Friday, July 8, 2016

Bits and Pieces - Raggedy Designs

During the 7 years I've been writing this blog I've occasionally been contacted by a company to see if I would be interested in writing a "sponsored" post on my blog.  Basically, this means "You write nice stuff about us and we'll give you something for free", although I have also received requests from companies with no offer of compensation of any kind.  Most of the time I can tell the person sending the request hasn't looked at my blog and has no idea what I write about.

It was a refreshing change to be contacted by Hayley Trezise, designer of Raggedy, from the UK, after my photo was included in this post on the blog Warning: Curves Ahead .  Trezise had actually looked at my blog, and didn't ask for anything from me in her initial email.   She wanted to introduce me to her designs because she thought I would like them.  And I did...

A sample of Hayley's designs, worn by one of her regular customers, and photographed by Alice Weston.  I was immediately drawn to the mix of shapes and fabrics.

As a child, Trezise watched her seamstress mother put clothing together from scratch, including unique dresses for her daughter.  As a teenager, Trezise created her own wardrobe from charity shop and jumble sale finds, as well as her own designs.  She was inspired to pursue a Fine Art degree, specializing in sculpture, and her interest in exploring shape and form in various media, as well as the desire to recycle society's castoffs came together in Raggedy.  

Trezise's studio/shop - photo courtesy of Hayley Trezise

The designs have strong sculptural shapes, and are made from a combination of stitchwork, patchwork, ruffles, and multiple layers, and they are often deliberately asymetrical.

I asked Hayley about what inspired her designs and what she hoped to achieve with her clothing:

"Raggedy is about inspiring people to explore new and different ways of celebrating art and fashion, while supporting our fragile environment.  I believe whole-heartedly that each individual (male or female) should be seen for who they truly are and not be afraid to stand out and be seen.  This message is within each garment I create because this has become one of the most important things within my work.  I struggle with mainstream fashion because of the control it has over us telling us each season how we should dress to 'fit in', also, this includes a throw away society that creates destruction in landfills.  Slow fashion, timeless fashion, and ageless fashion, are what I believe in, so generally I break every rule in the fashion industry.  My clients are fun, creative and have an eye and an appreciation to stand up and be seen, while appreciating the creative work in the clothes, which continues to be sewn into the very fibre of Raggedy's heart."

I  saw a dress I liked on Raggedy's website that was on sale, and asked Trezise if she would be willing to do a trade - the dress in return for a post about her designs - and she agreed.

The "Atom Tee dress" is made from re-purposed t-shirts, and retained some of the designs on the t-shirts - hence the atom graphic on my butt, and the phrase "am not insane" on the front.  As a fan of The Big Bang Theory television series, I recognized the text as part of the Sheldon Cooper quote, "I'm not insane, my mother had me tested".  The dress is roomy and very comfortable, and was the perfect thing to wear on a hot day in the park.  The neckline is more open than I'm used to wearing so I added a colourful cotton scarf.

My Missoni collaboration Converse go with everything

I also wore the dress to work, with black accessories and a pair of sheer pants I found at Mesh Clothing Boutique.

The dress has a good "twirl" factor and the colours go with a lot of things I have in my closet.  The only thing missing are pockets (note to designers - all full dresses, skirts and pants should have them). I was really happy with the comfort and versatility of the dress - it can be worn on its own, or layered over a long-sleeved shirt and tights in colder weather.

Because of the forgiving shape of many of Raggedy's pieces, they can be worn by all ages and body shapes.  I asked Trezise about the average age of her customers and if the increase in the number of women over 50 appearing in ad campaigns and on blogs such as Advanced Style had any effect on her designs.

"When you work closely with a woman's body, it is fascinating how many women I have worked with has one bad thing or another to say about their bodies - too skinny, too big, too tall, too short, large boobs, small boobs, loose arms, no bum, etc.  I feel we just need to accept us for who we are, in every way.  all of my clothes can be worn by any age.  My main range is between 40 - 60, but I have had teenagers buy Raggedy, and an 85 year old too.    Most of my clothes work with all body shapes; some are loose and sculptural, still emphasizing the female body, and some are tapered in just the right places to elaborate the beautiful curves of a woman.  I love to see older women wearing my clothes - I have great admiration and respect for women who are of an age, who have lived a life and show self-love and self-respect and that they are unafraid of any judgement because they are who they are.  It is an inspiration."

