How to recycle, upcycle and design your way to $500

Recently I launched a small competition to offer one lucky reader the chance to win a $500 Elwood Jeans voucher to use at their whim at any Elwood store. Yay!

I received a batch of emails from some of you mighty fine men and women with what you’ve managed to make your own by way of upcycling, recycling, redesigning, or jazzing-up in any way you saw fit. Might I say, wow, and well done! Some of the pieces I saw were absolute winners and more than worthy of being sold!

However there is but one winner, whom this time ’round has proven to be a fellow Melburnian, a young up-and-comer and a young talented man with a flair for black, a knack for design and a penchant for the needle and thread with a taste for womenswear.

His name, Aaron Paul.


Take a good look at the photos and you’ll understand why. The vision for his garments and his skill in creating them is formidable and something definitely worth shouting about.

The process he used was something very impressive and befitting of an undoubtably talented up-and-coming designer.

Using an old black shirt and cream coloured lace curtains he found at home, Aaron washed and dyed the fabric with black dye to make a uniform shade. He then cut the inside fabric out of the black shirt and sewed the black lace in its place, later adding crafted sleeves to the shirt made of remnants of the same lace curtain.

Incorporating the use of some spare chiffon he had in store, he played around with the draping and styling of the fabric, which he later embellished with a black feather boa.

Very impressive and a stunning dress overall.

It turns out Aaron also works as a stylist for his friends and come casual clients. His sense of style and skill in understanding the style and dress sense of others while working towards it is a trait that few of us have mastered. Luckily for Aaron, he sees is talent as a talent he’s honed over time and something that he hopes one day to shoot him high and earn him a decent living.

“Everyone deserves to look their best, every day of their lives,” he said. “This dress is something I hope the woman I made it for can wear and love at any and every occasion she likes, feeling confident, eye-catching and appealing.”

He also fancies himself a computing photoshop guru – skills that trump mine any day – so I had to share some of them. He dabbles in the creation and design of marketing eDMs and posters for some of Melbourne’s coolest of underground music performances and stage shows. You can see his handiwork on many things that come out of Kazbar on Chapel Street.

Join me in congratulating him! He’ll shortly be receiving his Elwood Jeans $500 voucher in the mail.

Follow Elwood on Twitter @ElwoodJeans.

Model: Simone Edwards.


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