It’s the opposite of what ReFashioner does. We sell nothing, but we sort of resemble a pyramid–if you think of the piece you post as the pointy end, and all those that then become available to you as the rest of the structure. Or, as Josh Ritter says in his genius song The Curse: “She asked, why pyramids? He said ‘think of them as an immense invitation’…”. (To make sense of that, watch the vid in the link. You won’t regret it. This whole post is in service of getting that into a fashion blog.)
On which note, here’s a couple of fashion pyramids. A ring of reclaimed silver and quartz crystal from Brooklynite Eileen Caldwell’s conceptual jewelery line VeridiAum, and the Yin-Yang tee–a pyramid seen from above–by Copenhagen design duo Spon Diogo.
Get them from Not Just A Label a brilliant source of emerging avant garde designers worldwide. We adore these pieces too, even if they’re not pyramidical. Two frocks from Spon Diogo’s F/W10:
This mutant arran-crochet cardi from Sydney/Buenos Aires label Firstborn, handknitted fair-tradingly in the Andean mountains:
And a trio of statement accessories. A silver and icelandic moss necklace by Haf, aka Milan-based, Reykjavik-born Hafsteinn Juliusson. He says to water it every five weeks.
New Yorker Akaya Nishi’s silver snake spine and coyote bone necklace.
And Berliner Avr van Reimersdahl’s leather, wool and polyester Big Braided Piece.
I want them! So sooner or later maybe they’ll find their way into the ReFashioner pyramid.
It’s hardly surprising there’s a lot of noise about slowing down our shopping–do I even need to list reasons? We’ve got the very great, like Sheena Matheiken’s Uniform Project and the very latest, viz today’s NY Times Styles piece about paring down on the six items system. And it’s all good. Kind of. Mostly.
But, in a crap economy (not to mention, for us New Yorkers, this revolting perma-sauna) is not-shopping really the best practice? Shouldn’t we just shop better?
I’ve just been in London, where sustainable fashion (need. better. term.) is all but mainstream. Over there it’s understood that if we’re going to enhance (a) fashion design, (b) the lives of oppressed Chinese factory workers, (c) the earth, and thence d) our wardrobes, we’ve got to view ethical as haute. They’ve been thinking about this stuff longer and harder than us. We‘ve got Etsy (and yay to Etsy); they‘ve got Estethica (sic) in which London Fashion Week embraces and endorses eco, thus sexing it up.
In London I had the pleasure of meeting the awesome Orsola de Castro, co-founder of Estethica, and designer of the label From Somewhere that’s been upcycling the industry’s surplus fabrics and discarded scraps since 1996. And here’s the twist: Orsola says “it’s important to glamorize sustainable fashion, to keep the public interested” (not to mention British Vogue). Touché! Nobody wants to wear funny little embroidered bamboo vests. Why can’t design that’s good for you be good design? No reason!
If you think I’m making it up that London’s gone further down this road than eg New York, check this out. Last London Fashion week, Tesco, the UK’s biggest supermarket chain, visited Estethica, and were inspired to partner with Orsola on a six-piece line she produced from their own waste material. Yes, Target, that’s not just statement pieces from a designer collaboration, that’s a full-on statement. There are a few pieces left from this capsule collection. This little number you can get online for £12–that’s $18:
Now that’s smart shopping. And investment shopping is smart shopping. Support the designers who make an effort to keep production close to home, who maintain the highest standards, even as the chains rip off their ideas, producing pale runway imitations out of blood, sweat, tears, and polyester.
And this is where we come in. Clothes swapping makes your investment pieces pay off forever. Take care of what you’ve got, and your high fashion swap can yield a new wardrobe every season. Hell, every week. Shop better: swap better. Amen.