Photos above are from a shoot Trezise did with a 20, 42, and 70 year old model wearing her clothing

You can purchase Raggedy clothing and accessories direct from the website.
A big thank you to Hayley Trezise for introducing me to her designs, and for my lovely dress!


  1. You two are a good fit! What unique designs, thank you for posting about this website.

  2. Thanks for introducing me to her inspiring designs! I love how she assembles the pieces in such innovative ways. You picked a great versatile dress, Shelley, but I covet that coat in the first image. Swoon worthy!

  3. This designer looks most interesting. I love the designs you've featured and your dress is lovely; I particularly like it over trousers. I'm off to check out the web site!

    Have a great weekend


  4. Hayley clearly has a gift with fabric. Her designs are absolutely amazing. I love the versatility of fit, the sculptural quality, and the fact that they can be worn by any age or gender. Your dress, Shelley, is so you! I love it! I'm so glad the Post Office didn't let you down! Great article for a great designer.

  5. Wow, I really love these looks, especially that last black/grey one - it really appeals to me (or maybe it's the model's obvious badassery!). Am going to take a gander at her site.

    I also get tons of those solicitation emails - 99% of them have never looked at my blog. Gah.

  6. What amazing pieces! You chose yours perfectly.

    It really is like wearing a piece of art.


  7. Great collab!!!! Love the pic of you twirling! And, yes, pockets, plzzz!!!!

  8. Your styled two ways outfits really emphasizes the power of accessories...and the fact that the dress is amazingly versatile. look fabulous Shelley! Re-fashioning t-shirts is pretty genius! I love the name...Raggedy Designs...and her designs are so special!

    I think I may have seen sheer pants before? But seeing yours now has got my wheels turning. Ta.

  9. Just lovely. Kudos to you and her for giving each other a chance.

    You know it would be very easy to just add patch pockets out of old t-shirts to that dress without harming its aesthetics...just saying.

  10. It makes me so happy to know that there are people out there like you and Haley that think of clothing ethically and artistically. Oh yeah to pockets. Agreed. They are essential. And your choice of dress is stellar. I love it with the pants. Bazinga!

  11. These designs are so YOU and so original, stunning, all the things. I am clicking to their site very next thing. xox


  12. What a fabulous piece, I love it on you!
    It looks like you and Raggedy are a perfect fit. xxx

  13. Love this dress on you! Unique, beautiful, original, sustainable, beautiful. I'm off to check on her site. Thanks for sharing this interesting designer with us!

  14. What fabulous unique, beautiful, creative, clothing - and I do love your "am not insane" dress and its wonderful flow and twirl. You look stunning in it, it's "you". Thanks for introducing this amazing designer.

  15. This is fantastic. That dress was made for you. You clever girl to suggest a barter deal. This way two people are happy. That is sustainable too.
    I am also a big fan of the Big Bang Theory series and I also know Sheldon's "my mother had me tested" haha. I used to love Third Rock from the Sun as well.
    I am really smitten by that cream pair of trousers bottom right in the top photo.

  16. fabulous discovering!, I'm glad you've shared your experience on trading with this designer, it looks like the perfect collaboration!. It's really lovely that you find a label which creates something you love and then you could collaborate with them!
    Loving these designs and re-cycled clothes, so many interesting shapes and textures!!
    And you look gorgeous in your blue-black dress, absolutely cool!!

  17. GREAT designs! Very interesting and freeing. I completely agree that it's amazing who writes to bloggers for a commercial link-up, and how clear it is that they have NO CLUE what the blogger's take on ANYthing is. Good for you, and thank you, for saying so. Thanks also for the link to Warning: Curves Ahead, and the author's take on young so-called journalists telling women of a certain age what to wear. Why don't they just frigging ask us? It's not like we're hard to find. It's not like we're too shy to express our opinions... Valerie

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