Monday, June 17, 2024

A week of pre-loved clothing at Australian Fashion Week

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Ahead of the biggest local fashion event of the calendar year, I set myself the challenge to wear exclusively pre-loved clothing.

Before Fashion Journal reached out to me and invited me to join the team as a Circular Fashion Guest Editor for Australian Fashion Week (AFW), I’d already been thinking a lot about what to wear. This wasn’t my first rodeo; I’ve been going to Australian Fashion Week since 2016, so I wanted to approach my outfit planning a little differently. 

Unlike past years, I didn’t want to wear the newest clothing I owned or pieces I bought specifically for Fashion Week. This year, I wanted to challenge myself – I wanted to switch on my styling brain, to think creatively and to experiment. So ahead of the biggest local fashion event of the calendar year, I set myself the challenge to wear exclusively pre-loved clothing.

Discover more Australian designers in our Fashion section. 

Sure, I know many Australians already wear only secondhand items, whether by choice or necessity. This is nothing newsworthy. Some of the most stylish people I know wear head-to-toe pre-loved fashion every single day. But for me, coming of age at a time when you can buy brand new, current-season, genuinely fashionable items with loose change has meant I’ve had to unlearn many of my consumption habits. And once a piece no longer completes my look, I can sell it on to be loved by someone else.

Add the extra element of it literally being Fashion Week, a week when the country’s entire fashion industry is parading its best and most curated outfits, plus my special appointed role this year as Fashion Journal’s Circular Fashion Guest Editor and I’m sweating. 

My role this year was made possible by eBay, so I turned to the platform first. It has the pieces I love from the brands I love. You’ll see quickly how many incredible, one-off, vintage pieces there are to browse, and how easy it is to find your ‘thing’. It’s the home of pre-loved, re-loved and soon-to-be-loved for good reason and I had so much fun browsing the platform for this year’s AFW. 

I thought this project would see me sacrificing my personal style but instead, my wardrobe has never looked better. For anyone who has followed along my social journey, I’ve always loved shopping pre-loved, so whenever I’m looking to add or replace an existing piece in my wardrobe, I look to eBay. One day I’ll have to show you all my current bids for amazing vintage finds on there but for now, here’s what I sourced and wore to AFW. 

Day one

More is more when it comes to layering. Expect to see lots of it from me this week! Take, for example, wearing a bralette over a shirt. You might not have thought that it would work, but it does! I wanted to layer this bralette in the same way you might layer a bustier or a vest. Are you seeing the vision?

This is my old Ganni bralette worn over an old Cos shirt from my wardrobe. The skirt is pre-loved Jonathan Simkhai and because borrowing counts just as much as buying pre-loved, I borrowed my friend’s Anine Bing bomber for wear later in the day. The shoes are pre-loved Gucci.

Day two

I’m in love with this beaded dress from Paris Georgia, so decided to build my outfit using it as the base, layered over a classic, tailored pant from Camilla and Marc. Layering gives an outfit you might already own a new life. It’s adding dimension.

On top, I layered an unbranded, vintage black blazer. I also sourced a pair of pre-loved Margiela Tabis (we love a flat shoe for running around). 

Day three

We’re layering again today, girlies. Today’s combination is a pre-loved, puffy-sleeved blouse from Sister Jane worn under an unbranded, pre-loved vest and paired with an unbranded, pre-loved skirt. While I love finding pieces from my favourite designers on eBay, there are also some unbranded gems hiding there too. I pulled some stockings from my wardrobe and paired them with these pre-loved Coperni boots. 

Day four

Today I’m layering a pre-loved Marine Serre tank over a pre-loved Comme des Garçons shirt. The cherry on top for me is this pre-loved tie. It’s unbranded and I love it. I’m pairing the three with an old Ganni skirt from my wardrobe and pre-loved Margiela Tabi boots which were a steal. I could yap all day about how great of a find these were. They have a unique graffiti design on them (not one graffiti print in the range is the same), meaning if you’re lucky enough to nab a pair on eBay, you’re essentially buying a one-of-one piece. 

Day five

This mama is exhausted, but inspired and ready for the final day of AFW. Today I’ve turned to a pre-loved organza skort by Rick Owens, a Ganni pinstripe blazer and stockings from my wardrobe, and these incredible beige boots from Reike Nen worn with a pair of lace stockings.

It’s been a busy, vibrant, energetic, chaotic, messy and brilliant week on-site at AFW but the highlight for me has been, without a doubt, playing with pre-loved fashion. There is so much joy in finding a one-of-a-kind piece that no one else will have, and I know that when it’s no longer working with my wardrobe, I can sell it on to be loved by someone else.

Have your eye on something new? Buy it, love it, list it on eBay here

eBay is not endorsed by or affiliated with any of the brands referenced in this article.

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