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Where is Corr Blimey? Part Two: Memories of Cloth

HerCanberra Team

We live a disposable existence.

It’s something that gnaws away at Louisa de Smet who wonders why we toss clothes into landfill without thinking twice.

Louisa and partner Steve Wright, the brains behind much-loved fashion label Corr Blimey, aren’t happy that the environment is paying the price for our fleeting relationship with garments. And so they consciously created their latest fashion collection, ‘Memories of Cloth’, using zero waste construction. Each of the eight items in the collection was created from existing jumpers no longer wanted.

As we shared yesterday in Part One of ‘Where is Corr Blimey?’, Louisa and Steve are on sabbatical teaching fashion at the University of South Wales in Cardiff, which is why their cool clothing wasn’t on the catwalk during FASHFEST 2016. Still, their ties to the capital remain strong and they’ve sent three garments from ‘Memories of Cloth’ to Canberra to be showcased in a new exhibition to be held later this year.

As with all of their new collections, Louisa and Steve started by setting themselves a stiff challenge.

This time, it was to source only machine-knitted jumpers with signs of wear and tear, like a hole or a stain, that led users to fall out of love with them. They only selected jumpers that were dated in style; ones made with colours and bold patterns not exactly ‘on trend’ in their existing state.

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Louisa used at least three whole jumpers to construct each of the new, high-end, highly wearable garments in ‘Memories of Cloth’. She reconstructed them around a mannequin to produce a 360⁰ visual exploration for the viewer—a true sculptural effect that is ‘so Corr Blimey’.

‘The constraint of using all parts of a garment without cutting is extremely challenging. It involves working intuitively with the materials and balancing individual fabrics,” says Louisa. “Each jumper seam was unpicked to varying degrees and as much of the seam thread used to hand sew the jumpers back together into new styles.”

The end result are garments with a new, modern silhouette. Each is unique, a couple can be worn in various ways and one incorporates silk.

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Three of the jumpers are on display at Princes and Paupers, a bespoke and vintage shop in Castle Arcade, Cardiff. Three have arrived in Australia and will form part of the upcoming Reclaim Exhibition at Craft ACT.

Corr Blimey is putting the finishing touches on a photo shoot for ‘Memories of Cloth’. They’re over the moon to be working with Luana Ouverney, an internationally renowned fashion consultant and stylist who has worked with sustainable designers around the world. Luana has also worked as Head of Wardrobe for Cirque du Soleil.

As designers, Louisa and Steve focus on using sustainable practices such as ethical manufacturing and waste reducing pattern cutting. In doing so, they create unique, sculptural garments. Corr Blimey has shown collections nationally and internationally, created costumes for dance and film; and participated in exhibitions, including ‘Object Therapy’ at Hotel Hotel (on from 14 to 30 October).

Reclaim is on at Craft ACT from 2 November to 17 December.

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