Ding Fring fashion showi

Parisian secondhand shop Ding Fring played host to a stylish secondhand fashion show last Thursday. Models sporting bright colors and bold prints were sent down the ‘catwalk’, and the ‘see now, buy it now’ philosophy meant you could purchase the up-cycled outfits straight after the show.

The event was organized by Le Relais Val de Seine (which sorts, recycles and resells donated clothing, runs the Ding Fring shops and is part of solidarity movement Emmaus France) in partnership with designer Anaïs DW.

The fashion show was followed by champagne and snacks, and of course some shopping.

I bought an H&M dress for €9 and a top from L’Edito Paris (the private label line of department store Printemps), which is rather Gucci-inspired and was pricier at €18, but it’s all for a good cause, right? Also spotted was a suede fringed IKKS jacket, a pair of black patent Chie Mihara heels and a brand new with tags Paul & Joe shirt.

Ding Fring, 340 rue des Pyrenées, 75020


Sustainable Style reception at the British Ambassador’s residence in Paris

Change is coming, but it is coming slowly, was how FashionNetwork.com’s global editor-in-chief Godfrey Deeny summed up the panel talk at last night’s Sustainable Style Reception at the British Ambassador’s residence in Paris.

Moderated by Deeny, the panel featured four speakers: Claire Bergkamp, head of sustainability and ethical trade at Stella McCartney; Frances Corner, head of the London College of Fashion; Marie-Claire Daveau, chief sustainability officer and head of international institutional affairs at luxury group Kering (of which Stella McCartney is part); and Tamsin Lejeune, founder of global industry body Ethical Fashion Forum.

The discussion covered such topics as sustainability in production and raw materials, the circular economy, gender parity, how to reconcile sustainability with creativity and whether fast fashion is the enemy of sustainability.

Key points to come out of the discussion included:

• Only 1% of textiles globally are recycled back into textiles

• Brands need to have responsibility for their supply chains and for the people making their clothes

• There are 57 million garment workers, 80% of which are women

• Sustainability and fashion equals empowerment, not just for the women wearing the clothes, but for the women in the supply chain

• There needs to be more investment in women-led businesses

• Taking a swipe at fast fashion (although it wasn’t all negative) – the way we consume results from the way the industry has provided us with products

• The London College of Fashion believes that with 5,500 students, it can change the fashion industry from the inside out.

• All indicators suggest millennials are the age group with the highest awareness of sustainability.

And also:

• Innovation is key to sustainability, and for this Kering looks to start-ups— its innovation accelerator collaboration with Plug and Play and Fashion for Good aims to fast-track innovation within the luxury and apparel industries.

• Part of the qualitative bonus of Kering CEOs is linked to sustainability targets, and all top management have incentives linked to sustainability.

• Stella McCartney is working with US start-up Bolt Threads, which has developed a way of making silk without silkworms—it grows synthetic spider silk from yeast.

• Stella McCartney also has a partnership with US consignment site TheRealReal to promote the idea of the product living longer, by encouraging people to sell through this platform.

• Deeny was wearing a pair of Stella McCartney socks made from recycled polyester.

Sustainability is complex, the participants agreed, and there is still much to be done. But to move forward, collaboration is key.

To this end, Kering and the London College of Fashion have launched the world’s first open-access digital course in sustainable luxury fashion, beginning April 9. To register, click here

Les Agaçantes braderie chic in Paris this weekend

This weekend is the hotly anticipated Les Agaçantes Braderie Chic secondhand clothing sale in Paris. It’s the first one of the year, and promises to be a great one.

With three floors of fashionistas clearing space in their wardrobes for new season purchases, you’re bound to find some brilliant cast offs.

It’s the first time the event has combined €5 and €10 stands with €20 ones, so there will likely be a good mix of labels.

Previously at this secondhand sale I’ve snapped up preloved (but barely worn) Uniqlo cashmere, a Bel Air blazer and a brand new with tags IKKS scarf. They’ve become firm favorites so I’m excited to see what bargains are to be had this time around.

Entry is €2 with a free coffee, from 11am until 7pm, Saturday and Sunday.

At La Cartonnerie, 10 rue Deguerry, 75011

Vintage &cætera pops up in Paris

French online vintage clothing boutique Vintage &cætera is hosting its first physical sale this weekend in Paris.

It’s on at Au Tables de Père Lachaise (44 boulevard Ménilmontant, 75020) on Saturday March 3 from 12pm to 8pm.

