Radical arts and crafts and upcycling, two trending topics in fashion right now, have been tenets of Los Angeles designer Greg Lauren’s business since he started a decade ago as the relaxed West Coast yang to his uncle Ralph Lauren’s preppy East Coast yin.
For fall, he continued to innovate in the sustainability arena, incorporating a new technique using scraps — even smaller scraps than he’s used before — stitched together like tiny puzzle pieces using an Automated Long Arm Quilting Machine, into his lineup of military-inspired men’s and women’s flight suits, parkas, chore jackets, officer coats, utility cargo pants and his trademark reimagined dress shirts-cum-kimono “GL Studio shirts.”
Also new? A cool three-in-one transformer parka that furthers his goal toward zero waste. It can be broken down into multiple pieces, including a short flight jacket, shorts, a crossbody messenger bag and utility bag. (For really packing light!)
Stitch work shawl collar plaid shirts (grunge, elevated), a hybrid camel wool and scrap-work overcoat (a tonal new take on a classic), and a cross-front white linen tunic with attached ivory silk faille vest (Lauren’s relaxed riff on tuxedo dressing, worn over cargos) were also notable.
To source materials he relies on L.A.’s renowned vintage and overstock fabric stores, which have been key to so much emerging design talent, from Rick Owens to Reese Cooper. To source his climate-beneficial Lani’s Lana wool grown in California, he worked with Fibershed.
“I believe we have to embrace upcycling, pre-loved and technical changes,” the designer said. “I was obsessed with creating more function with our artisanal pieces.”
Sometimes, particularly in the less tailored pieces and voluminous cargo pants, his use-it-up handwork can read more hippie than high-end luxury. Still, Lauren’s values-led proposition is growing more relevant by the day.