Sunday, June 28, 2009

Trashion's Grass Roots are Fertile Ground

I have to say, I have found this post a bit a of a challenge to write. At heart, I am a fashion junkie. Cut, line, colour, texture and style are my obsession, whether its in the things I design or what I'm wearing.

So I'm going to be the honest and say I'm struggling to find upcycled fashion at a grass roots level that is, well, fashionable. To my taste in any case.

Eco fashion has already been touted as "the next big thing" in the early nineties. But the way it was handled and expressed involved a lot of beige and organic cotton with the form & shape of a hessian sack. Now I love the feel of organic cotton, but at the time, there was more excitement about the fabric being used which, in my opinion, had exceptional design fall by the wayside. I really do think the time for sustainable/upcycled materials AND excellent, imaginative design has finally arrived.

I can see this pull tab theory (used by Pop Top Lady on Etsy here to create a skirt) being used to create a piece like this Tinkerbell dress from Manning Cartell... eye opener and would take a girl with a bit of confidence to pull it off, but what fun!

heidi &seek

Another grass roots, handmade designer doing interesting things is Haley Lau of Melbourne based Heidi & Seek.

The clothing at Heidi & Seek is great for those non conforming season in, season out basics that stay in your wardrobe rather than being turfed into the charity bin at the end of the season. In fact, don't be surprised to see one of your pieces from the disposable pile transformed by Hayley into something with much more seasonal longevity.

Available on Etsy, Leeloo & selected stockists, the new, soon to be released winter range looks really interesting! I especially love the grey jumper with the big blue collar.

Semi Conclusion

For now I'm going to keep researching and looking. I would love to hear from anyone who has fallen in love with a particular emerging trashion/upcycling designer.... either leave a comment or email me at

Next: Trashbag Toybox

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Saturday, June 27, 2009

Who Will You Be Today? - A Give Away

We're in the mood to spread the love today so we are having our first giveaway!

There are two ways to go into the draw to win this funky textile & chain based Dorian Grey necklace from Kreated:

  1. Become a Follower (see the right hand panel) of Who Will You Be Today, then leave a comment on this post with the answer to the following question: Who are you today & why? in 50 words or less along with your email address (so I can contact you if you win!)

  2. Become a fan of Kreated on Facebook and answer the same question on the discussion topic Who will you be today? Giveaway. No need to leave your email address here as I'll contact you if you win via a message on Facebook.

For an extra chance to win, do both! A shortlist of 10 will be chosen randomly and then the most creative answer wins!

Giveaway ends on 5/7/09.

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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

New Toys!

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Friday, June 12, 2009

Love to Spare

“I do not believe one can settle how much we ought to give. I am afraid the only safe rule is to give more than we can spare.”

C.S. Lewis

****ONE ONLY****


Got some Love to Spare? Or maybe wearing your heart on your sleeve has become a bit tiresome? This 5x5x2 cm heart is the PERFECT solution then!

Simple and edgy but elegant on its own or a feature piece layered with simpler chains, Love to Spare is strung on leather from the infamous Sacred Heart Op Shop biker pants and chain from an upcycled dog choker chain. Hanging about 45 cms long, this piece is a definite one off due to the pendant itself being a bit of a find!

(plus postage if necessary)

Only available on Made It (pick up available for locals!)

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From Darkness to Light

... without darkness
Nothing comes to birth,
As without light
Nothing flowers.

May Sarton

Now, I must confess that I really, really wanted to call this piece "She has Big Kahoonas". Alas, I didn't have the Kahoonas!!

Continuing with the lava stone obsession, I wanted to contrast the natural, rough and organic texture of this stone with something ordered and structured like the crystal.

With the plains and jewel tones of this season, it works perfectly.

For the feminine warrior, explorer, fashionista... who am I to tell you what part of you this bracelet will express!

Perfect and simple on its own or layered with other black & silver bracelets, this single stranded bracelet with clasp features 3 large 20mm lava stone balls decorated with Swarovski flatback crystals.

Available on Etsy & MadeIt

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Don't Cross Me

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"Don't mess with me fellas. This ain't my first time at the rodeo!"

— Joan Crawford
Inspired by a combination for the penchant I have for all things Rock Chick that still need to work with the rest of my wardrobe (ok, so maybe my slightly more feminine take on Rock Chick), the eternally upcycled Sacred Heart leather pants and these Jet and Crystal Swarovski pendants I saw on a lava stone hunt, Don't Cross Me was born.

