Friday, August 4, 2017

EFWA Upcycling Challenge by Marilyn R Wilson Part 1 of 5 - Meet Alex S. Yu, Jessie Liu,

I was so honoured when the founder of Eco Fashion Week Australia offered to let me create a unique show for their event in November in Perth, Australia.  It took two weeks to finalize the idea for this upcycling challenge and another one to two weeks to finalize this amazing list of incredible talents - 21 in all representing 12 countries. Each will be creating one unique look from used men's dress shirts (thrift store or flea market finds, discards from family and friends or ?).

These fashion designs were all asked to step out of the box conceptually and have fun with the challenge. Their look should represent them as designers and showcase their creativity.  They were asked to do more than just  use the shirts as fabric. At least one original detail from the original garments used should be incorporated in their final design. 

Here is a brief introduction to the first five.  The others will be covered in upcoming posts so please check back.  To read about my the journey to create this challenge check out my article, "The Move From Media Seat To Backstage."

Alex S. Yu (London, Vancouver Taipei) -

  • About - ALEX S. YU's aesthetics rollick the happy emotions of childhood, nostalgia and wanderlust; and ponder the very definition of femininity in a modern, quirky way through garments.d unusual silhouettes while mixing and using different colours and fabric weights in one garment.
  • Studied at – Blanche Macdonald Center (Canada) and London College of Fashion (UK)
  • Websitewww.alexsyu.com
  • Instagram - @alex.s.yu
  • Facebook - www.facebook.com/pg/alexsyualexsyu/
Francesca Phipps (London)


  • About – Francesca Phipps is always trying to find new innovative silhouettes with a mixture of tailoring and drape. Drapery is a very strong skill for the designer, something she is always pushing the boundaries of. She constantly explores the experimental use of colour and alternative construction of materials and fabrications
  • Studied at - De Montfort University (Leicester).
  • Website - www.artsthread.com/profile/francescaphipps/
  • Instagram - @francescaphippsfashion
  • Facebook - www.facebook.com/francesca.phipps/

Jessie Liu (San Francisco) -


·         About – Jessie Liu designs timeless and innovative styles with flattering silhouettes which enhance the existing beauty and confidence of her clients. Style, function, beauty and freedom collide in her designs.  Each season the designer selects luxurious fabrications and creates bold graphic prints that appear almost three dimensional amongst more muted tones adding balance to her eponymous RTW collection.
·         Studied at - Academy of Art University
·         Website - www.jessieliucollection.com/
·         Instagram - @jessieliucollection/
·         Facebook - www.facebook.com/jessieliucollection/

Sacha Cooper, Cooper Hotcooture (Luxembourg) -


·         About - Cooper Hotcooture is a ready-to-wear fashion label located in Luxembourg that offers subtle sexiness, affordable wearable couture and more importantly, unique designs that are handmade in Luxembourg.  The label stands for fine fashion and exclusive garments,
·         Studied at - ESMOD and AMD ('Akademie für Mode & Design)
·         Website - www.cooperhotcooture.lu/
·         Instagram - @cooperhotcooture/
·         Facebook - www.facebook.com/CooperHotcooture/

Tieler James (New Orleans) -
·         About – Tieler James was a finalist on Project Runway Junior and is the youngest designer participating.  His vision is to design clothing for all women that will let them feel powerful and beautiful as soon as they are.
·         Studied at – Self taught. James is still in high school.
·         Website - www.tielerjames.com/
·         Instagram - @tielerjamesdesigns
·         Facebook - www.facebook.com/designertieler/

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