Can you birken-not?

I had suspected it for a while. I choose to ignore it, averting my eyes from the feet of others. For the last couple of years, I have observed teenage girls replacing their stan smiths for Birkenstocks to pair with their mom jeans… I had even been reported incidences of women breaking the cardinal rule. Yes, they were wearing socks and sandals… not just ANY sandal though. SOCKS AND BIRKENSTOCKS. In denial, I brushed off these sightings, writing them off as spooky coincidences of misguided fashion.  Or a weird AF fad like Topshop’s see-through Jeans. I told myself it was just kids trying to be ironic. However, I can confirm that now the count is in – Birkenstocks are in Vogue (literally, in Vogue). 242 years after the first Birkenstock was created, they appeared on the runway at Paris fashion week. I guess if something is around for long enough it eventually becomes cool?

Yesterday’s spring/summer ’18 collection presentation in Paris. #Birkenstock #PFW

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I suppose they are still cuter than crocs? 

Chats With: Elizabeth Illing of Project Stopshop

BCB was lucky enough to get an opportunity to have chat with Elizabeth Illing who is the creator of Project StopShop, a visual exploration of fast fashion consumption.

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Elizabeth Illing is a 23-year-old and a recent graduate of the University of Creative Arts in Epsom, the United Kingdom. The final project of her Fashion Promotion and Imaging degree – Project Stopshop has caught many an eye on Instagram. In particular, her ‘value labels’ have drawn attention to Project Stopshop. These are clothing labels featuring quotes from fast fashion shoppers that are a witty, frank insight into the fast fashion consumer psyche. My personal favourites are “I probably won’t wear this dress again because it’s already on my Instagram” and “I know what day Zara updates their website”.

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Project Stopshop is a visual exploration of fast fashion consumption. It involves self-reflection on Elizabeth’s own wardrobe – where the clothes that inhabit it come from and what she wears and how often, as well as wardrobe surveys of her flatmate’s and friend’s wardrobes. Combined together these multi-media works provoke us to think a little more about the cost our shopping habits may have to ourselves, our wallet and the world around us. Elizabeth’s work encourages us to be self-reflexive and think about what it means when a t-shirt only costs $10 and about how many time we actually wear each garment in our overflowing wardrobes/floordrobes.

BCB had a chat to Elizabeth about her creative practice, her thoughts on fast fashion consumption and how we might go about increasing the demand for ethical clothing. The below interview is punctuated with samples of Elizabeth’s work.