Monday, December 27, 2010

everything old is new again

We don't usually like to "recycle" content between our two blogs, but we just couldn't resist stealing this post from Bubby and Bean because it is oh-so-fitting over here at Smart. Sustainable. Style. Enjoy!

With a brand new year approaching, I thought I'd revisit a fashion project I did a little over a year ago, as inspiration/motivation to focus on more projects that involve creating pretty and new pieces from the old, unwanted, and discarded. I designed this vintage-inspired, 1950s style dress from mis-marked and excess candy wrappers given to me from the Tootsie Roll company. These wrappers (Charleston Chew!) were otherwise landfill-bound, and I paired them with vintage silk fabric and ripped pieces of tulle (to give fullness to the skirt) that I discovered at a local thrift store.
The project was part of an event called Sweet Chic that benefited the Spina Bifida Association of Illinois, and several Chicago fashion designers were invited to participate. It took me over a month to construct the dress, mainly because the wrappers themselves presented a major challenge (they ripped when I tried to sew them!).  I had to experiment with an endless variety of methods in order to successfully attach them to the fabric and each other, but in the end, it was more than worth the countless hours and late nights. The dress turned out quite well and was even exhibited at Chicago's Museum of Contemporary Art!
The most amazing part was the visual proof that you really can create new and beautiful pieces from materials otherwise considered to be useless. As a sustainable fashion designer, I'd worked with eco-friendly materials for years, but this was my first earth-conscious piece created solely via recycling. I hope to do a lot more of these type of projects in 2011.

xoxo, melissa

1 comment:

Julie said...

Great designs. I had previously never given my clothes much thought, but this is inspiring.