The striking garment shown at left was created by deconstructing a rain mackintosh, recutting the material, and then recombining the resulting pieces with extraordinary imagination. It is typical of the work produced by a London-based company called Junky Styling. The company’s name is an ironic reference to their use of second-hand clothing as their raw material. The transformed final garments are stylish, well-constructed, and finished in great detail. Vogue called their clothing “high fashion street couture.”
As teenagers Annika Sanders and Kerry Seager began taking men’s suits (bought from second hand shops) and turning them into experimental garments to wear to clubs. “We began because we wanted to dress differently. Initially, it was all about unique design, and we were able to achieve this through cutting up clothes that were second hand.” While traveling they noticed that textile recycling was already happening in cities like San Francisco and Tokyo, and their own designs drew lots of compliments. Their London friends began to commission outfits, and this led to a market stall in Kensington Market. In 1997 they launched Junky Styling, and their clothing is now stocked in shops in cities like London, Paris, and Hong Kong.
I learned of their work through the new book Junky Styling: Wardrobe Surgery. The ethos of their company is “timeless, deconstructed, re-cut, and completely transformed clothing,” and they are so committed to recycling textiles that their book contains a how-to section with basic instructions for some of their most popular designs. Intrigued, I asked them a couple of questions.