Second time around:the reuse and restyling of clothing

Second time around:the reuse and restyling of clothing

Saturday 04 October 2014

Fashion has always been about the latest styles and is constantly in search of the new but has the ‘new’ necessarily to be brand new?

The second hand market is both economic and cultural with the hand-me-downs and cast-offs of the past often indicating poverty or a lower social position, while garments like christening gowns, wedding dresses and perhaps pieces of lace when passed on carry a sense of family continuity.

WECS members are familiar with the idea of wealth being invested in clothing and then bequeathed to family and friends in wills and the magnificent vestments and ceremonial clothing passed on through the generations. However, perhaps there is more to learn about how we use clothing in relation to social change.

This day will look at an area of dress study which is only just beginning to be understood, that of reuse and restyling.

Kerry Taylor will speak about her London Auction House which deals in high end, second hand clothing for collectors as well as fashionistas, while retired curator Anthea Jarvis will talk on the recycling of the image of Madame Pompadour in fashion and fancy dress. Natasha Radclyffe-Thomas from the London College of Fashion will then bring us down to earth with some ‘Make-do-and-Mend’ and our final speaker will be able to help us understand the current phenomena of vintage and retro fashion and the popularity of charity shops, car boot sales and the restyling of clothes, which seems to be the current trend.

The report on this event is included in the Autumn 2014 issue of WECS Wardrobe.

Magazine Cover