ReFashioned had a little chat with Remaliah King, a 20 year old student living and studying at the University of New South Wales
|Remaliah in one of her refashioned pieces|
When did you first start shopping at op shops?
My mother was always a bit of an op-shop fan and until I was about 14/15 I hated them. I would always get really embarrassed when she'd drag me in. Then I started doing some volunteer work at a local op-shop through my school and just fell in love with them!
What drew you towards them?
Once I had been inside an op-shop and discovered they were full of really cool items at really good prices I just had to keep exploring.
Hard to say. I've picked up a country road blazer for $10, a Cellini leather handbag for $20 and a vintage Cue skirt for $20.
Perhaps not exactly weird, but the owner of my favourite op-shop sold me a lot of my best dresses which were sourced form America. He was very strange and his shop ended up disappearing overnight.
When I bought my 17th dress he insisted I take a fair few accessories such as his mothers old cloche hat. I borrowed them for the weekend and showed him a few photos of the outfit in exchange.
Do you enjoy buying clothes and wearing them as they come or making them better?
Before I became a uni student I was considering a career in design and used to do a lot of alterations to my clothes. I don't have as much of an opportunity now, but I still see some items and think about gathering the hem, cutting the length short or taking it in at the waist.
Where did you learn how to sew?
I had to take some compulsory classes in textiles in school and became really interested in learning more. My mother was more than happy to teach me and I decided to pursue the subject further at school. A lot of what i've learned is from simply taking apart garments or cutting out bits of fabric and seeing how they go together.
Do people realise that some of your amazing pieces are second hand?
Definitely not! The dresses I wore to both my year 10 and 12 formals, as well as my 17th and 18th birthdays have all been from op-shops; no-one would have ever guessed I hadn't spent hundreds on each!
How do you think we could get more people using their local charity stores?
I definitely feel that wearing my op-shop items around and letting people know where I got them from has opened some peoples eyes to what you can find when you look in the right place. Vintage and op-shop fashion fairs also definitely contribute to greater community interest in their local stores specifically.
Besides fashion finds, do you think giving to charity stores helps the community?
I think that it can, particularly if you choose which stores to purchase from. Some stores in my home town were attached to churches which used the money to put on large community events such as Christmas carols. Others were joined to charities like the Westpac rescue helicopter, the Red Cross and the Royal Far West Children's Hospital.
My favourite second hand store used to be a small business run by a local guy who sponsored local fashion events.