Fashion designer Tiffe Fermaint always brings a certain edgy glamour to her work, whether it's a sartorially savvy lush white coat or a pop-star-ready, space-age leotard. Her latest collection, dubbed Reincarnation, is no exception.
Fermaint estimates that the line of remixed and reimagined pieces could have about 200 one-of-a-kind pieces once she finishes (when we corresponded she had completed about 100). She will release the expansive collection on Sunday, September 2, at Buffalo Exchange in Tempe.
To create the line, Fermaint shopped mainly at Goodwill on 50-percent-off days for pieces with familiar labels like Levi's and Calvin Klein. "I found an amazing circa '92 Bob Mackie kimono top," she says. "Items like those have a special place in the collection after transformation."
She takes those second-hand finds and modifies them to fit her aesthetic by adding studs, spikes, jewels, and glitter, altering hemlines, removing sleeves, lengthening skirts, cropping pants, and the list of changes goes on.
"Everything was done by myself with some assistance from my boyfriend. He helped me with the tough leather work, because he's tough!"
She says the piece that came the longest way in terms of changes is the red metallic high-low blouse (pictured at left). "Before transformation, it was a little weird and a bit frumpy. By taking it in and altering the hemline, it became sexy and unexpected."
Based on the looks seen so far, including leather skirts, high-waist shorts, and beaded tops, themes of sexy and unexpected are consistent throughout Reincarnation
"I wanted to create a concept that is more accessible and reach a much wider market," she says of the up-cycled, lively line, which includes menswear and maintains Buffalo-friendly price points (shoes start at $35, shorts at $18, and tops at $25).
"With this collection, I hope that people feel not only smart and socially responsible but very chic and edgy."
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Post-Reincarnation, Fermaint's plans include showing a new '80s-inspired collection at the Alternative Fashion Society's next show, Medusa's Revenge, where her band Being Cool is Lonely will make its live debut.
Until then, the designer will continue breathing new life into old fashions for Reincarnation.
Get ready for some stiff shopping competition when Fermaint launches her Reincarnation collection at Buffalo on Sunday, September 2, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Blaque Panther Disco will DJ the free event.