As a concept, fashion is based on the appeal of the new. Every season, silhouettes, colors and shapes are re-combined in an effort to create garments of such great appeal that you will replace (or at least supplement) your existing wardrobe. With the appearance of inexpensive, mass-market retailers that stock their racks with "fast fashions", it has become even easier to fill your closet with garments that resemble the latest runway offerings. Though the savvy shopper is often encouraged to pursue quality over quantity, it is far too easy for many shoppers to believe that new clothes = a new me.
In recent years, consumers and creators of fashion have begun to look at the issue of fashion consumption with a more critical eye. Some creators and producers of fashion struggle with what sustainability and eco-fashion can mean on a practical level through altering production methods or utilizing eco-friendly textiles. Many consumers have taken the issue into their own hands by purchasing only second-hand garments or sewing their own clothes. Others engage in wardrobe refashioning or remixing, a concept which promotes rethinking your closet by recombining or altering those garments you already own.
Refashioning or altering garments to update their style or function is not a new concept. Until the mid-to-late 20th century, most garments were costly enough that they were worn until no longer functional, passed on to someone else or refashioned. In the FIDM Museum collection, we have several examples of garments that have been reimagined to suit the changing needs of the wearer.