Friday, September 17, 2010

Last weeks Fashion Night Out Event

Somehow I had the very good fortune of getting involved with an event for Fashion Night out that was created by a new company called Fashion Lab in Process (or FLiP), created by Daria Dorosh.

Our assignment as designers was to take an existing garment and turn it into something else. And the end result should be more expensive looking then what we started with, we were "upcycling" not just recycling.

It was a wonderful design exercise. Starting with a garment gives you limits you have to work around and within that can be a really fun challenge.

The other designers were all really amazing. They included Melissa Kirgan and Xing-Zhen Chung-Hilyard of Eko Lab, a wonderful sustainable design collaborative, Meiling Chen of Fearless Dreamer and Laura Bond with her self-titled line.

It was really inspiring to see how differently all of the designers interpreted this kind of re-invention. It was really fun!

The lighting in the space it's self was not very conducive to getting good pictures, but above is a quick snap shot of one of the racks of our pieces. Also featured at the show was Gayil Nalls, who's work included incorporating smells, good ones, into the clothes, above on the left you can see her red top with the lavender flower, the flower actually smells like fresh still in the garden lavender. It's a very fun alternative to traditional perfume.

And below are the before and afters of both of my pieces.

This was an old felted sweater. I'm pretty sure it was originally passed off to me by my sister. Years ago, new to New York winters, I cut off the sleeves and made them into a "warmer". Here I took the remaining sweater vest and turned it into a fully boned corset. Since the wool is fully felted (after years of neglectful washing) the wool has a really nice hand and still retains some of the give of the knit.

This beautiful pair of pants where passed to me by my dear friend Peggy, she'd had them for years and sadly they had become moth eaten. But there was still usable wool in them if I could cut around them. She gave them too me to maybe make a hat or something. Instead I pulled them out for this. And I was able to cut around all the moth holes. To do it, I figured I needed to be clever with my piecing things together. It turns out there are 40 pieces in this skirt (it's fully lined in the same pattern, it's really beautiful on the inside also).

I ended up just returning the skirt to her. When you start with very small pants, you end up with a very small skirt. I really enjoy how the shifts in grain reflect the light differently. I'm looking forward to making this one again. . . this time in my size!

This whole project left me looking around my wardrobe, wondering if there's anything in there that wants to be made into something else . . . but let me know if you have any old felted sweaters, I am totally game to make more corsets!


  1. Um, I'd like my sweater back. :)

  2. ha ha! I think it was Tara's but I'm sure you have a felted sweater around that I can make you your own . .. xox

  3. I absolutely love your skirt! Any chance you have more images? (profile, back or perhaps the beautiful interior you spoke briefly about)