Contributing Monkie Sarah Backhouse
Published on May 6, 2008
The origins of the modern suit can be traced back to 19th century England and the tailors of Saville Row. Two hundred years later, London remains at the suit’s epicenter. But this time, it’s recycled, not new, and it’s women (not men) who are making waves — or should we say ruffles.
Junky Styling’s shop and work studio is located on Brick Lane in London’s East End. According to their myspace page, the company “specializes in taking old suits and reinventing them into beautiful coats, jackets, dresses, skirts, corsets, etc., and full range of accessories that make up two collections every year.”
Junky Styling is the brainchild of best friends, Annika Saunders and Kerry Seager, who credit the idea of refashioning garments to their own experiences as impoverished teenagers growing up in 1990s London. Desperate to don something fabulous with which to go clubbing, the enterprising duo purchased men’s suits from second hand stores before deconstructing and reconstructing the pinstripes and tweeds into brave, new creations.
Compliments on their one-off designs led to commissions, which in turn led to their official label launch in 1997.
So, how does the creative process work? Lotus Organics reports: “They take old, recycled, donated clothing and deconstruct it, removing parts of it such as sleeves, lapels or panels and then reconstruct the remaining bits by moving seams, reassembling sleeves as leggings — or perhaps a sleeve turns into a torso when opened out.”
An added bonus: in an age where individuality is highly prized, owning a piece by Junky Styling guarantees you’ll never suffer the indignity of bumping into a sartorial doppelganger.
In addition to their bespoke designs, Junky Styling now offers a unique service called “Wardrobe Surgery”. In an interview with LondonNet, Seager explains that “everyone has something that needs surgery”. Hell, yeah. So, rather than relegating ill-fitting old favorites to the trash, clients can now update their outdated threads. After an initial consultation, the girls set about to “destroy, repair, enhance and reform”. For around US$60, they can transform your denims from duds to dreamy, and for US$400 and up they’ll even rework a wedding dress — simultaneously fulfilling the old adage of “something old”.
Not surprisingly, many fashion-forward celebrities have become fans of Junky Styling. The company’s client list is rumored to include everyone from Kate Moss and Russell Brand to Gwen Stefani and her Harajuku girls.