Today, I am wearing #09 Skirt by Debbie Bliss. The skirt is knitted in Rowan Frost yarn, which has been discontinued. I spent this morning darning a hole in the edge of the blouse I am wearing, which is designed by the Italian brand, Save the Queen, which I purchased secondhand after a three-year search. One of the challenges of purchasing small designers that feature artisanal details such as the distressing (artistic tears) in the central section of a blouse is making them last. With every hand washing, the “distressing” gets more distraught. Today, when I was getting ready to photograph the outfit, I also discovered a hole in the seam near the armhole, and repaired it with my needle. All of which goes to say that this process of putting outfits together and photographing them is causing me to inspect garments MUCH more closely. I am hoping I will take better care of them as a result.
Yesterday, I wore Emerald Blocks by Jean Frost. Frost has mentioned that the design was inspired by a cropped emerald jacket in Chanel’s Fall Winter 2012 Couture Show.
I saw the jacket in the original Chanel fashion show and then was thrilled to find a similar knitting pattern! It took forever to knit, as I hand-quilted each knitted piece with a silk lining. I took a two-day course from Jean Frost on lining knitted jackets with silk to prepare for the project. The time paid off, and back when I was a realtor, a French agent actually referred to it as a Chanel when she complimented it. (heh heh).
Over the years, I have fine-tuned the fit of this jacket, taking out the lining in the sleeves, as a sewing expert showed me how the lining in the knitted sleeves had tightened the fit on the body too much. I left the silk lining in the jacket back and fronts. Because I invested so much time and effort knitting and quilting and un-quilting silk-linings, I scrupulously care for this jacket in-between wearings.
Here is a close-up of the hand-quilted lining, which still remains in the body of the jacket:
I am noticing a strong correlation between the hours I put into acquiring, or making, a garment, and caring for it afterwards. Instead of having a closet filled to bursting with cheap, fast-made imported clothes, why not curate a small collection of handmade clothes or garments one has hunted through consigners, second-hand, and small batch local makers, filling in the rest of the necessaries with cheaper mall-bought brands? I suppose this is my goal, and I feel that one element of my participation in #slowfashionoctober will be to find uses/good destinations for clothing I rarely wear, without sending it to landfill. There is an looming garbage problem caused by the cast-offs of the fast fashion industry and I feel inspired to try to cut down on my personal contribution to the problem.
Does anyone know of a charity in Puerto Rico that is accepting clothing donations?