It’s a fact now, we have more clothes than ever needed and we have no reason to buy anything new than pure want. But this also means that’s the jobs in fashion have never been more important and if anyone is looking for work, they need to offer solutions to the big problems and try to change the cycle from within. It’s a saturated market with young talent and huge student debt, but solutions still aren’t making it to the top.

Several designers have been getting their hands on upcycling. I strongly believe this is the future of couture as essentially you are creating one off original pieces, but how do you sell it as luxury? One interesting case study would be Dutch designer Duran Lantik’s collaboration with Browns, the iconic London based department store. The capsule collection was made entirely of surplus Browns stock which otherwise would have ended up in a bonfire. Meanwhile in France, a law has been passed that would prevent such fires from ever taking place. Will this spark similar collaborations in Paris? This upcycling aesthetic creates hybrid looks, something that Martin Margiela was never afraid of but was easily accepted for being both minimal and complex.

With a surplus of clothes, the future of styling will be working with much more of what we already have. I would like to see more mainstream magazines taking this approach as well, after all they are about selling inspiration and dreams. The initial success of Instagram influencers were indeed their inspiring styling, until everything became “buy now”. With groups like The RealReal and Nortstrom’s launching a pop up consignment, these influencers would have a more sustainable future if they joined the resale market while using their fashion sense to pull out what we might not have seen on the used clothing heap. One of the tips we can take from Margiela is sorting by colours and fabrics.The Japanese have been doing it for the past two decades, and luxury vintage have taken off in Europe and the States, but the main concern is for other countries where “new” equals “quality”.

If there is one concept that we can take from former Margiela alumni Demna Gvasalia when he started Vetements, it would be that aspiring designers need to forget the whole mood board thing, and focus just on clothes. Clothes to be worn and that you will see on people. The problem is, many design students don’t even learn the basics of flat pattern and sewing when not studying at one of the prestigious fashions schools in fashion capitals. Its these traditional skills that can empower them to upcycle and do their own Margiela cuts. Theres nothing more wasteful than making a collection that will never be worn. You can even freshen up used jeans and anything cotton with shibori.

I have hope with the Gen Z that with their interests and demands in transparency of the supply chain that they can cure the disease that the industry suffers from, but this industry is also driven by aesthetics. With a bleak looking future, is it the time to flash your designer clothes and wealth?

For all of the burgeoning young designers and stylists, we wanted to look at some of the key styling and cuts from the 90s Margiela archive, so we can create something new from something old for the next generation. Time to look through that used clothing heap!

Analogue photography via Vogue Runway