Opinion: Janet Christie's Mum's the Word - why upcycled fashion is all the rage
Now that the luxury brands have woken up to upcycling it’s the biggest story in the fashion world right now.
Because of the pandemic we’re buying fewer clothes and the labels have tonnes of deadstock they can’t afford to waste, plus customers are on their case over their green credentials.
Hence Balenciaga’s “fur” coat made of shoelaces and Gucci and Prada passing stock on to other designers to reassemble into new high-end fashion.
I only know this ‘cos I read Youngest’s Vogue - I bought her a subscription for her birthday, online ‘cos it’s easy to read on your phone’, and print “so you can cut it up for collage and it smells and feels nice” she says.
Anyway, here at the other end of the fashion market from Prada, so low we’re not even high street (more supermarket ‘last chance’ rail), it turns out Youngest is way ahead. She’s been recycling and repurposing our clothes for years, borrowing/stealing stuff, cutting it up and making new items for herself. Priya Ahluwalia would approve.
But not Middle. Three years on, he’s still raging about his Harrington Jacket that she hacked to create an admittedly very sharp crop version.
“You weren’t wearing that jacket!” she says.
“Not right then, no. I was out. But I DID wear it, and would be right now if you hadn’t STOLEN it. Yeah! One day you’ll wake up and … and half your hair will be gone,” he says, “and when you run crying to mum I’ll say ‘oh, sorry, were you still using that? I thought it would make nice fringing for my kicks.”
I’ll overlook the fact that the people involved in this argument are now adults, because when did age guarantee maturity, and the fact that much of Youngest’s hair isn’t actually real, so I could probably fix it back on before she woke up, crisis averted.
Also, she knows better than to mess with my stuff. Or so I thought until she pings me pictures from BratChat/Insta of “the new coat I designed today”. There’s Eldest Child modelling it, cos of course it’s gender neutral (I see he’s over what she did to his favourite denim jacket) then Youngest herself in it, beaming.
“Pimp inspired” is how she describes it. Her faux fur bed cover is how I describe it. Raging.
One day she’ll wake up and … and half her hair will be gone…