Back To The Future:

February 24, 2007 • Magazine

Back To The Future:

Back To The Future:

Sat, 2007-02-24 10:00

Julie Ghatan

With recent environmental developments brewing concern among the eco-conscious and speculation among the rest of the world, it’s no wonder that designers are resorting to vintage materials to offset today’s disposable goods. The boom of DIY-related television shows, magazines, and websites equipped a growing population of creative folk with the tools necessary to see beyond the vinyl records, junk-store chains, and old hardback books while our style and our environment reaped the benefits.

Because such designers are using repurposed materials, chances are that the awesome accessory or garment you purchase will be one-of-a-kind. And because these materials are coming from thrift stores, yard sales, and sidewalks, you can feel good knowing that the piece you’re wearing saved one man’s trash from becoming one man’s addition to an overpopulated landfill.

However, it’s not always a relentless desire to reduce, reuse, and recycle that drives artists to enlist found objects; some designers, like Samantha Tate of t8designs, harbor “an overwhelming adoration of times past.â€? Tate says, “The past to me is so substantial…I believe in the legacy of things.â€? Tate rummages through her grandparents’ homes, collecting oddities and incorporating them into her designs. The result: charming modern designs reminiscent of the past and entirely wearable in today’s world.

Tate’s Swimming in Chains necklace conglomerates vintage chains, charms, and beads to create the perfect layered necklace. The Ten Sweet Swoops necklace echoes a similar abundance of chains but offers a simpler, more streamlined effect. If you prefer charms to chains, the perhaps the Onyx Opulence charm necklace is in order?

Michelle Scott of Dot Handmade transforms vintage findings into modern pieces, cleaning, filing, and polishing intricate brass filigree pieces and using them as centerpieces in her designs.

Erin Macleod found a way to modernize and make use of vintage men’s ties by reusing the fabric to create charming and versatile women’s neckpieces. Macleod’s vintage tie collar can coil around the neck or look stunning snapped once and dangling.

The creative minds behind Le’album rework the vinyl record of your choice into a functional, novelty handbag, enabling you to flaunt your old-school flair.

If your old-school flair is less rock-and-roll and more nose-in-a-book, Rebound Designs understands. The artist behind this innovative brand turns vintage hardback books into delightful handbags by removing the guts and customizing fabric to complement each cover. Smart fashion, indeed.

While you can’t be certain of the motivation behind a designer’s decision to create repurposed fashions, you certainly can’t argue that such artists prove that history doesn’t always repeat itself; sometimes history adapts itself and other times it reincarnates into functional, modern designs.

1. Swimming in Chains Necklace $89,

2. Onyx Opulence Charm Necklace $42,

3. Ten Sweet Swoops Necklace $33,

4. Vintage Brass Filigree and Gold-Filled Earrings $22,

5. Vintage Brass Leaf and Gold-Filled Necklace $45,

6. Le’album Handbag prices vary depending on record,

7. Vintage Tie Collar $18,

8. The Dramatic Moment $140,

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