Wednesday, July 13, 2011
We’ve all been there: standing in front of a closetful of clothes, only half of which we actually wear. Some of the unworn pieces may be brand-new, some may not quite fit anymore and others might be just slightly out of style—but all are in perfectly good condition. While donating these items is certainly a noble route to take, Petra Hanson, founder of the “eco-couture” company Metamorfixx, has another idea for those items you don’t wear but just can’t seem to part with.
Having studied fashion design at the Fashion Institute of Technology followed by designing stints with Julien Macdonald, Oscar de la Renta and DKNY, Hanson, a self-proclaimed “fixologist” takes beloved items from your closet and transforms them into one-of-a-kind pieces you’ll be excited to wear again.
A sweater can become a skirt, a dress can turn into a cardigan and a great-fitting pair of jeans can be updated with studs and hand-painted details. The possibilities are endless. “I’ve been fixing clothes for myself since I was young,” says Hanson. “I was always the tallest kid in class so altering and tweaking pants and clothes was something I learned early on.”
Years later, while working in the fashion industry, Hanson found that she wanted to give her style an edge and keep up with trends without spending thousands of dollars. “I would take items from my closet and update them every season. One piece could last me six years,” she says. “People would like what I was wearing and ask me where I got it. Sometimes I would tell them the truth, but sometimes I would be mysterious. Nobody needs to know.”
Though it took a few more years (interspersed with time as an “accidental” Japanese pop star. Yes, Hanson and her band, Gaijin à Go-Go, were actually huge in Japan) for her to make clothes “upcycling” into a career, the seeds for Metamorfixx had been planted. Launching the company this year, Hanson already has many clients calling on her for a wardrobe overhaul.
Though based in Brooklyn, NY, Hanson has deep-seated roots in Aspen (her father and stepmother are Aspenites Andy and Georgia Hanson, president, CEO and district manager of the Aspen Historical Society) and hopes to bring her wardrobe-reinvention expertise to the women of Aspen soon. “I’ve gone back and forth to Aspen my whole life,” says Hanson. “It’s such a magical and inspiring place. It’s got its own version of the great outdoors-meets- chic! That’s what I love about it.”
While this is not a new idea by any means, it's one that I readily embrace. I have many treasured pieces in my closet that I haven't worn in quite some time, but cannot bear to part with. My problem? I can't sew! Replacing a button is about the extent of my expertise. You know, it might actually be worth taking a sewing class of some kind, to breathe new life into a fabulous little something.