One of the most active sectors of the reuse and upcycling movement seems to be fashion, with deconstructed and rebuilt pieces taking catwalks to Etsy by storm. Most likely this is because of the long tradition of augmenting and altering/tailoring clothes, and making thrift store and estate sale finds into one of a kind pieces, not to mention the relative low barrier to entry of sewing compared to wood working or furniture making. Like in the similar furniture movements, clear aesthetic motifs arise, and both are heavily populated by designs that emphasize their recycled nature above other stylistic elements, which can result in pieces that are environmentally and narratively compelling that you would never actually want to own. The new capsule collection Remade In Switzerland for Victorinox, designed by Christopher Raeburn, does not fall into this trap. The clothing and accessories are all beautiful, full of intricate, well thought out details, and make clear homage to the brand and the source material’s military roots without being clichéd or overly polarizing. The stunning timelapse video below shows all of the pieces in the collection, along with some of the source materials.
All of the pieces are made out of old wool military coats, blankets, sleeping bags, parachutes, and nails from the Swiss Army, some of them dating back sixty years. One of my favorite items in the collection is the refresh of the classic Swiss Army Knife (Victorinox’s iconic product), made of melted down horseshoe nails, and packaged in the empty nail box.
I think that these items are screaming for a D-Build style tag, even if more generic, just detailing out what the source material was, its original application, even if it just links to one of the gorgeous stop motion videos detailing how they were made. There is such a play with history and story in these pieces, and it could be even more fleshed out and involved, and make for an even more engaging experience. Here are the rest of the pieces from the collection, which can be seen in even more glorious detail on the Remade In Switzerland site.
This final piece is the Parachute Hoodie, which seems to be the signature piece of the designer Christopher Raeburn, whose own brand is focused on upcycling and is all “remade” in London, and is one of the country’s up and coming young designers. He has many items made out of reclaimed parachutes, which often have a striking ethereal quality.