“I believe we can contribute to an ethical fashion revolution. By sourcing fabrics and raw materials that have literally been thrown away, you can look good and be good too. Too many garments are deemed aesthetically redundant and discarded at the end of a season, when there are still many years of wear left”.
Gary Harvey, who for nearly ten years was the Creative Director of Levi Strauss and Dockers Europe, began designing his dresses out of creative frustration during his freelance work on fashion campaigns. “I needed some really dramatic pieces for a shoot I was working on and the first design evolved using 42 pairs of Levi’s 501’s”. Since that time his passion for creating recycled couture has taken over, and he’s produced a stunning design using 18 Burberry macs, a fishtail corset dress using 28 camouflage Army jackets, and a body-contouring gown using discarded baseball jackets. Gary’s latest creation is the newspaper dress, made from 30 copies of the Financial Times. He comments: “The desire behind this collection is about re-contextualising iconic, everyday garments to create dramatic new silhouettes”.
His collection of dresses was inspired by the silhouettes and techniques used in vintage couture, each garment is made entirely from recycled iconic garments. The silhouettes conjure up the refined elegance of vintage ball-gowns. The challenge to create a couture-inspired dress collection using recycled clothing has grown from a simple past-time to a serious message that recycled garments can be made into something beautiful.
Gary’s first collection showcased nine of his stunning dresses during London Fashion Week. The collection together creates a dramatic display designed to change people’s perception of second-hand clothing and create fashion with a conscience.