The lovely Leeyong will be hosting an accessories workshop for us at our September 10th swap in Melbourne. Here is her story:
I’m not sure where I got my passion for fashion as neither of my parents are particularly interested in what they wear, but one thing I did get from them is a love of thriftiness and making things out of stuff that other people would throw out. As a child I often stitched scraps of material and bits of ribbon into clothes for my toys, and I still hoard things because I know I’ll use them some day – recently I revamped a jacket that I made as a trial piece for my year 12 formal … which was 18 years ago!
I never studied fashion formally, but a year after graduating uni I went to live in Japan and started working at Japanese Vogue. Living and working in one of the epicentres of the fashion industry, I often lusted after looks from luxury labels, but my thrifty nature reigned me in and I started cruising flea markets and op shops to buy second hand kimono and obi which I transform into dresses for my label Fourth Daughter. Every piece is unique and requires a lot of work, as the garments have to be taken apart, washed and checked for holes and stains, but I love making a contemporary garment from something that otherwise would be difficult to wear – if you’ve ever tried on a kimono and all its accoutrements, you’ll know that they are far from practical in everyday life!
Now living in Melbourne again, I try to wear and promote “green” fashion in all its guises – I ran a fashion show for Fair Trade Fortnight in 2008 and have another one on the way for this December’s Fair@Square festival http://www.moralfairground.com.au/fairsquare.html , I buy most of my clothes and shoes from op shops or make/remake them myself (you can check some of them out on my blog http://stylewilderness.blogspot.com/, I create and write for Peppermint magazine http://www.peppermintmag.com/ and of course I also take part in events for The Clothing Exchange!