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Michelle Lowe-Holder Turns Fashion Industry Castoffs Into Dramatic Jewelry

Derived from end-of-line materials, vintage textiles, and other castoffs of the fashion industry, Lowe-Holder’s “Tribes and Uniforms” line of necklaces, collars, and bracelets exude a vibe that’s at once earthy and edgy, primal yet contemporary.

Story by Alyssa Alimurung - Source: http://www.ecouterre.com

Photo ©Darkroom

Shorter, gloomier days may be here again but there’s no reason to despair. Just look to Michelle Lowe-Holder, whose vibrant accessories are guaranteed to brighten the dreariest of moods. For her Autumn/Winter 2012 collection, the Canadian-born, London-based designer found inspiration in the work of Edward Sheriff Curtis, an early-20th century photographer who captured the Native American Indian way of life at a time when they being evicted from their lands. Derived from end-of-line materials, vintage textiles, and other castoffs of the fashion industry, Lowe-Holder’s “Tribes and Uniforms” line of necklaces, collars, and bracelets exude a vibe that’s at once earthy and edgy, primal yet contemporary.

Photo ©Darkroom

MODERN ANTIQUITY

Curtis’s picture of a “Wishhan Girl” in an elaborately beaded shirt and a headpiece of coins proved particularly memorable. “Coins embody value and worth,” Lowe-Holder explains. “It is no coincidence that military medals feel coin-like.” To achieve a similar effect, Lowe-Holder paired upcycled pre-euro coins with metallic military trims from one of the few British manufacturers in existence today. Its usual client? Her Majesty the Queen, who favors the braid on her palace uniforms.

Lowe-Holder placed her own stamp on the “ribbon-chain” trend by mixing “tapestry patterns, vintage stripes, and geometric ribbons.”

She also placed her own stamp on the “ribbon-chain” trend by mixing “tapestry patterns, vintage stripes, and American Indian geometric ribbons and colors” to create complex and lively designs in rich harvest hues: burnt sienna, sunshine yellow, apple green, and chocolate.

Although Lowe-Holder is known for her unique twist on artisanal techniques such as smocking, pleating, folding, and foiling, she also experimented with less orthodox means of embellishment, including the use of metal diary edges in black and silver. “The pieces open and create dimension as they go around the cuff and neck…like the pages of a book,” she says.

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