and Ritual Archive, finds the sacred in dressing. The experience she provides is not only about shopping but about education, since her store highlights the history of clothes—then what’s great is you can carry that on with you into your modern life. When throwing on a garment that’s pre-1950 or even pre-1900, one can’t help but feel the special energy that these garments carry. Ritual is also a reminder that downtown NYC used to be a meeting place for creative minds and businesses. 

Refashioner: Stacy, How did you get started?

Stacy Iannacone: I started collecting in the third grade! I really did. I grew up in Vermont and was collecting 40s dresses at yard sales. I just thought they were fascinating. Eventually, I went to school for photography to be a fine artist and upon moving to NYC was dazzled by the fashion world and went down that path. 

It seems that the fashion world in NYC just finds you.

Yeah, I was originally a stylist’s assistant but I couldn’t deal with it, so I decided to open a store. I just loved vintage so much, and had so much of it and knew without a shadow of a doubt that I could do this really well. This upcoming week will be our 8th anniversary.

Congratulations! That’s a big deal in this city. We love your new store, Ritual Archive, on Mott Street! 

Yeah, not many people know about it. The only reason I’m able to do it is because I’ve been collecting for so long and it’s begun to pile up. I want to sell old things so I can get new old things! That store is really special. Where else in NYC can you get something that’s Victorian for 20 or 30 dollars? It’s all about making things accessible, so they’re actually worn and loved. 

There’s a part of the Refashioner manifesto that says, “Shopping is mystical.” There’s a ritual to it.

I agree that’s basically where the name of our store came from. Actually (a): I was stoned and I thought it sounded cool but, (b): Shopping for vintage IS a ritual. Dressing is a ritual. The making of clothing is a ritual. There’s so much ritual involved with fashion. It IS mystical

Speaking of mystical, who is this adorable little kitty friend of yours?

Waffles! Everyone is always like, “That poor cat. He’s stuck in this store all day!” They don’t realize that he owns this entire block and everyone feeds him. It’s like cat heaven. He has millions of friends and so much space to explore and cause trouble in. 

There are two stylish cats at reFashioner as well. We’re so excited to collaborate with you! We can have cat dates!

You know I’ve been doing things on my own for so long but no man is an island. I think that having a collective of cool fashion people, you know a little more DIY would be a very good thing at this time downtown. We’re losing a lot of independent businesses down here. 

Yeah, so many people in the industry are searching for something more real and independent. 

I don’t know when was the last time I picked up a magazine or looked at a fashion show. I simply don’t care. It’s lost its way. 

Yeah, well again that’s what happens when only a few huge corporations control everything. That’s why vintage is so important. The design seems pure. What time period do you focus on?

If you want something from 1850 to 1950 this is the place to go. Being able to see, feel, and wear things that were made 100 years ago is such a cool experience.I think people get a bit of an education when they come here in terms of materials and styles that were popular per decade. They may have not known the difference between Victorian and Edwardian when they arrive, but they’ll leave with a better understanding. There weren’t a lot of well-known designers pre-1960. I buy things based on eccentricity and attention to detail. We do have designer labels, but I like to keep it to more unique items with cool details, even if lesser-known designers make them.

Yeah, it’s so much fun discovering a new/old designer! It adds to the story of your clothing.

We just had a mini-obsession with Escada. And we had a ton of crazy printed stuff from the 90’s in here. So, I guess a lot of what I buy actually depends on how and what I’m feeling at the moment.

Yeah, I love that button print Escada jacket you have. It really popped out at me. At first I thought it was Moschino, which is a constant obsession. 

Yeah, I’m not sure who was imitating whom really.

Lets talk your favorite pieces in the store at the moment…

I do have a special rack. It’s all pre-1950s and it’s all pretty amazing. I love more avant-garde draped historical pieces, like all these late-Edwardian cocoon type jackets. I like each piece here to have something that’s outstandingly special about it. 

Is there anything specific you’re feeling?

This jacket with the fox fur with heads on it is probably one of my favorites. Isn’t it insane? It’s from the 1920s. Also, I recently got a brilliant velvet Saint Laurent blazer. I really only get his early stuff from the early 70s circa Le Smoking. I love an amazing high-waisted wide legged trouser paired with a fitted ribbed turtleneck. It has this whole Overlook Hotel vibe going on. 

Without divulging your secrets how do you source all these very special pieces?

