Upcycling is the buzzword du jour among young designers showing at Paris Fashion Week, but for Martin Grant, the approach is nothing new. When he first arrived in Paris in the Nineties, he would source fabrics from flea markets and secondhand stores. “We used to go to Guerrisol and we’d buy velvet jackets and then we’d rework them,” he recalled.
Now an established presence in Paris, with clients ranging from Meghan Markle to Lady Gaga, Grant is once again embracing a sustainable approach, only in keeping with the luxury positioning of his brand. For his fall collection, he decided not to buy any fabrics, instead using what he had in stock.
“I’m very consciously trying to scale down the use of fabrics,” he said. “It’s quite a different way of working than usual, and I have to say it feels fantastic knowing that there is not going to be any waste from it.”
Having reissued archival styles for his pre-fall line, this time Grant went for a remix approach, pairing black-and-white patterned fabrics with different styles from previous collections. A classic peacoat came in a fuzzy wool and mohair check, while a bubble-sleeve dress was made from a sturdy wool in a houndstooth check.
Pointing to an A-line black ottoman skirt, the designer noted the fabric no longer exists, as specialized couture suppliers gradually go out of business. Once his fabric supplies dry up, he plans to notify buyers and switch to a different material.
The virtuous approach is bound to resonate with fans of his timeless designs. “It’s really sort of embracing that and saying those things are great pieces that are still relevant,” Grant explained.