Princesa de la calle - Dress turned Streetwear
Princesa de la calle-Dress turned Streetwear – Exploring possibilities in re-design, in relation to second-hand evening dresses with a focus on street wear silhouettes (BA thesis)
Nathali Elfström, 2017, BA thesis.
This work aims to explore the possibilities in re-design by using second hand party-dresses as the main material to construct new garments with a focus on street wear silhouettes. Deconstruction is commonly used when working with second hand and will also be used in this work, as well as draping. The goal is to find new expressions when working with re-design and to only focus on one type of garment (the dress) and use street wear as a tool to build silhouettes that rely on the typical garments used in street wear. The idea is to explore what these two styles and shapes (evening wear versus street wear) can bring forward to the re-design field. This work will find a new style and silhouettes from these two worlds (unfashionable dresses and streetwear) with the help of experiments by deconstructing and draping the dresses and treating them as ”raw-material” to make clothes.
As it is now, re-design is heavily looked upon as patchwork, often in smaller pieces and the clothes used as materials are often bundled into one category- something that is a disadvantage to the future of re-design. This work shows the results of focusing on one garment as a base to re-design. It lets the designer come closer to understand how to work with the garment in the progress of making new clothing. Also to highlight the transformation a rarely used (because of its exclusive use to special occasions) an evening dress (often uncomfortable, inappropriate for everyday wear) can go to become a more used and functional garment by making use of street wear aesthetics (looser fit, everyday-appropriated wear).
The work shows both wearable examples and more exaggerated shapes, to show that this method can be adapted to be used both commercially and for showpieces. Approximately 55 items were purchased to have a catalogue to chose from. After gathering pictures of street wear from different medias, the garments were picked out (such as hoodies, t-shirts) and also pin pointing details (buttons, zippers etc) and this set the frame for what variables were used when starting to create the new garments. Each garment was made out of 1-4 dresses. The point was not to make street garments, but to find what will become of these dresses after going through the process of street-wear silhouettes and details to become more updated and wearable clothes. In the end, it turned out to be a fruitful clash of silhouettes and materials suited for both men and female collections. The variations in shape and colors set a tone of its own.
Instead of letting that second hand dress hang in a vintage store waiting for some compassion or an 80’s themed party just to be thrown back into a second-hand store the next day, and even for the future special occasion dresses, worn once then never again, this method can be applied to transform and bring them back to usage. This method can expand the life of these dresses, limits only to the wear of the fabric which could be well over 100 years more of use.