Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Dress Responsibly

 I  constantly contemplate the concept of responsible dressing and a person's clothing choices ecological impact. Have you ever thought about your social responsibility as it applies to your personal style choices?

Did you know? The average US citizen throws away 70 pounds of clothing and other textiles annually.

While the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) estimates that the textile recycling industry recycles approximately 3.8 billion pounds of post-consumer textile waste (PCTW) each year, this only accounts for approximately 15% of all PCTW, leaving 85% in our landfills.
The U.S. EPA estimates that textile waste occupies nearly 5% of all landfill space.

Americans generate about 25 billion pounds of textiles in one year. On a global scale it equates to approximately 114 Billion pounds per year. 

Something has to be done.

When I created my Vintage eBoutique: Evolution Vintage it was not just about re-styling fashion's past current. It was also about dressing responsibly. Fashion's past has provided us with glorious and unique fabrications, trims and adornments that are unavailable today or widely unused. I could not imagine letting these clothes sit in a landfill or dingy thrift store and never have a chance at a second life. We all deserve second chances, right?

Dressing responsibly has little to do with Vintage per se, but more about being fashionably creative. You can give your old clothing new life by using minor stylistic changes to re-vamp your wardrobe before tossing it. For example, remove the sleeves from that black dress you have been wearing for years in fall/winter and re-style it for Spring/Summer with that little touch and appropriate accessories.

Donation is also another fabulous way to give your clothing a second shot. Give to a local charity shop or to friends you know will wear them. I choose thrift stores that support my local community and associated programs, where I live it is Achievement House. It supports people with intellectual disabilities by providing vocational training, education and tangible jobs.

There are several ways to dress responsibly, up-cycle and re purpose your clothing to avoid the textiles in the landfill. The direct recycling method is to wear Vintage.

I also recycle / re-style Vintage jewelry, trims and fabric's into fabulous cocktail rings and hair accessories via EVOLUTION REWIND
ALL of these rings used to be Vintage brooches that were broken or had issues. They have been, restored and  re-styled into fabulous contemporary rings and NOT wasted! (All rings pictured are available via Evolution Rewind)

The stigma of "previously loved clothing" needs to be removed from out culture if we are every to shrink or eliminate the numbers cited above.  I always think of this scenario, The fast fashion at say a giant retailer like Froever21, who knows how many bodies the shirt you just purchased has been tried on? not laundered in between. Technically the garment has been previously worn.

The clothing offered to my clients via Evolution Vintage are professionally cleaned and ready to wear. They have a history in fashion and in the life of someone else. They are all hand selected by me anticipating their abiliy to be re-styled into a conetmporary woman's closet.

Check out Super model Amber Valetta in her web series "Driving Fashion Forward" - this episode is called "UPCYCLE" It is inspiring and a great reminder of the world we share and our global duty to contribute to the solutions and not the problem.

Do you dress responsibly? 
Tell me how in the comments.

Friday, April 11, 2014

The Flight of the Hummingbird

My talented photographer friend Karen Dvorak took this amazing image of this hummingbird and it got me thinking about a quote I saw on another friends Instagram earlier today. We are all so socially connected now it makes me happy to have the opportunity to connect the cosmic dots.

"Legends say that hummingbirds float free of time, carrying our hopes for love, joy and celebration. The hummingbird's a delicate grace reminds us that life is rich, beauty is everywhere, every personal connection has meaning and that laughter is life's sweetest creation"


Thursday, April 10, 2014

Mirror, Mirror: DIY Time

Mirror, Mirror on the wall, who is the best DIY-er of them all? Not me of course but I love to try. My latest project was a broken mirror that I rescued from the garbage and DIY-ed my way to functional fabulousness. The previous owner cast it into the trash because of a broken "shell" that was glued over a flaw in the mirror. It was such an interesting piece I could not pass it up.

My dragging things home from the trash, estate sale, thrift and consignment store is now a regular occurrence so imagine my husbands lack of surprise when I loaded up this mirror into our car from a dumpster.

