So you thought it was all shoes and bags and bags and shoes? This time round client Emma Sinclair challenged us to restore her prized cream cotton and leather jacket from Mulberry. She had lost one of its unique fastenings which were large, gold, and shaped like a daisy, and there was no way she could leave it incomplete.
Usually luxury brands have an amazing ability to source replacement buttons or fastenings for their products; but not in this case. The jacket was part of the Mulberry SS13 collection, a limited edition archive piece, which meant the hardware was no longer manufactured.
Our Head of Atelier researched some options to find similar hardware for the missing scallop-edged closure. Unfortunately, nothing was a close match and an alternative fastening would not keep the aesthetic of the jacket’s original design, which was key to the repair process. Appearance and design are everything and this consideration goes beyond making an item solely functional. The creativity of our Atelier shone through with the inspiration to replicate the metal closure in leather.
THE DESIGN SOLUTION
After creating the initial pattern, a hard material was chosen as a base to create the main structure. The raised shape was created using a technique called plugging; layers of leather or material are glued onto the base piece, then sanded on the edges to achieve a smooth finish. Once satisfied, it is then covered with a thin piece of calf leather. To ensure the fastening operated equally as well as the original, the hole needed to be perfectly centred and have exactly the same depth.
The beautifully crafted piece was then hand painted and finished with a specialist edge paint to match the leather sections of the jacket. Our Head of Atelier then attached the flower by hand-stitching, instead of using miniature screws seen on the other fastenings. The stitching was a conscious decision to contrast the soft look of the leather to the hard style of the metal, perfectly complimenting the original design. The holes were marked and punched beforehand to facilitate stitching through the thick material with precision.
On receiving the restored jacket Emma immediately contacted the team to applaud the work on her re-imagined piece. The Restory was thrilled to see her wearing the jacket on Channel 4 News the same week!
The Restory works on a bespoke service. If you have an item in your wardrobe in need of some TLC, drop a line to firstname.lastname@example.org. In the meantime read our inspiring blog post “If You Could Turn Back Time” for ideas on re-fashioning your most loved pieces. Together we can find a way.