Melanie Child

The ethos behind Melanie Child’s collection remain the same since the brand’s inception in 2012, make the most out of somebody’s pre-loved clothing. Child’s latest collection Serge de Nimes focusses specifically on one type of garment, a pair of jeans. The idea was to utilise a garment that has become a classic, one of the most popular items in the modern wardrobe. The collection is trans-seasonal presentation of re-interpreted garments that began in mass production and have moved through the particular hands of Child. Serge de Nimes pays homage to traditional sewing techniques including smocking, weaving and hand stitching, drawing attention to processes that seem all but lost in the world of fast fashion.

“The main philosophy behind the label is to reduce textile waste into landfill, and keep any use of virgin material to an absolute minimum,” said Child.

While Child usually draws inspiration from a variety of garments, this season saw her focus on only one type of fabric which is fast becoming a Melanie Child signature.

“They are such a universal garment, they are classic, durable and they come back every season in varying shapes and forms.”

The magic is in the way Child has incorporated high-end techniques to a common fabric and produced a collection that not only looks good, but also brings focus to the effects of mass production, and a possible solution.

“The hand stitched pieces had to be the most difficult, I underestimated how long it would take to complete each piece, and I have great respect for the art of hand sewing. It is beautiful, but also very time consuming. Combined with such a hardy fabric as denim also made for many a callous.”

While Child stands by her collection as a whole, her stand out piece was the finale dress, a woven bodice made with jean inseams and a full length fringed skirt made with a gradient of different blues from the pant legs.

“The entire bodice is hand stitched together. It moved beautifully on the catwalk, and has a contrasting structure and fluidity that I love. I’m looking forward to developing my next two ready to wear collections inspired by the pieces in this collection.”

In describing the narrative, Child explained the collection as being feminine but strong, delicate but sturdy, a concept of multiples within unique garments. The collection is a culmination of stories, with each layer of denim representing a different individual who wore it.

The concept of stories is something that can be expected from each collection moving forward, as the ethos that sits at the center of Child’s design process will always involve taking something that once belonged to something else and transforming it into an entirely new garment for more stories to be made.

Outside of the collection, Child is looking at expansion opportunities, hoping to move into more stockists and exploring the possibility of taking her designs off the body and onto other surfaces.

“Eventually I plan to open a flagship concept store and studio, and break into the European market where ethical fashion is thriving.”