Clothes from yesteryear inspire sustainable fashion range

by Search Gate staff. Published Wed 22 Jul 2015 12:22, Last updated: 2015-07-22
Mihaela with her latest designs
Mihaela with her latest designs

A master’s student from Nottingham Trent University took inspiration from her mother’s wardrobe to research a new clothing collection which combats the culture of fast fashion.

Mihaela Markovic, who’s studying MA Fashion Knitwear Design at the School of Art & Design, created Clothes My Mother Wore after becoming inspired as a child by her mother’s old garments.

The 24-year-old took elements such as the classic shapes and patterns of the once fashionable, 1980s clothes and used them to create new dresses and coats which are designed to stylistically stand the test of time.

“I wanted to create clothes which have lasting connection with people, so that they want to keep them for longer rather than replace or throw them away,” said Mihaela, who is from Croatia.

“It’s going against the throwaway culture. I am trying to bring respect for clothes back. Today you can buy clothes for the price of a sandwich, but the quality of garments has gone and it’s unsustainable.

“I have a lot of garments that my mother passed on to me, and most of my friends don’t realise they’re my mother’s clothes.

“What I have done for my research is to take shapes and patterns from them and interpreted them in a new way, creating classic, modern clothing which won’t fall out of fashion quickly.”

Mihaela’s collection also makes use of mohair - a silk-like fabric or yarn made from the hair of the Angora goat - after she undertook extensive research into the use of hair in fashion and grooming.

“In today’s society, youth is what everybody wants,” she said. “Women who have grey hair often used to dye it, but some now have the confidence to reveal their true colour and character. As part of this collection, I am using grey hair to support this shift, by saying ‘accept yourselves for who you are’.”

Mihaela’s work will be exhibited during the university’s Open Studio exhibition, which will see more than 70 master’s art and design student works going on show.

Taking place in the Atrium and Postgraduate Studio in the Bonington building, Shakespeare Street, Nottingham city centre, the exhibition is open from 10am to 4pm on Saturday 25 July, then from 10am to 5pm from Monday 27 July to Thursday 30 July.

Dr Katherine Townsend, MA course leader for Fashion, Knitwear and Textile Design, said: “Mihaela has reimagined classic clothing design, creating an original, capsule collection of garments which can stand the test of time.

“It’s essential that designers think along these lines if we are ever to turn the tide on the throwaway society and change consumer’s unsustainable buying habits.”

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