Waste not, want not, right? I want to add a touch of what I call Re-styling to all that I come in contact with so I dug out some of my broken Vintage brooches that I use to harvest stones for my ring and jewelry repair, vintage earrings and loose stones.
I also found a Vintage belt that was damaged and unable to be sold or styled via Evolution Vintage. It worked as the perfect base for the jewels. The color is my accent color in my new studio.

What I used:
* Vintage Belt
*Random Vintage Jewels/Earrings/Pieces
I kept the color pallet in blacks/white/silver/pearl to coordinate with my studio's industrial feel.

Now this mirror is fabulous and functional!

Do you save and re-style items other people disregard?
Share in the comments.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Festival Fabulous

Image: Tamara Wickstrom  Model/Stylist: LisaG

The outdoor festival season usually begins with Coachella, the music and art festival running on two weekends April 11-13 and 18-20 just outside of Palm Springs, California. This is a sold out event and attracts thousands of music art and FASHION lovers. 

Coachella is like a hybrid of fashions past and future, think late 60's folk festival (like Woodstock) meets an Ani Sui runway show (1990's or even 2011) - The fashion is the same. Big floppy hats, statement and tribal jewelry, flower crowns, fringe, maxi dresses, short shorts, crochet and bold, colorful prints.

Faye Dunaway
Brigitte Bardot



Kate Moss in 1990's Ann Sui

Coachella Clothes:

Festival Fab Vintage:

Vintage Felt 'Floppy' Hat (marked: Made in England on the inside) ~ $70
Vintage Chevron Print Dress ~ $55

60's Sheer Tunic ($45) and Gold Tone metal chain belt ($25) (Sold Separately)

 Vintage pleated peacock print two piece set ~SOLD

Will you be festival fabulous this season?

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Game of Clothes

I, like many other people have fallen under the spell of the HBO hit series, "Game of Thrones". My Canadian family insisted I give it a chance and I'm so glad I did. Just a few hours to go until the premier of the 4th season I wanted to share the exquisite costumes of the women of Westeros. The show weaves the original novels story as well as European History dating roughly from 1295-1500. This is reflected in the costumes as well. They are a hybrid between cultural accuracy and what women of a fictional place such as Westeros and Essos would be wearing.

The Costume designer Michele Clapton is behind the well thought out and symbolic frocks. She also won an Emmy Award  (2012) for her work on Game of Thrones.
Costume Designer: Michele Clapton with character Cersei Lannister's gown.
Embroidered details from Cersei Lannister's costume

Sansa Stark's Wedding Dress (Complete with Hip Armor)
“For Sansa’s wedding dress the designer Michele Clapton wanted to have an embroidered band that wrapped around which symbolistically told Sansa’s life from the Tully and Stark beginnings to the entanglement with the Lannisters,” says Michele Carragher,

“The dress colour was still very much Sansa Stark and the embroidery had pale golden tones but woven through the story are ripe red pomegranates, the red colour symbolising the growing Lannister influence over her.” 
What I have been personally taken by are the details on the garments, namely the embroidery.  All of this skilled work is done by an artist named Michele Carragher. She is London based and her skill set is on another level. By all accounts she believes hand embroidery methods still superior to that of a machine and this attention to detail and skill certainly is reflected in her garments for this show.
Embroidery Artist Michele Carragher

Sansa Stark

Arya Stark

Lady Catelyn Stark

Cersei Lannister

Daenerys Targaryen

Michele has even shared her smocking technique called "dragon scale"

Have a time lapsed look into the painstaking 42 hours of work condensed into 10 seconds.

Don't even get me started on the design, fabrics and inspiration behind each characters look. I adore the show even more now that I am delving into the heart of the costumes. I will explore the best dressed women of Westeros in a future post but wanted to highlight the exquisite craftsmanship of the embroidered pieces.

Which embroidered masterpiece do you like best?
Share your perspective in the comments.