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.
It takes a lot for me to splurge on a bunch of amazing fashion pieces. I think it’s engrained deep in my head what the true consequences of purchasing and bringing things into my house/wardrobe/life are, especially since, to this day I am still dragging an overstuffed rack from market to market, selling the clothes I no longer want or wear.
That rack takes up significant space in the tiny one bedroom apartment I share with my fiancé, and having to look at it/bump into it on a daily bases has really forced the point across. I don’t NEED more things. However, if I happen to find something special, I’ve made a pact with myself to boot out a few things I no longer want (add ’em to there rack, donate them or post them for sale online) before allowing myself to make the purchase.
Having done a quick wardrobe re-jig to restore my fashion karma I am now happy to share with you the four amazing items I purchased yesterday from Swop in West End (if you haven’t been to visit them yet, I HIGHLY recommend it). The total came to $115, more than I usually spend, however considering how most of the pieces can be mixed and matched I’m pretty thrilled! Big shout out to Jamie for getting up early and being the ultimate instagram husband.
In this episode, I catch up with Lis Harvey, the brains and beauty behind the sustainable and ethical underwear label Nico Underwear. We talk slow fashion, being “sexy but not sexy” and the challenges of being a conscious designer – check it out!