Greetings all and Happy Friday! And what a happy Friday it is - our new printer, Patsy, is printing up a storm, I have a brand new lunch box and it's not raining. Let the good times roll.
First of all, apologies for the lack of Procrastination Station last week - I popped over to the States for Thanksgiving weekend (as you do) and found myself in New Orleans on Friday morning deeply hungover and with zero internet connection. To be fair, I could have found some internet (I hear it's pretty common these days), but I was way too full of turkey, candied yams and absinthe to even move. To give you an idea of the spread I was facing...
Anyway, here are some of the things that were going through my mind last week as I crossed the Atlantic...
For the love of small things
Wednesday 26th November saw a gathering of makers, menders, upcyclers and sustainable fashion devotees deep in the depths of London’s Somerset House in honour of Refashion Day. Hosted by new environmental awareness organisation Hubbub, and curated by A Good Wardrobe, the afternoon felt like an open studio, with people coming and going around a long notion-filled table, mending, embellishing, knitting, customising… Learning from one and teaching another.
The main reason I went was to see my Mum, Orsola de Castro, give a talk on the history of upcycling. As testament to her public speaking skills (and believe me, I was taking notes! After nearly choking on my own throat during a talk at Minerva Crafts last Summer, I could learn a thing or two more from her), I laughed, got goosebumps, gasped with shock at the shocking statistics she revealed, and was moved as if I had never heard her talk like that before. And I’ve heard her talk like that most of my life - I could probably even recite those shocking statistics in my sleep. One thing that really resonated with me though, is the way she talked about our instinct to upcycle or re-use, throughout history - before the term “upcycling” was even coined in 1994 by Reiner Pilz. She talked about Byzantine mosaics, about the ancient Japanese art of mending broken objects with gold (sometimes even described as "golden seaming"), she talked about quilting, and the stories women would weave into their quilts as they hand sewed scraps of fabric together, sharing secrets of love affairs, marital abuse, their hopes, dreams and sorrows. She talked about how our innate love of small things is what drives so many of us to upcycle.
At the end of the talk, one lady asked if we should all pledge to stop buying clothes, to which my Mum immediately replied, “No! Not at all!”. Rather than boycott fashion, we simply need to change our approach to buying - buy quality, save up and really covet that one amazing piece that you’ll treasure forever. Look out for and champion designers and companies who are actively minimising their impact on our planet. Mend and breathe new life into your own existing wardrobe. Make.
If you'd like to get involved in the Fashion Revolution, click here.
First world musings
I feel like what I’m about to say needs to be read with the voice of an airhead… Expect no profound words over this coming paragraph people, I’m going to close this edition of Procrastination Station by talking a little about my hair.
~Photo taken at a friend's wedding in September, wearing my first Kim Dress~
So the problem with having really long hair, is that you can’t really do anything exciting with it. If you want to keep it really long that is. No edgy chops, no exciting makeovers. And I think I may just be over dyeing it pink (I said may!). After having my hair well and truly did for a friend’s wedding a couple of months ago, I realised that same-old-same-old could become a thing of the past, with a little help from some online tutorials. Man, I love me a good online tutorial. So far, I’ve re-discovered The Beauty Department - excellent for all kinds of beauty how-to’s, not just hair. I'm definitely going to try this 60s pony:
And I LOVE the idea of hair chains.
I’ve also found myself drooling over fashion blogger Sea of Shoes’ stunning mane of ruby-red locks, and her retro do’s.
And if you want to go 19th century retro, you’ve really got to check out Rapunzel's Resource blog. If Little House on the Prairie had the internet…
I am still in the throes of Kim fever. And I don’t see myself recovering anytime soon. I find myself sitting at the cutting table in my studio at home staring at shelves full of fabric, occasionally getting up to take out a couple of metres and place it on a growing pile of future Kims. I don’t care about making anything else. Kim dresses, Kim skirts, Kim bodices with other skirts… I love her so much. My Christmas Kim - sheer red trimmed with baby pompoms - is going to be out of control.
I leave you now with a little something that's been stuck in my head since the open roads of South Louisiana...