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Wardrobe surgery: upcycled clothing in London’s Hackney

When they were teenagers in the late nineties, Kerry Seager and Annika Sanders wanted clothes that would make them look unique, but they didn’t have any money so they started remaking old clothes into new styles.

Today, their Junky Stylings line has been labeled “high fashion street couture” by Vogue and has been worn by celebrities like Gwen Stefani, Kate Moss, Sadie Frost and Sienna Miller.

Partly responsible for bringing attention to the current movement for upcyling, or refashioning, clothing, Seager and Sanders also perform wardrobe surgery for clients who bring in old clothing they want to make new again. They upcycled one of Colin Firth’s moth-eaten suits for his wife Livia to wear at the “King’s Speech” premiere in Paris.

Wanting to help others re-make old clothes new again, Sanders and Seager are eager to give away their secrets. In their book Junky Styling: Wardrobe Surgery, they not only document their personal journey, but they offer a how to section full of details so readers can make some of their trademark designs, like a suit-sleeve scarf or a “shirt wrap halter top”.

In a very open-source spirit, they have published patterns in The Guardian. With the step-by-step instructions for their popular “fly top”, they show you in six steps- with just trousers
, T-shirt, scissors
, pins
 and needle and thread- how to “turn any pair of trousers into a fitted top with a wide structured neckline and a zip detail”.

We visited their shop in London’s Hackney district to see an operation in process.

  • Georgina Clinton

    How did you teach yourself, how to create these new designs, did you have formal designing training to be able to transform these garments into totally diferent garments.?? Thanks Georgina Clinton