You know I’m a traveler. I’ll go wherever I get the call. I’ve certainty done trips where I literally knock on doors. I’ll go to a town and start talking to people and let the trail lead me. That’s really fun. There were many years, where I loved traveling by myself. I always have to leave New York to do this because the things I deal are really old and you need to literally look under rocks to find them. There isn’t a secret vintage warehouse I go to that’s just full of stuff from the 1880’s! I really have to look all over for it. I feel like pieces have more of a story to them, when you buy them directly from their owners.

What is your ultimate grail?

Maybe a trunk full of old Biba or Granny Takes a Trip. That 60s Carnaby street stuff. The 60s aren’t even my thing but it’s rare and it’s an interesting period of early boutique culture in fashion. They were dressing themselves and their friends and making these small runs of collections that were really groovy and psychedelic. It’s pretty rare to find at least Stateside.

Boutique culture is still so important: small business owners getting to know their clients. What type of person are you buying for?

We have a very eclectic bunch in here. You never really know what you’re going to get. Sometimes at the end of the day someone blows in the door and they go through the historical rack and find a bunch of 40’s dresses that they’re going to wear all over NYC. The woman I buy for has her own defined style and knows how she wants to wear these pieces. They don’t wear her. It wouldn’t be anyone in particular that’s famous, just people who know themselves and have defined taste. 

It must be nice when somebody really gets it.

It’s easier for us too. I don’t want to have to talk someone into buying something they don’t feel comfortable in. It’s just nice when somebody understands what you’re trying to do and makes it his or her own. Sometimes people will see something totally unique and interesting in pieces that another would overlook. There are pieces that I’m totally sick of and I don’t think it’s my thing anymore and then the right person comes in and puts it on and says I’m going to wear this with dot dot dot and they look amazing. Thank god for them!

And we say: Thank God for Ritual. Thank you Stacy!

                                                     ——Brandon Giordano

Ritual Vintage: 377 Broome Street; Ritual Archive, 167 Mott Street, Soho, NYC, tel. 212 966 4142       

If you can’t get to Soho, Ritual’s Refashioner Closet is HERE… 

At last, I’m ready to unveil the HARD FACTS of my recent wardrobe inventory.
First, let’s have a quick recap of why on earth I decided to count my clothes anyway. It all started with my PhD research into homemade clothes, which involved me looking at the number of items we own, and why we keep garments we don’t wear. 
As I wrote in my second post  “Research for a recent report by British recycling organisation WRAP called Valuing Our Clothes found that the average number of clothing items owned by adults in the UK (including underwear) is 115. Meanwhile, social anthropologist Sophie Woodward, in her excellent book Why Women Wear What They Wear, inventoried the wardrobes of 27 women. She counted a total number of items (not including underwear, this time) ranging from just 35 to a whopping 182, and the average total was 98 items…”
Having found these figures, I was keen to make an inventory of my own heaving wardrobe. I was pretty sure I’d beat that maximum of 182 items. 
So, over Christmas, I bit the bullet and counted the contents of my wardrobe. With a house move imminent, I took the opportunity to also have a good sort out —so here are both ‘before’ and ‘after’ figures!
Without further ado:
KNITWEAR (cardigans, jumpers, fine knits) 59 »> 49
TOPS (t-shirts, vests, sweatshirts, blouses and other tops) 189 »> 120
BOTTOMS (trousers, skirts, shorts) 37 »> 21
DRESSES 45 »> 44
UNDERWEAR (including hosiery) 159 »> 153
HOMEWEAR (and sportswear) 35 »> 28
COATS & JACKETS 31 »> 28
In the interests of full disclosure, I’ll mention that I also counted my shoes (52 »> 35); that I haven’t yet considered accessories — scarves and such; and that, in the move, I discovered yet another bag of tights that I haven’t dared open!
So - that gives a grand total (including underwear) of:
607 ITEMS »> 465 ITEMS 
Even after the sort out, that’s an impressive four times the WRAP figure of 115 items. (However, I’m a bit dubious about that figure, as it’s based on asking people to estimate their wardrobe - a tricky task!)
If we strip out underwear, my post-sort-out total is still 312 items — way above that maximum figure of 182. 
Whichever way you split it, I think it’s fair to say, I have a lot of clothes. This is pretty much down to hoarding, rather than rampant purchasing— I reckon I acquire a new item once every month or so nowadays.
I do like to hold on to things, though I found the sort-out - which resulted in a total reduction of 25% - rather cathartic! And I think I can go further — having started to look critically at what I have, and what I wear, I think there’s more to do. Interestingly, standing back and looking at what I have has also highlighted the gaps (yes, incredibly there are some) - spaces where having just the right item would help me to wear more of what I already have. More on that in the next installment… 

