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Livia Firth's Oscars Dress Sparks Vintage Controversy

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The current article you are reading does not reflect the views of the current editors and contributors of the new Ecorazzi

While most of the world gushed over Livia Firth’s beautiful upcycled Gary Harvey gown for the Oscars, some people in the vintage community were less than thrilled with how the piece was created.

“Congratulations to Colin and the dress is very pretty,” began one commenter on Firth’s UK Vogue Blog. “However I am horrified to find that ELEVEN vintage 1930s dresses were cut up to make this single dress. Clothing from the 1930s is incredibly rare nowadays, and we should be preserving what is left rather than destroying our fashion history.

“I can’t agree that this is in any way ethical – it would have been much more appropriate and eco friendly to restore one dress than to cannibalise eleven. Those of us who are passionate about vintage clothing and fashion history are appalled by this choice.”

Multiple critiques like that one could be found on both Ecorazzi and over on the Mother Nature Network. In the interest of knowing more about the 11 dresses that were used to create Firth’s Oscar gown, I contacted the UK store they were sourced from, 360 Degrees Vintage, for additional details.

“Although the dresses Gary picked were beautiful they were far from perfect,” said Lynn Burgess. “There was some damage to the netting and the top part of the dress which he removed. The other dresses had some signs of wear and staining which he managed to cut out and reconstruct to make Livia’s stunning dress.”

“The dresses were there just hoping some one would come and bring them to life again, and Gary Harvey managed to do this,” she said, adding that it was a thrill to know that their vintage gown were going to be walking the red carpet.

What do you think? Was Livia’s gown a great example of upcyling? Or should designers draw the line on only using discarded pieces with no historic value?

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