Simple yet edgy, this 48 cm necklace is so versatile. Wear with denim, woolens, plains and stripes depending on the look you want to create.

Strung on chain, lava stone and upcycled leather (from the fames Sacred Heart leather pants), the 38 mm Swarovski crystal cross, contrasted with jet, catches light in the most amazing way without being too overwhelming.

Hand created, this unique piece is a great addition to any outfit.

Available at Etsy and MadeIt (for those wanting $AUD)


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Sunday, June 7, 2009

Upcycling+Fashion = Trashion

Typical of the fashion world, apparently upcycled fashion wasn’t a cool or catchy enough phrase to describe this type of upcycling. Hence, Trashion was born.

From the Top of the Tree

On a top level, Barneys of New York collaborated with 8 rather prominent designers (Rodarte, Alexander Wang, Versace, Rogan Gregory, Derek Lam, Stella McCartney, Ann Demeulemeester and Bottega Veneta), and Elle to create Project Blue.

The sentiment behind Project Blue was to take donated denim, collaborate with the eight designers to create functional, wearable, amazing pieces, auction them on Ebay and then donate the proceeds to Oceana, an organisation who wins specific and concrete policy changes to reduce pollution and to prevent the irreversible collapse of fish populations, marine mammals and other sea life.

I have quite the obsession with turtles. I think I once decided to keep seeing a guy just because he had a turtle tattoo, so the work of this particular charity is seen as imperative in my world.

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Baby Loggerhead Turtle (Credit: Oceana/Cory Wilson)

It begs the question of why this is not done more often on a commercial level by top designers.


Stella McCartney for Project Blue

The auction ran for 10 days with items selling for an absolute song (well in comparative terms that is!):

Bottega Veneta dress - $306
Ann Demeulemeester jacket, tank top and jeans - $140
Stella McCartney jacket and jumpsuit - $306
Derek Lam top and skirt - $306
Rogan dress - $251
Versace dress - $321.01
Alexander Wang jacket & shorts - $305
Rodarte dress - $1,875

Read more at Denimology & Outsapop


Derek Lam for Project Blue


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The jacket is made up of 14 backs of jackets and trench coats in leather.
Different leathers are superposed and give a gradation of shades going from white to black.

Born in Belgium, Martin Margiela worked as a design assistant for Jean Paul Gaultier for two years before starting his own label in 1988. Known for his innovative designs and avant-garde style, the reclusive designer who famously never appears on the runway or in photographs is a master of deconstructing and reconstructing garments.

Whilst Margiela also produces a traditional line, he also produces what is coined within the design house as the Artisanal collection, a collection of remade and restyled garments for men and women.

Artisanal garments by Margiela have been part of his collection since the fall/winter 1989-90 collection. Made by hand at the firm’s atelier in Paris out of vintage materials, the Artisanal collection is limited in quantity.

Whilst one has to concede that a lot of these pieces aren’t exactly wearable in the everyday, sifting through I did find some really unique pieces that could function quite well as statement pieces to blend with the everyday items.

A crepe de chine dress is decorated with 33 and 45 rpm records.
The records have been cut, then shaped while warm to mould to the shape of the body.


An extra large T-shirt is partially slashed in bands to create a circular motif.
The new armhole is made with a series of hand-made knots.

A fishing net is directly draped on a dummy to create a long evening dress.


A leather jacket is made of footballs. The balls are cut up, flattened and
applied on leather similar to the rubbery inner tube of the ball.

Vintage buttons are embroidered on a silk chiffon to create a bit-mapped effect motif.
Two rectangular pieces of silk muslin are assembled to form a dress.
The front is embroidered with various buttons of mother-of-pearl, metal, plastic to draw a mouth.

An abundance of rings, identity bracelets and chain necklaces in
silver and gold plate recreate the shape of an evening dress.

Next: Trashion’s Grass Roots Provide Fertile Ground

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Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The Great Egg Oxidising Experiment

Recently I bought some really great textured chain but it is that really bright, bright silver colour that doesn't really work with my pieces. 

Top: After Oxidising

Whilst going on an adventure to discover how to go about oxidising my silver, the first method I came across was using lime sulphur fungicide from Bunnings.  Now with me trying to keep as sustainable as possible, as tempting as it was to use, I didn't think a fungicide was really what I should be using.
Then I came across the egg method.

I'm pretty sure eating these is not an option!

