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Why I’m into slow fashion

by Marlies Dekkers
It cost 800 Dutch guilders, my entire monthly wages, but I never felt anything like it. The silk on my skin, the cut, the details. I was heartbroken when I had to take it off.

And so, for the first time in my life, I decided to save up and invest in a piece of clothing, just like some people do with art. This was during a photoshoot about 15 years ago, and someone had handed me a black and white stripy button down shirt by Costume National that turned out to be so much more than a shirt; when I put it on, I realised someone had made a statement in fabric. It was an expression of art, made with love.

Fashion has never been faster than now, with copies of designer looks hitting the high street within weeks, but I like it sexy and slow. I love the thrill of falling in love with something I see on the catwalk, then having to wait –and save up!- to buy it, sometimes even having to go on a treasure hunt to different stores in different cities to get my size. Sometimes it takes a year and a half before my crush is finally mine.

That stripy shirt from Costume National? I still have it. There is a special room in my basement where I keep my ‘couture babies’. Every now and then I visit it to select a few pieces that get to spend some time in my current wardrobe upstairs. And so it happens that I wear pieces that are 10, 20 years old. Every time I put one on, I realise my love for it has only grown.

I see fashion as something to be treasured over time, not trashed every season. If we slow down, we understand that we don’t need to buy new trends every 6 weeks. And if we choose wisely, we can see ourselves as collectors, not merely consumers. That’s exactly the thought behind my marlies|dekkers Couture Collection; one-of-a-kind designs, limited in availability, that really tell a story. But above all, made with love.

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