Hillary Taymour - Her rise to upcycle
Over 10 years ago now, Hillary Taymour launched the fashion brand Collina Strada, a brand founded on the principles of handcrafted produce and environmental awareness. Since then, she has mastered a vast range of DIY techniques to upcycle existing garments and accessories. She's all about bringing the fun into sustainability!
Concentrating on deadstock, the designer has collaborated with local and international organisations to salvage fabrics. Of particular mention is the purchase of pre-used garments from the Kantamanto market through the mediation of the non-profit OR Foundation.
Collina Strada SS23 in New York - From post punk aesthetics to the romantic and rebellious revolution in Brooklyn Greenway - a former naval ceremony turned into a nature reserve designed to support the native milkweeds the monarch caterpillars and butterflies rely on. On the catwalk, all states of evolution of the butterflies life are recounted. This is why the runway show featuring co-ed casting opens with Hari Nef sporting a soft, light-coloured dress overlapping it with a wide pant. The catwalk is a wooden platform that winds immersing itself inside the garden. On this, soft garments alternate with more composed and stiff models, expertly mixed with Vanessa Reid's styling. From orange organza to rose petal silk and then further deadstock fabrics for a denim and satin look. Ruffles return on knits and dresses, along with bangs and other decorative elements such as trailing pieces of fabric. Another recurring element is corsets, tight on the breasts and sometimes bombastic on the abdomen. A symbol of the brand’s punk and rebellious aesthetic. The domed shape is also taken up by some dresses, which contrasts with the soft, flowing lines of the others. It is evident how close the shape of each garment is to the fabric used for its manufacture.
"Before you toss something out of your wardrobe, take a second to think about how you could give it a second life."
Hillary Taymour - founder of Collina Strada
One of the most refreshing reflections in Collina Strada is it's casting and shows. Transgender and nonbinary models regularly appear on the label’s runways and in its campaigns, alongside a diverse group of Taymour’s friends. Kids, people with disabilities, and pregnant models are often casted as well.
In 2019 Collina Strada started her show with a sound bath courtesy of children playing chimes. The soundtrack was a live talk on the importance of protecting the earth from environmental activist Xiuhtezcatl Martinez.
Click the link below to explore more on Hillary Taymour's heavenly dose of zen.
New York Fashion Week SS23 - Collina Strada
Taymour works with a combination of deadstock (stock unwanted or not needed by the designer or brand that originally commissioned that fabric) and natural materials such as a silk formed from rose petals. This encourages saving fabrics from landfill and to use eco-friendly and biodegradable fabrics to create luxurious soft fibres.
Taymour's creativity and experiments to upcycle
GUCCIFEST prefall 21 - Collina Strada
Over the last two years Collina Strada was tapped by Gucci's Alessandro Michele to create a fashion film for the virtual GucciFest. Their contribution was a video game named "Collinaland" highlighting the brands pre-fall collection - pieces in bright blues, pinks, psychedelic prints with ruffles and pleated detailing etc.