What is fashion? Why do we have fashion? Why in the hell is it so important? What does it tell us about ourselves? That is what I think is so interesting about fashion and I guess, that is why I’m a fashion designer and artist.
Hi. I’m Francesca oh! and I love clothing but not for the typical reason most people do. I love it because it is our most personal form of art. It can speak volumes about one’s self, society, history and so much more.
First, I want to talk about how clothing can expresses oneself. Examples I use, may or may not be your cup of tea. Which is kind of how fashion is, some things you like, and some, not so much. My focus is on the thought or the voice behind the clothes. What you would see Through the Looking Glass if that mirror could speak.
This is my first blog entry and I’m going to talk about one relatively new area of fashion, which, consequently, I’m currently creating a line around. It is “repurposed clothing”
What is Repurposed Clothing?
The general dictionary meaning for repurpose is “to give a new purpose or use to.” So my definition for “repurposed clothing” is “to give a new purpose or use to existing clothing.”
Why Design Repurposed Clothing?
Frankly, for me, because it’s fun, fascinating and challenging. Each piece will always be original and there is an element of randomness and history that will create the present. It also expresses us as a people, turning our thoughts toward sustainability, consciousness about ecology, making use of what we have already taken from Mother Nature and giving it a new use. It totally blows my mind when I think about it. Okay I don’t want to go off on too many tangents here, but in a nutshell, that is why I am designing repurposed clothing.
What is the Look?
Pictures speak louder than words.
Why is it so cool, so fun, so exciting and so beautiful?
From the purely artistic view, it is cool because of the new shapes and purposes you create in clothing. This is because you don’t start two dimensionally with a flat piece of fabric. You begin with an existing piece in three dimensions; as a result you have to work outside of the box. Also, as I said, there is a sense of randomness about this type of clothing. What one finds and combines to create something new, can never be mirrored. Like every human individual, no person is ever alike. As a result, this type of clothing will challenge you to look within. At least, that is my perspective.
What is “Repurposed Clothing” telling us?
Ah, I could go on and on but basically as I see it, there are multi faceted levels in which this type of clothing speaks to me. There are the physical, mental, emotional, historical, social, artistic, creative and even spiritual levels. But for the sake of brevity, I’ll pick one, the physical, which is sort of how a fashion designer defines how they want their clothes to look. When I was in design school many, many, many years ago, I was told to define the image of my design by images of who I wanted that person to be. Well, I was never really good at picking things in just one area, so my look was always really conceptual. I wanted to offer choice to become who you wanted to be. Kind of a lofty idea but that was what I have always wanted in my designs. Thus on a physical level Francesca oh! repurposed clothing reflects choice, a choice to be who you want to be at any given moment.
For example, in my skirt design, which I fondly named ShirtSkirts™ (this style is just the beginning, I have a few different designs for ShirtSkirts™). So back to my red and black plaid ShirtSkirt™, this style is from my Upcycled Experience collection and is called the Classic ShirtSkirt™. It has a minimum of 3 looks. The first choice is the classic straight skirt, shown in picture #1. It is my alternative to the female “Power Suit.” Now tell me, who is not going to listen to you in that high tech conference room, when you’re wearing not just one business shirt but two? I just die laughing when I think how silly that is, but it is so very true! Choice number 2, in picture #2, time to go exotic and catch that man with the knotted sleeve front. I’m not going to do my second pun, but go figure. Number 3, in picture #3, but not the last choice, red front or black front, your pick. This expresses the edginess of youth and lack of conformity. The asymmetry will always give you a feeling of being off balanced and will set everyone guessing on who you really are! There are more choices to how to wear the ShirtSkirt™; it is for the wearer to explore.
So there you go, the physical voice of theFrancesca oh! Upcycled Experience Classic ShirtSkirt™. Until my next blog entry.
Photographer: Ehrland Hollingsworth
Model: Kerah Cottrell