Wednesday, 28 November 2012

The Untiques Roadshow: Fashion Extravaganza at the Black Box Belfast

Did you know that last week was European Waste Reduction Week? Well neither did I. It's a Europe wide initiative to encourage people to reduce waste and support their local environment. As part of it, Belfast City Council organized a whole host of events all to do with waste reduction, entitled the "Untiques Roadshow".
Why the name? It is obviously a play on the name of the well-known TV programme "Antiques Roadshow", but what is meant by Untique? As Jill O'Neill of Refound (an awesome local initiative - Blog to follow!) explains in this little video here, Untique describes the stuff we own that we feel is worthless. So unlike Antiques, which are very valuable, Untiques are the things that are collecting dust in our attic. Yet, as Jill points out, these may be exactly the things that mean something to someone else or that can be made brand spanking new by giving them a little revamp. This is in a nutshell what the Untiques Roadshow was all about, to "unveil the hidden value of unloved and unwanted things".
So on Saturday I headed along to the Untiques Roadshow Fashion Show-case at the Black Box, a cool Belfast arts venue. Here, fashion experts were ready and all geared up with sowing machines, sequins, beads, buttons and more to revamp, or upcycle as it is called, your last season's clothes and make them good as new.
Rosie McReynolds showing off her work

Among them was local designer Rosie McReynolds, who sells her creations at PinUp Belfast. I've captured Rosie adding some bling to a plain charity shop jumper. She also told me that she has always had a love of recycling fashion and is inspired by high fashion designs of the likes of Maison Martin Margelia.
 Rosie also created this gorgeous bag. It is made out of an old men's tweed jacket. If you look closely, you can see the three sleeve buttons on the side!

The Jacket Bag by Rosie McReynolds
The event culminated in a Fashion Show of the designers' works. They were either entirely new creations or upcycled Vintage and Second-hand garments. The show included everything from ballgowns to patchwork Jeans and was accompanied by dark and groovy live music of the Sons and Robert Mitchum.

To start out the catwalk the models showed off some of the funky designs by Belfast Rain.

These creations are made from recycled tents. How cool is that! Belfast Rain produce skirts, hats and bags
and you can check them out here. (Apologies for the rather awful pictures. I had a small camera malfunction: smoke coming out of your flash - NOT a good sign!) 

Here are some more of the excellent pieces on display:
Design by Marie Nancarrow & Unify Studio, Photograph by Michael Kerr
The scarves in this design are made from jersey tops and the old jeans were revamped by fraying away and adding patches designer Marie Nancarrow found around the house. 

Design by Anna-Marie Henderson, Photograph by Michael Kerr
Design by That Vintage Vibe, Photograph by Michael Kerr
Both of the above designs are by Anna-Marie Henderson, owner of Pin.Up Boutique.

Design by Deborah Berne, Pin.Up, Photograph by Michael Kerr

This men's shirt was restyled using leather panels on the shoulders. Also, I don't know if you can see them, but all the female models were wearing gorgeous head-pieces created by My Little Hat Box.
Altogether the event was a great success and very inspiring! Sewing machine is definitely going on the Christmas Wish list!

Monday, 12 November 2012

My Challenge

Welcome to my very first post on FairEnough. Let me begin by explaining why I started this blog...

Well, at the beginning there was a challenge!
I love clothes and shopping, but over the last while the unjust and unethical circumstances under which most of our clothes are made started to weigh heavily on my mind. I became increasingly interested in fairtrade fashion and started to toy with the idea of no longer buying and supporting unethically produced clothes.

After my recent move and fresh start into a new job, I finally decided to make a commitment. I have set myself the challenge to only buy fairtrade and sustainable clothing for a year. This started at the beginning of October 2012, so I am already a good month in. So far so good.

But why the blog?
On FairEnough I will up-date on how my little experiment is going. I hope that this blog will be encouraging and inspiring to readers who may feel similarly about the clothing industry. My aim is not make anyone feel bad or guilty and FairEnough is as much to support and motivate myself as anybody else.

Beyond this, FairEnough is here to highlight, show-case and support everything to do with fairtrade and sustainable fashion, from shops and designers to events and even life-style choices. As I go through my year, I will share with you all my faitrade discoveries from Belfast, Dublin and the whole Island of Ireland.

Have fun and I hope you enjoy the blog!