Upcycled Clothing and Accessories Features Strong at London Fashion Week 2020
London Fashion Week, which ran from February 14 to 18 this year, was once again a key harbinger of trends to watch out for in Autumn/Winter 2020, with brands like Burberry, Christopher Kane, and Tommy Hilfiger showcasing cool ensembles for day and night. They say that the millennial generation is sparking a major interest in sustainable fashion and within this welcome trend, one that is offering many creative outlets for designers, is that of upcycling. Read on to discover how this über chic way of giving discarded items new life, caused the media, critics, and designers to reconsider the use of materials old and new in clothing.
Upcycling brings a Touch of Sustainability to Glamour
Vin + Omi are an environmentally conscious duo famed for their use of discarded materials in their ultra-bright, boho chic designs. They do so in many ways, including cutting up unwanted materials and sewing them with others for a ‘patched’ effect, glamming up old dressed with a bit of glitter, and using fabric paint to make something old new again. At London Fashion Week, they turned large classic film posters into dresses and coats and old knitted pieces to create vividly decorated ensembles and accessories. Another brand that shone in the upcycling sphere was 3am Eternal, whose collection featured vintage items that were restyled and refitted with luxurious fabrics.
The Effect of Fashion Weeks on Clothing and Swimwear
Vin+Omi and 3am Eternal’s were echoed by eco-friendly designer Joshua James Small, whose complex pieces also relied on new materials. The efforts of all these teams have not gone unnoticed, with many affordable brands like Beyond Retro and Fabric for Freedom. Eco-friendly swimwear and accessories are hot as well. Top brands are designing everything from 100% cotton towels to pieces made with discarded fish netting – a very fitting way to breathe life into unwanted materials through upcycling. The trend does not stand alone; it is often sold alongside sustainable accessories such as reusable drink bottles graced with reused beads and crystals and even eco-friendly skincare products.
Upcycled Jewellery and Accessories
Jewels by Alan Anderson dressed models up in gorgeous designs featuring old Swarovski crystals. Much of Alan Anderson’s work is bespoke – a fact which gives the jeweller the chance to reuse old pieces, grabbing signature gems and crystals and reshaping them into a whole new design. This is even easier to do considering he prefers big, blingy fashion jewellery to fine jewellery (the latter is too fine and small for his taste). He told Forbes, “I like the scale of stones and ‘show’ of big, bold jewelry. ‘If you can’t see it from the highway, don’t bother wearing it,’ goes a saying in Texas.”
The presence of upcycled collections at London Fashion Week and other Big Four Fashion Weeks has shown that sustainability has a big demand. Buyers wishing to do their share to join the movement can research into brands offering these chic, carefully cut, patched, and ‘glamorized’ pieces. The collections are an inspiration for fashion lovers who are creative and like to create new pieces or give life to vintage ones that can benefit from a little restyling.