Upcycling with High Concept Design Workshop
Parron Allen is a former co-worker of mine from my time at Ellen Tracy. We recently reconnected and I was impressed and inspired by what he is doing with his upcycled creations.
In this workshop, Parron explains his unique design process for upcycled and sustainable garments. During the session he will demonstrate how he takes found materials and researches artistic inspiration and markets trends to create pieces that are inspired, sustainable, and on-trend. Parron will how us how he applies this process for two garments in his Spring 2022 collection at Art to Ware.
Mentioned in this workshop:
Parron's background: Strongly influenced by his Mississippi upbringing and Momma Ruth's focus on beauty and frugality.
Overview of process
Found materials: garment or fabric
Researching market trends: WWD, BoF, social media, fashion shows
Artistic inspiration: art/design books, museums, galleries
Execution Method: balancing sustainability, customer value, and cost
Piece One: Floating Koi Shirt
Found materials: there are so many high-quality button-down shirts out there!
Researching market trends: high visual impact, monochrome, large-scale prints
Artistic inspiration: a reference to a favorite theme--images from the floating world (late 19th century Japan)
Execution Method: digitally printed appliqué were most consistent and impactful method
Piece Two: Patchwork Tank Dress
Found materials: the industry disposes of so many high-end fabric headers
Researching market trends: patchwork and print clashing have been trending
Artistic inspiration: Momma Ruth meets Piet Mondrian
Execution Method: 100% recycled material, as headers are cut, arranged and dress sewn in NYC
Replicating Across Categories
Both pieces above are elevated and at a higher price point
Can replicate the effect with appliqués on other pieces like recycled or secondhand t-shirts and/or sweatshirts
Alternative methods could also be used, like hand-painting or hand-printing the koi
Contrado.com fabric printing online
printful.com printing merchandise including t-shirts, backpacks, logo stickers, and more
stylecouncil.com local fabric printing
invoguenyc.com local fabric printing
Parron Allen Edwards-Stimola is a Brooklyn-based designer who draws inspiration from his childhood in Lexington, Mississippi and his eclectic studies of art and design. Parron's grandmother, Momma Ruth, expressed herself by sewing dresses for the women in her family. Parron witnessed these women shed some of Jim Crow's burden in the simple yet thoughtful dresses that Momma Ruth made for them - smiling, twirling, and bantering about good things on days of rest. His namesake brand, Parron Allen, echoes this joyous harmony of whimsy and practicality in a voice for the present moment, including upcycled second-hand pieces, deadstock and sustainably-sourced fabrics, and modern printing and production methods. Prior to founding his brand in 2021, Parron Allen studied design in the US and UK and honed his skills at Vera Wang, Ellen Tracy, and Rebecca Taylor.
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