It only took me about three hours to become bored out of my mind… and this was day one of my uni holidays. I was lucky enough to be struck by some crafty inspiration after watching a fantastic tutorial on Ann Le’s fashion blog – click HERE for link. She shared an easy to follow video + photos on how to transform a mens shirt into a womens off-the-shoulder top, a style I’ve been coveting for a while but couldn’t bring myself to buy from a fast fashion store.
I hit my local opp shops in Annerley and scored two mens shirts ($3.50 each) which I swiftly took home to start working on. I purchased two because I knew I’d inevitably screw one up (which I did) but hey, I learnt that lesson fast! That lesson was, don’t cut the shoulders too low or you’ll end up sewing the arm holes shut.
I’m so happy with how shirt number two turned out (below) and I loved that I could control how tight the elastic was (so I don’t have to keep yanking it up like others I’ve tried on). It looks great, I feel great in it, and it transformed an otherwise discarded shirt into a cool fashiony thing – which is the best!
I was welcomed into Emilias home with arms outstretched (literally) and a quaint spread of local strawberries, black coffee and cake. I didn’t expect this project to involve so many treats from my subjects (but I’m not complaining! I feel like a little slow fashion Santa Claus).
Emilia and I were lucky to become new found best friends within our mid-twenties – a very rare thing indeed. However this only strengthened our bond, as we both instantly appreciated how great it feels to meet someone with a common passion and goal (we study Fashion Design together at Billy Blue College) and have consequently helped each other through many nights of tear soaked assessments and creative endeavours. I help her with English, she helps me with technology – a match made in heaven.
What has always impressed me about Emilia is her simple yet completely refined elegance in the way she dresses for uni each day, and she has slowly coaxed me over to the dark side – the beauty of monochrome. When she shared with me that almost all of the clothing she owned was purchased from markets or second hand stores, I did a little dance. I had a new opp-shopping budding now too!
This photoshoot took place in the ancient Queenslander she shares with (11?) other people, a gang of chickens, a crew of ducks and a gorgeous pup named Milo.
About 80% of Emilias wardrobe is second hand, a concept that wasn’t all that common when she was first getting in to fashion.
Emilia: I found that, when I first started shopping, not a lot of people ever looked in opp shops – but they actually have amazing stuff! I find it way more unique. I also like the fact that most of the time it’s helping an organisation. It’s a win-win.
Her first outfit encapsulates Emilias style perfectly – minimalistic, vintage and androgynous (very Swedish). The grey trousers were picked up for $1 at the Suitcase Rummage in Brisbane, the belt was $1.50 from a thrift store in Sweden as was the $4 turtleneck, and the black cardigan was found at a Lifeline in Wynnum.
One of the ways I stay inspired when it comes to fashion is by constantly admiring the style of others. Feeling the need to stretch my creative legs, I’ve decided to do a series exploring the wardrobes of some of my friends, all of whom acquire most of their clothing via sustainable means (opp shops, vintage, swapping, inheriting). I want to shine a light on the myriad of people doing amazing things for slow fashion, just by being conscious of where and how they shop.
They also all happen to be stylish as hell.
I’m excited to share with you the first of this Sustainable Style Series, beginning with the one powerhouse-of-a-lady… Jordan.
I was welcomed into Jordans home with a display of (what happens to be my favourite) cake fresh from Botanica and earl grey tea + lemon. Heck yes! I was instantly in awe of the plant-filled Queenslander she shares with housemate Jess, the perfect backdrop for our photoshoot.
I struggled to contain my excitement when I spotted the ladder-turned-wardrobe which housed the majority of Jordans clothing. What’s more amazing is the fact that the ladder itself is second hand, passed on to Jordan by her Grandfather who had owned a construction company in West End.