Shape-shift your old clothes

A snippet from my Oslo Fashion Week article:

- This is a revolution! It´s time for everyone to dust off the sewing machine and start using it!, says the sustainable pioneer Jenny Skavlan.

The designer and TV presenter launched her new, innovative book about redesigning old clothes in creative ways.

Royal redesign
She displayed photos of the Chloé dress she got to redesign for Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Mette-Marit. By adding silk organza at the bottom of the dress, a waist belt formed as a ribbon and pearls sewn on the collar, she transformed it into a unique and elegant creation worthy of a royal (after photo at left, before to the right). It suits Mette-Marit´s personality and style perfectly. Besides, the media always dramatizes when royals wear clothes for the second time. In this way, Jenny says they can wear a dress twice without people necessarily recognizing it.

– It was a very, very cool challenge. The dress hang at the back of her closet. It needed a facelift. I offered services from my little clothing clinic that does first aid, plastic surgery in addition to psychological counseling – if you need to get familiar with your clothes again. For her dress, we used the plastic surgery part to recreate the dress to something new, she said to the audience at Fretex.

Crown princess Mette-Marit´s old dress to the left, Jenny´s redesigned version to the right.

She provides advice on what people should look for when they go to textile shops, secondhand stores and flea markets:

– Look for high quality. It´s easiest to use leather and laminated fabrics, which you don´t need to sew – just cut it off. Otherwise – wool and silk, the shape-shifting sewing queen finishes.

P.S: Reading the book will give you many ideas! Jenny said herself she´s “obsessed” when she´s sewing. She can sit there for ten hours without noticing that time passes. When she´s dry in her mouth and almost half-naked after dressing on an off for fitting, it´s time to stop for the night. Good advice!
Read the whole article here: Redescovering the sewing machine

Text and photos: Hanne Erøy.

Sewing in the genes: Jenny´s mother Janicke Ebbing (photo) is a costume designer. No wonder where Jenny gets her skills and creativity from!