Up-cycling seems to be the “mot du jour” in interior design. Over the last few weeks Things of Random and I have become slightly obsessed with the antics of Bob and Cortney Novogratz and their New York based company Sixx Design. I think it’s a nesting instinct, coupled with an admiration for their parenting of 7 children and their astounding commitment to design. Their Bravo TV show, 9 By Design, has me completely hooked. Their main premise of their enterprise is mixing old with new, finding reclaimed pieces to accompany slick designer modernism. Old pieces of furniture are up-cycled by adding new upholstery and new paint, to give a cooler, renovated look. The trend seems to be everywhere; Mary Portas showed Dazzle and Denny how to do it at 37 Old London Road and Elemental sells industrial cabinets for £2,000 a pop.
This led me on a search for the same trend in fashion. The term “vintage” and all it means in its many guises (second hand, charity shop) has been a darling of the industry for decades. Just saying it adds a certain kudos (and most definitely an elevated price tag) to any outfit. I’m on a search for renovated fashion or garments made from unusual materials. One item has caught my eye by Swedish Blonde Design’s Cockney Jewellery. Broad beans accompany pearls and motifs of our Royals to create surprisingly delicate necklaces and accessories. The Old Broad Bean, The Queen, offers a very fashionable neckpiece, snapped up by Supermarket Sarah for her site/blog.
Is the Cockney Jewllery an example of fashion re-cycling? Up-cycling implies an improvement and an increase in value, which I guess the humble broad bean has experienced. If you consider yourself a fashion up-cycler please get in touch. I’d love to see what your opinions are and discover if up-cycling is a trend embracing all elements of design.
(Queen artwork by Ann Carrington – a favourite of Mr. & Mrs. Novogratz)