Why should we be buying vintage and secondhand? As Vintage &cætera points out, from production to transport, fashion is the most polluting industry worldwide after the oil industry.

Vintage&cætera is something of a new kid on the block – it was founded three months ago, but is quickly gaining popularity among the stylish, slow fashion set. Founder Amandine Grimbert has a humanitarian background, and then worked at Uniqlo before moving to American Apparel. And she also has an eye for chic and timeless vintage pieces that are built to last. Forget your grandma’s wardrobe – we’re talking Yves Saint Laurent, Jil Sander, and a host of other vintage pieces that wouldn’t look out of place on the catwalk.

Beyond the ecological impact of giving secondhand items a new lease of life, Vintage &cætera will wrap your online order using furoshiki (a Japanese wrapping technique that means the fabric can be used again and again) and send it in recycled packaging.

And then there’s the social impact. Items for sale are sourced from charitable associations, and the boxes that orders are sent out in are bought from Carton-Plein, a company that helps get vulnerable people back in the workforce and which is specialized in recycling and reusing cardboard.

If you can’t wait for the sale on Saturday, Vintage &cætera has an Etsy shop.

Violette Sauvage Vide dressing returns for 2018

This weekend in Paris is the first Violette Sauvage vide dressing of 2018.

Taking place on February 10 and 11, the secondhand clothing sale promises, as always, fabulous preloved (and many new with tags) items at great prices.

If I had gone to this with say, €1,000 in my purse (and had size 5 feet) I would have bought the blue velvet Chloé Susanna boots for €450, the Maje striped jumper for €60 (this was brand new with €245 tag), The Sandro grey and blue coat for €150, the brand new Chanel court shoes, also for €150, the brand new Eric Bompard cashmere jumper with gold lace detailing for €90, and probably a whole lot more.

As it was, I settled on a real leather H&M skirt for a fiver. Because, well, I’ve got champagne tastes but a shoestring budget.

Entry costs €2. At 7 rue Lacépède, 75005

Vestiaire Collective’s Paris pop-up reveals archive secrets

An event held at Vestiaire Collective’s pop-up store in Paris last night gave a fascinating insight into the archive secrets of French luxury houses Hermès, Dior, Givenchy and Rochas.

During a talk led by fashion journalist Ilaria Casati, attendees learned about what constitutes an archive, what role they play and how they are added to over the years.

While archives have an immense importance for the history and DNA of fashion houses, Casati questioned whether, in light of the current phenomenon of designers returning to the archives for inspiration, they are now becoming a marketing tool for brands.

Participating in the talk were Barbara Jeauffroy-Mairet, project lead and associate curator at Musée Dior – Christian Dior Haute Couture; Julia Guillon, who has worked on the archives of Courrèges and Givenchy and is now at Rochas, and art expert Côme Rémy, who was head of the Conservatoire des Créations at Hermès from 1993 to 1997.

All three shared anecdotes of how they acquire items for a brand’s archives, and the thrill associated with finding something in the most unexpected of places (imagine getting a call from a dry cleaners in possession of a vintage Dior couture dress that a customer wanted cleaned before she donated it to charity).

What came through most during the talk was each participant’s staggering knowledge of a particular house’s codes and production, meaning that they’ve bought unbranded pieces at auction having recognized something that the auction experts-and other bidders-missed.

Wondering how you too can get a slice of the action? Take their advice and go to flea markets. Look for things that don’t belong somewhere-a pearl and cameo bracelet in a box of costume jewelry, for example-and that’s your piece right there.

When questioned on what consumers should be looking to buy from brands in particular – a Lady Dior bag or a Hermès carré for example – the response was unanimous: buy what appeals to you, for your own ‘archive’.

Le Cosy Corner – budget deco

If you’re looking to decorate your Parisian home on a budget (because most of your money will be going on rent), then Le Cozy Corner has the solution for you.

The company organizes sales of secondhand items that come from professional establishments including hotels, restaurants and shops.

And this weekend (27-28 January 2018) Le Cozy Corner is hosting its first sale – setting up shop at Point Éphémère to sell items from Maison Options, the European leader in furniture and decorations hire for events.

You’ll be able to snap up a sofa for €70, a lamp for €11 and a chair for €3.50. Personally, I’ve got my eye on the vintage-inspired trunk that’s priced at a bargain €6.

At Point Emphemere, 200 Quai de Valmy, 75010, Paris 11am – 7pm.