                                                                                        - Amy Twigger Holroyd

One-woman British fashion disruption engine Amy Twigger Holroyd is completing her PhD on folk fashion, while conducting stitch-hacking workshops, developing the practise and philosophy of reknitting, and producing fantastically restructured garments under her label Keep & Share. Read (and shop) more here

Negative Space


Who taught me to suck in my stomach,

or my cheeks?

Who told me to stand with my legs apart

and my hips thrust back

to create the illusion of a gap

between my thighs?

Who made me believe that the most beautiful part of me

is my negative space?


The abject absurdity of trends is proven once again by “premier fashion forecasters” Editd, whose NYFW roundup begins with a palette report that, basically, lists every color. Oh wait, no black or white. Which is the actual New York palette. (Clothing and backdrop respectively)

Here it is: 


 The Fall 2014 palette gives retailers options. Whilst bright reds and oranges burst onto the runways at Victoria Beckham, Peter Som and Prabal Gurung, there was also muted comfort in greys, oatmeal and soft navies at The Row, Oscar de la Renta, Alexander Wang and DKNY. The areas speaking with the greatest commercial potential were in the maroons at Lacoste and the vivid blues at Proenza Schouler. Retailers will be pleased to hear that pastels force their way through to Fall, softly in pink, peach, lilac and turquoise at 3.1 Phillip Lim, Rodarte, Dion Lee, Opening Ceremony and Creatures of Comfort.”

And some NYC white, an hour ago in a Brooklyn backyard…

Happy Val Day! 


Fabulous. Even if it’s a damn advert for East End branch of London’s cheesiest (& only) megamall. From 2011. 


A how-to story…

I was gutted when my favorite wispy sweater went holey. What to do? I’m not a skilled invisible mender. But in any case: I am in love with the Visible Mending Movement and I’m starting the New York chapter. Right here. Also, we must preserve all the Anns we can… 

So, here’s what I did. Scroll down for the final product. 

1. I chose some colors of embroidery floss, and a big eyed needle. 

2. I don’t have a darning mushroom. But I do have… 

… a darning soccer ball

3. I used a chain stitch… 

4. The smaller holes were better done without balls. 

…catching the fibers a few stitches outside the hole… 

5. …And using contrasting colors for each of the holes:

6. Et voilà! Personality, uniqueness, and a bit of a sense of humor. 

Go on: Try it! 

                                                                        —Kate Sekules


Unsure whether you’re at the ski run or the runway? Here are six simple clues to help you tell them apart.  You’re welcome. 


The world is Maria’s this week, as the Chilean-English (by way of Brooklyn) designer prepares to show her FW14 Zero+ Maria Cornejo collection on Monday. Every window at Barney’s is currently Zero, to celebrate the label’s 15th birthday, filled with iconic outfits recut from the past 15 years, and chosen by 15 of Maria’s friends and loyal customers—like Cindy Sherman, Tilda Swinton, Karen O, and Miranda July. Cindy Sherman (above with Maria) took over Barney’s Instagram for the day and though she INVENTED the selfie in an elevated sort of way, had to be shown how to do it by phone. 

So Ruth la Ferla wrote a sweet NY Times story about the party Barney’s threw Maria and her (biz) partner Marysia Woroniecka (2nd pic below) last week. And who’d a thunk a party thrown by a department store could be such fun? (Well, Creative Director Simon Doonan may have had something to do with it…). Champagne, artists, and fascinatingly dressed (often in Zero) people—which is not necessarily the case in a Fashion Party.

Anyway, we love Maria, both the person and the label, and wish her exponentially expanding success. And btw: everything in the line is ethically produced, without making a big show and a PR stunt of it. That, friends, is the future. 

(And of course, we have some Zero on Refashioner—but not much, because it always goes fast!)

Maria and guests

Marysia Woroniecka (above)

Three sweet Zeros, on Refashioner now. 



A few tickets left to the first of many Fashion Revolution Day events to come… Tonight you can party with the leaders of the sustainable movement at Manufacture NY’s Launch NYC (more about that shortly)… Most ethical kick off to Fashion Week—AND cocktails and snacks. See you there!