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Thursday, May 26, 2011

NEW testament

Anna Gilkerson’s MAKENEW line is a fresh take on vintage garments

Posted By on Thu, May 26, 2011 at 4:00 AM

Anna Gilkerson’s edited vintage collections shine - NATHAN BOONE
  • Nathan Boone
  • Anna Gilkerson’s edited vintage collections shine
Anna Gilkerson has switched gears. After five years of creating her own line, deux fm, Gilkerson chose to stop adding to the world’s cache of clothing and start using what was already created. From that, MAKENEW was born.

MAKENEW presents edited collections of vintage clothing affordably (a Lanvin hat for $22, for instance), selling these collections through her online shop (makenewvintage.com) and at pop-up shops at Love, Me Boutique four times a year.

Gilkerson made the change after having her daughter. “Deux fm was taking a lot of time,” she says. “I loved what I did but it was long days and I wanted some time to spend with my family.” There were other reasons she decided to explore the potential in the world of vintage. With deux fm, “I was trying to do everything organically and locally, then I started to question the ethics of making new clothing,” she says. “I was struggling with making more waste and going down that road that so many companies are going down. And I’ve always been a huge vintage clothing fanatic, it’s not like I’m reinventing the wheel or anything.”

MAKENEW caters to people who don’t have the time or inclination to sift through used clothing to find a look that’s cohesive and modern. Gilkerson finds this still allows her the creativity she enjoyed with deux fm. She shops for collections that have a strong slant toward the modern, even though the clothes are not brand-new. By choosing well-made pieces---most are from a time before mass-production---and “as high-end as we can go” (including Oscar de la Renta, Yves Saint Laurent and Christian Dior), the collection remains fresh. Her last, Acid Kid, was an explosion of colour, with bright silk shirts that inject electricity into any wardrobe. The summer line Country Grafik is inspired by a city girl’s visit to the country, featuring hard graphics tempered with soft chiffon and lace.

MAKENEW’s modus operandi is well-suited to a busy---yet trendy and ethical---shopper. “There are masses of clothing just sitting around that could be presented in a way that’s edited, in collection style,” Gilkerson says. “When people come to our events or shop online, it’s presented in a way that makes sense to them---so they don’t have to do any work.”

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