It really was a bonus as, being allergic to eggs, I've constantly got out of date eggs in my fridge due to the infrequency with which i use them.

However, in my eagerness to try out my mad scientist experiment, I didn't seek out more information on the method.  Hence, mashing the egg INTO the chain seemed most logical.

Scrambled chain anyone?

Whilst the results DID work, further investigation and a great helping hand from my fellow Etsians at DUST, showed me the messiness of my ways!

The ideal way to execute this method is actually to place the item in the middle of a plastic container, place the quarters of the hard boiled egg around the container, seal and wait.  No mashing required!!  The sulfur from the egg then does its work on the silver content of the item!

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Monday, June 1, 2009

Pimpng the Upcycled Pad Pt. 2 - No Skating in the House!

There is so much fun, funky and contemporary upcycled goodness for your home (and mine... if I could just find space)... that the post on Pimping your Upcycled Pad had to be split in two!

No Skating in the House

Skate Study House

Astro Clock by Skate House

There are a few designers out there doing recreated pieces from skateboards but the most interesting and contemporary I found was Skate Study House. I love that these pieces are viable in any home. Many of the skater pieces were limited by the typically grungy look (see the Deck Stool from Hot Munkey). Skate House, however, has taken the skateboard and really thought out the pieces to create pieces that sometimes you have to look at three times to realise they are boards!
"SKATE STUDY HOUSE (SSH) is an innovative design concept specializing in recreating popular furniture through the vision of a skateboarder. The movement of a skateboarder constantly changes -- it recreates itself by transcending boundaries and inventing ways to conquer obstacles. It’s constantly about anticipation and adaptation to one’s environment. The same is true for living design. The combination of the two produces a mixture of contemporary lifestyle, art and action sports culture, which is all found in this unique collection."
Jet Set Lounge Chair by Skate House

Deckstool by Hot Munkey

Put the Rubbish Out, But Leave the Bin Inside

Street Sofa by WeMake

WeMake are on a mission and their design philosophies sing to me. I recently read an interview with Sarah Johnson and Jason Allcor, the founders and designers at WeMake and it was clear that what they are up to is uniting through design; moving design from the realm of the creative genius who creates a compeltely dysfunctional lemon squeezer that gets design award after design award to a connecter between people.

Sara is also the founder of a design collective called ReDesign which is up to getting upcycling and sustainable design into the every day psyche of people.

Swing Like Johnny

Nickel Sofa by Johnny Swing

The pieces of Johhn Swing are really quite incredible. Now, I'm not sure the amount of energy that goes into recreating these pieces really fits under the sustainable umbrealla, but I couldn't resist featuring this sofa made from used nickels.

Read more about Johnny in Artworks Magazine.

Windshield table by Johnny Swing

Wheelbarrow storage table by Johnny Swing

The Pug Doesn't Belong in the Drier

I've always been a curious one. In Prep, I stapled my finger to see what it felt like. At one stage, I tried to put my poor pet Pug, Abbey, in the drier, just to see if she would fit (my brother, from memory, did give me a hand with that one). The escapade that involved letting Charlie the canary out of his cage to see if he would be like my friend's budgie was a mitigated disaster that left me scarred for life.

Thankfully though, putting a cat or dog in this suitcase is a GOOD thing!

Vintage upcycled/recycled suitcase pet bed for dogs or cats

from luckylighting at Etsy

An Excuse to Develop a Caffeine Addiction

Now, it's not like I need a reason to drink lots of coffee... I love the stuff... but now I have a reason to buy in bulk! These coffee sacks have been thoughtfully used to make the most of the original designs on the sacks.

Coffee Sack Cushions
by Sewgreen at Etsy

Books Books Books

Dare to Dream

Jim Rosenau of This Into That was raised in a house with 5,000 books. He has been making and selling thematic bookshelves from vintage books since 2002. The idea occurred to him years earlier after reading an essay, "Books As Furniture," by Nicholson Baker. Given his background as the son and grandson of publishers, he assumed the reaction, should he make such a thing, would be furious. The work, once underway, proved him wrong.

His book furniture has since earned him a wide following with work sold in almost 50 states and countries. Primarily shown at closely juried shows, he is also represented by dealers from Vermont to Los Angeles. The work has been widely published in print and on the Internet.

You Light Up My Life

And last but not least, there is the artisian upcycler Gilles Eichenbaum of French design studio Garbage Vpot.

He repurposes household goods and antique kitchen implements turning them into absolutely gorgeous and unique lighting.

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