Saturday, 29 August 2009

The future is orange (3)

Orange seems to have been a dominating colour in my life recently (as has purple!). I suppose radical changes in life bring about radical changes in many areas and I suppose Orange is there to brighten up my life... Anyway that was not what this blog was going to be about. I really wanted to pay attention to "smart consumption" or "intelligent shopping".

Last night I stumbled upon an interesting article in a fashion magazine about the new way of acquiring fashion. Today's fashion lovers seem to be more eco friendly, concerned with the welfare of staff in factories and are moving towards greener shopping. Garments of higher quality that last longer seem to be in favour of the £2 jumpers from the high street stores it was believed. I am not entirely sure this is the case, the cheap stores in town are like a souk at the quietest of times. However I do believe there has been a change in how wardrobes are being put together. Charity shops seem to be full of fashionistas of all ages and swap parties are becoming very popular. Sewing classes and books teaching us how to embellish clothing are advertised everywhere and for those who know me or follow my blog I absolutely love this!

I come from a family of hand-me-downers. And I don't just mean from brother to sister etc. I mean grandma's, aunts, nieces, cousins, mothers, daughters, everyone is at it and has been for the past 60 years or so. I do not know how this started. Economic crisis may have had a hand in this every now and then but most of all my family does not seem to like waste. Why throw out something good if someone else can still use it? I am a true "Make do and Mend" girl and although the mend doesn't apply to all the women in my family they certainly know how to find me with great quality items. I have some lovely (proper) vintage tops from my grandmother that go back about 50 or 60 years (via my youngest aunt, a real fashion doll) and have worn many items that have come from any of my relatives over the years. One of my cousins used to buy the most over-the-top dresses in her younger years and I have made some great skirts out of these. If you do not have this culture in your family head down to your nearest charity shop. It is often hit and miss but there are some great items and fabrics around. These places have become so popular, helped by the likes of Kate Moss e.a. who pick up the most gorgeous items.

Back to the orange : when I went to see one of my aunties in Holland recently she had nicely put together a bag with fabulous tops for me, some my size, some quite oversized but still looking fabulous with my skinny jeans. I know that I will dye some tops, refurbish some others and this orange one that was rather dull (but lovely and soft), I brightened up today with a lovely "God save the Queen" iron-on transfer (these can be found aplenty on Ebay).

After I finished the t-shirt I went for a quick hunt around my local Oxfam where I bought a brand new version of My Life in Orange by Tim Guest. It is a biography about growing up in a Bhagwan commune. I remember the Bhagwan followers walking around Amsterdam in their orange, pink, purple and red-ish clothes and they used to scare me so much. My mother who is scared of just about everything (I should write a book about her!) had put the fright into me at some point by saying that they would try to kidnap people so that they would get more followers in the commune and as a young teenager this had some kind of effect on me. In fact about 20 years later I still jumped into shops if I heard or saw any Hara Krishna's in Covent Garden! Anyway I had read an interview with Tim Guest when the book came out and it was on my list to read so here was another lucky orange find.

God save the Queen, Orange save my day!

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