Monday, May 27, 2013

Is It Really Altered Couture?

Refashioned, upcycled, reconstructed, embellished, transformed, recycled, re-purposed, wearable art, altered wearables, altered couture.  With any technique there can be many descriptions, names and definitions.

Old Ivy Cottage
 The Free Dictionary by Farlex defines alter(ed) as to make or become different in some respect; change; modify.  There can be a little or a lot of change, but I think there can be a significant difference between embellished and altered couture.  Just as with vintage, some listing sites can have strict guidelines on what can be listed as altered couture.

Margot Silk Kidder Shimmery Sandals
At the community forum of a handmade listing site, a member asks just how much does an item need to be upcycled, reconstructed or otherwise changed, in order to be considered altered couture.  She also asks if a newly purchased item, to which one element has been added, can be sold at her venue.  While her questions are site specific, we can learn a lot through the 26 responses to her post.  Etsy Site Help post:


Darcy Fowkes Recycled Silk Shirt Hat
As with the snazzy hat above, altered couture is not only apparel and shoes.  The definition often includes many types of accessories.

Custom belts $135 to $160. — in Los Altos, CA.
Wearable art can be simply practical to elaborately impractical.  How about Caleb Calabro for spectacular and unimaginable wearable art creations?

Caleb Calabro Wearable Art
For many, the ultimate in altered couture is the wedding ensemble.  See how Brenda Abdoyan creates Christine's wedding dress, altered bridal purse and jewelry.  It may be a little ostentatious for some, but imaginative and unique it is.



See Michelle Nance's Clothes-Altered Couture at Pinterest.  Her interesting gallery features:

  • a bleach-pen peacock
  • re-purposing dad's shirt into a little girl's dress
  • a pom-pom scarf
  • old t-shirts into baby clothes
  • a fabulous orange scarf-necklace with silver embellishments
  • cut it, slice it, pull it scarf
  • dollar store knitted stocking hat refashion
  • revamped cardigan
  • little girl's scrap tutu
At her blog, The Brass Paperclip Project, Cindi shares the most beautiful men's necktie recycled items that I've ever seen.  Check out the gallery, at which you'll also find images of bracelets, purses, cell phone cases and others.


Altered Art Images
Ever had questions about using images in your altered creations?  This article,

Altered Art Images ~ How to LEGALLY Use Other People’s Images


helps you navigate important considerations such as:
  1. Altered definition
  2. Rule of thumb for copyright considerations 
  3. Public domain image links
  4. Info about Creative Commons images
  5. Using stock photos in altered work.
LunaGirl-How To: Altered Art Charms

Want more inspiration on designing your own upcycled, refashioned altered couture?  Jill at Jembellish is running a blog hop that features:


Altered couture creations run the gamut from shabby chic  and scrap embellishments on everyday clothing and accessories, to re-tailoring of designer duds.  I prefer wearable crafts, as shared by Linda Jackson Graham at her Pinterest board, Wearable Crafts.  Whatever is your definition and level of altered couture designing, embrace what you do.  Share it with others with enthusiasm and love.
Amanda at Fun Family Crafts

Resources:

Caleb Calabro Wearable Artwork
Wearable Art Blog interviews Caleb Calabro
Altered Couture on Facebook
Artistry In Fashion
Sassy Feet
Diva of Vintage at Pinterest


2 comments:

Teresa R said...

Fantastic article! Certainly gives one something to think about and lively conversations.

Sandi Holland said...

Thank you, Teresa. When I ran across that Etsy forum discussion, I thought it was interesting too.