My mum worked in the fashion industry, so as an only child, I was (remain!) very lucky to receive passed down garments from her. One garment she passed down a few years ago, was a silk red shirt with intricate embroidery across the front and back. It is certainly a dress shirt, one would wear with a pair of crisp black trousers for an elegant meal or occasion. Whilst the beading was beautiful – I really did not like the dominant shoulder pads, which made me look like an ultra-glam American football player. The shirt remained in my wardrobe – unworn for years – until I decided to RETURE the shirt and upcycle it thanks to the designer Anna Schuster.
After sending her my upcycling request, along with images of the garment, we spoke during the video consultation. Sharing my detest for the shoulder pads and desire to actually wear the shirt out, Anna suggested we turn the ill-fitted embroidered shirt into a sleeveless top and drawstring purse. She would make sure the shirt was more form fitting, tailoring it to today’s trends.
After our consultation, Anna wrote up a design brief capturing what she would specifically do to the shirt:
– Keep the beading details: embroidered hem and collar but rework the shape and fit of the shirt
– Cut sleeves and turn leftover fabric into a small bag
– Rework the silhouette and make the shape more fitted on the waist area
I was so happy to have received not only a revived shirt, which matches my taste and lifestyle, but a purse which I almost always use when going out in the evenings (it is the perfect size for my phone and keys).
I love seeing the look on people’s faces when I tell them I didn’t buy it in store, but was actually upcycled from my mum’s old shirt!