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London Fashion Week SS22 highlights: Harris Reed

Lauretta Roberts
22 September 2021

Harris Reed providing a fitting end to London Fashion Week with a collection that truly taps into the mood of the moment. Sticking to a strict colour palette of black and white, the British-American designer presented his first salon show, entitled Found, that challenged traditional binary views of gender and was crafted largely from upcycled garments and textiles found in Oxfam.

Entitled Found, the "demi-couture" show was said to summarise the state of mind of Reed when he designed the collection, which the designer described as "an amalgamation of resourcefulness, acceptance and ingenuity".

Found was Reed's response to his quest to grow a responsible brand while also demonstrating the resourcefulness and creativity for which the 25-year-old has quickly become known and which has garnered him some high-profile supporters such as music artist Harry Styles and Gucci creative chief Alessandro Michele, as well as a recent Breakthrough Designer of the Year Award from GQ.

For this collection, Reed challenged himself by imposing constraints on the design process such as reusing old wedding clothing such as morning jackets and veils and adhering to the black and white palette, which represents the heteronormativity that surrounds the wedding day ideology.

He sought to liberate the items from their binary constraints to move them into more fluid and romantic reality. A tiered wedding dress spliced with groomsmen tailoring or bridal lace steered by a reworking of a 19th Century waistcoat, sourced by Reed, are exemplars of this.

“Working with these older pieces has offered me a fresh insight into construction. While breathing new life into these looks, I’ve been able to hone my techniques and learn from the original state of the garment,” he explains.

A look from FOUND will be displayed in the Selfridges X Oxfam space, curated by stylist Bay Garnett and will be available for special purchase, with all proceeds going to Oxfam.

“Oxfam is thrilled to be working with Harris Reed, who shows it’s possible to transform a second-hand wedding dress into haute couture gracing the runway. This month, Oxfam is asking people to only shop second-hand as part of their Second Hand September campaign to raise awareness about the harmful effects of fast fashion – clothes that are produced in high volume and at relatively low cost to the consumer – have on the planet. Upcycling is a brilliant way to breathe new life into clothes and tailor what you find in a charity shop to your tastes. This way we can help protect our planet by giving clothes a longer life, while raising money to help people around the world beat poverty,” said Lorna Fallon, Retail Director at Oxfam.

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