Tuesday, January 12, 2010


Transcendant Bird

Yes this dress is both new and used. Made from an existing linen beach dress, the designer added numerous yards of tulle gathered into layers with added streamers. Check out the vintage doilies all over the bodice and skirt. This is one off-the-charts example of upcycling, a trend and practice some ethical designers are devoting their collections to exclusively.
Upcycling is a trendy term for reusing garments or fabrics that already exist and spinning them up into something new and hopefully as original as the gown above. Last season a client brought in an exquisite antique tablecloth and asked me to fashion her wedding gown out of it. I was awestruck by the cloth. It was an allover and rare Cluny Lace. Ten years ago this would have been considered by most as ‘chintzing it’ on your wedding day whereas these days it is not only applauded but even considered a sentimental gesture—in my client’s case—the tablecloth was lovingly left to her by her great-grandmother.

Here are a couple of last year's adventures in upcycling by Yours Truly. Both were cut off a generous piece of Swiss cotton eyelet I've had for years. The gown above was dyed in tea and the one below I kept its original off white. Both have belts made out of eyelet trim--also upcycled.

Images courtesy Smoot Photo


The Thirty-Something Bride said...

HOLY COW! Love that top dress.

Gina said...

I hadn't heard of upcycling! I just subscribed to your blog last week and I am really enjoying it. Thank you!