Old and unusable workwear meets creativity

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Daniel Kroh

Fashion is everywhere we go. Clothes, accessories, shoes, computers, apps everything follows some sort of fashion trends. Fashion weeks usually are the ones that introduce what is going to be extravagant and popular next season, however these events mainly focus on haute couture and more importantly it is not something that we would wear every day. Firstly, designers from fashion weeks by definition are described as ‘expensive, fashionable clothes produced by leading fashion houses’ and most definitely not everyone can wear it. I doubt that many of us have Galas to attend to every day and wear haute couture pieces. The question here is what to wear on a regular day to work or to a gathering with friends?
Fashion, like architecture, can be very different from futuristic and barely wearable pieces to very practical, and it does not make it any less arty. German designer Daniel Kroh could be the representative of fashion which we use in our everyday life, nonetheless it is a piece of art and a vision of the future.
The artist travels all around Germany collecting old, ‘unusable’ workwear. Each clothing has its story, it used to belong to carpenters, welders, metalworkers. Most of these pieces would be thrown away or burned. The designer believes that all of those stains and dirt on the clothing is also a piece of art worth preserving. In essence, Daniel Kroh gives a second chance to clothes, which he calls ReClothing. ReClothing is a lot like a recycling of clothes and at the end, old clothes find new forms and new styles. As the designer is quoted across German media: “Contemporary tailored suits made of recycled workwear”.

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Although the designer specializes in men’s wear –suits, jackets, and coats – he also has a furniture collection and recently released a women’s suits line as well. All of the pieces are handmade – cut, put together and sewed. The designer believes that this way he is closer to the story, which the clothing is telling, and how it should turn into something new. Looking at his passion and designs who could argue that such pieces are not art. It is magnificent how old, unneeded clothing come to life in such distinct style.
Many western sociologists think that fashion is part of fast consumption habits. We buy it, we wear it for a season and then it is either dusting in the closet or we get rid of it because “there is no more space for new clothes”. It can be true, and I believe many of us have had a kind of situation when we ask ourselves “Am I going to wear it ever again?”. Daniel Kroh says:
“Fashion is part of a disposable industry. I try to oppose something: My work is done by hand, each part for itself. My products can therefore not industrialize, they cannot assemble, as one always says so beautiful in fashion”
It could be seen not just as personal believes, also it can be a bit political. The designers himself is an active recycling activist and through his designs he is telling this message. The idea for his designs was developed at university where he had a project of reclothing women’s wear who worked at campus cafeteria. As the designer says himself he put a lot effort, passion, authenticity and humor into making cafeteria ladies look nice and chic.

Daniel Kroh's designs
Daniel Kroh likes to call himself a craftsman. He believes in honest and good work. After all, how many of us had the situation when our new shirt ripped after a second time of wearing it, or pants after washing were completely unusable? Clothing used for hard work is made out of very resistant material, therefore these designs can serve a lot time. Even though Daniel’s products are sold mainly in boutiques in Berlin, where the designer resides, you can buy it online.
Lately, eco-fashion has been getting very popular, and all comes up from the idea of preservation, trying to make the world a better place to live. These ideas are slowly changing the fashion industry as well. Assignments at school such as creating dresses from plastic bottles could make an impact and inspire young, creative people to explore it further.
However, these days high fashion houses are still not that sensitive to this topic, only a few of them use eco-friendly and animal-friendly materials. As Karl Lagerfeld (creative director of Chanel and Fendi) defends high fashion houses in the interview to New York Times “”It’s very easy to say no fur, no fur, no fur, but it’s an industry”.
In the end, we can hope that were will be more creative people who can think outside the box, and who can make incredible clothing that is sustainable and makes people happy about themselves.

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