What we wear is a fundamental way that we express our identity. Whether we subscribe to the latest trends or ignore them completely, there’s no denying that the way we dress is tied to who we are – but how often do we stop to think about where our clothes came from? Well, that’s exactly what last Friday night’s Swop The Seams challenged us to consider.
The brainchild of local seamstress Natalie Ivanov and SWOP ADL owner Emily Sheahan, this collaboration between Natalie and the Seams and SWOP was not your average collection and runway show. The creators of this event explained that all pieces in the line were “born from material discards, overlooked and forgotten”, highlighting the wasteful ‘throwaway’ mentality that often pervades the fashion industry. These discards were transformed into cutting-edge apparel, imploring us to question not only what we wear, but how and why we wear it.
Held at The Mill Gallery as Adelaide’s only event for Fashion Revolution Week, the night began with tribute paid to the garment workers (primarily women) who tragically lost their lives in Bangladesh as a result of the 2013 Rana Plaza complex collapse. We were asked to remember that these women paid the ultimate price for fast fashion, and that as consumers, we can make choices that are far more ethical.
The garments were worn on the runway by Rin Models, an Adelaide-based agency dedicated to bringing more diversity to the industry and representing dark-skinned models. The garments themselves, handmade by Ivanov, were beautiful yet eclectic; a reminder that there’s no need to prescribe to expectations when it comes to fashion.
The overall message of the night was clear – the event challenged those who attended to open their minds, question perceptions around clothing, and above all begin to consider our fashion choices from a sustainable and ethical perspective.
Header image via SWOP / Rin Models