The following blog post is part of the 1 Million Women WEAR Interview series - we are asking questions on fashion + sustainability + style to Australian and International designers, models, vintage sellers, upcyclers, recyclers, shop owners, fashion entrepreneurs and forward thinkers to gauge what is happening around sustainable fashion in Australia and the world.
1MW interviews Marisa Lynch from the New Dress a Day project…an upcycling project where one persons trash becomes another persons treasure!
1MW: What is the story behind the New dress a day project?
ML: I had just gotten laid off, was getting ready to turn 30, and was in a complete creative funk when I started this project. I went to see Julie & Julia and was completely inspired by Julie Powell and how she found herself by cooking her way through Julia Child’s cookbook. I wanted to emulate that feeling, still feel good about myself, and get my creative juices flowing while dealing with being unemployed.
1MW: How long is there to go on the project?
ML: The project is still going strong! The first year’s 365 days finished and now I’m blogging on a daily basis doing more $1 remakes, using reader’s creations as well as garments they have sent in for me to recreate on top of fun designer copycats on a budget!
1MW: What inspires you and your dress creations? Is it the fabric, style periods, or is it different for each dress?
ML: It’s definitely different for each dress, but here are the things that I look for when thrifting… I’m also always inspired by designer and celebrity red carpet looks as well as what people are wearing now when putting together ensembles.
- a. PATTERN/COLOR – I love bold colors and fun patterns. The more fun the color palette, the better.
- b. BLING – I love me some shine! Anything with beads, sequins, and rhinestones always catches my eye.
- c. TRIMMINGS – If there is ribbon or lace detail, really cool trim or anything that pops, I’m totally drawn to it!
- d. HARDWARE – Love cool buttons – big, small, shiny, dull, etc. I’m all over sassy buttons.
- e. FABRIC – I tend to go with pieces that feel more luxe than others. A well-made fabric garners a more expensive looking piece!
1MW: D.I.Y and Upcycling of vintage clothing has become very popular recently, how did you become interested in up-cycling clothing?
ML: I learned how to sew in middle school and my first foray was creating a purse for my prom because I couldn’t find anything I liked at the store. For me, I really got into upcycling right after college when I was an assistant in the entertainment industry working long days and making pennies. I couldn’t afford amazing outfits from Barneys on my salary, so I decided to make them myself on a budget I could afford. It’s something that I’ve fallen in love with and it makes me ecstatic when I get complimented on a piece that people think is designer but only cost $1
1MW: How does this philosophy and approach to fashion fit in with a sustainable fashion model for the future?
ML: The beauty of fashion is that trends are always coming in and out of style. You can find vintage pieces that look just like pieces being sold at Topshop or H&M now. We’re having a resurgence of 90s neon at the moment and I’m re-wearing jewelry that I wore back then. Pairing these sustainable items with current pieces make
1MW: How do you think we can ensure that this sustainable fashion trend becomes integral to fashion and consumer behaviour rather than just a passing fad?
ML: I think that because of where the economy is at the moment along with environmental concerns, sustainable fashion isn’t going anywhere. I think that once people see how easy and fun and budget friendly it is to reinvent clothes that have been hanging in their closets for years it will be something that will hopefully just become second nature to everyone.
1MW: What has been the response from people and the media to your project? Do you think more people want to learn how to make one person’s trash another ones treasure?
ML: The response has been overwhelming! I’ve received thousands of emails from people all over the world showing support. I think that many, many more people will most definitely want to learn how to make one person’s trash another one’s treasure.
1MW: Do you have a favourite upcycled dress you would like to share with us from the project?
ML: I have so many favorite pieces! Here is just one of them for you… I wore this on my first television appearance with Nate Berkus and it was extremely special because it involved no sewing at all!!
1MW: If you could share with our member’s one thing about fashion & style what would it be?
ML: At the end of the day, if you feel good in what you’re wearing, that’s what matters most! There are things that I make and wear that get negative feedback from readers, however that’s the beauty of fashion; everyone doesn’t connect to everything. Fashion is about individuality which is why it’s so amazing! Wear what connects to you.
Thanks a million Marisa for sharing with 1MW about New Dress A Day.
Visit the website – www.newdressaday.com