British-American fashion designer Harris Reed presented his first physical salon-style show on the closing day of London Fashion Week, taking on perceptions of masculinity and femininity with his evocative and artistic approach to fashion.
Reed, a twenty-five-year-old Central Saint Martins graduate, has catapulted to fashion fame with his gender-fluid designs, thanks in some part to dressing pop star Harry Styles in a tailored suit with exaggerated shoulders attached to a hoop-skirt draped in tulle, a suit-dress if you like.
Since graduating in 2020, Reed has showcased his debut gender-neutral collection off-schedule at London Fashion Week in February, become part of Matchesfashion Innovators Programme, made looks for Style’s world tour, dressed pop-stars Solange and Selena Gomez, and was named as The Standard hotel’s first official designer-in-residence in London.
Actually since becoming a ‘pandemic graduate’, Reed hasn’t stopped, he also just launched his first jewellery collection with Missoma celebrating “opulence and glamour” featuring rings, pendants, bracelets and earrings, and he took on the Met Gala and won. He designed a show-stopping gold gown worn by Iran featuring a jacquard bustier, flared trousers and a crinoline skeleton with layers of feathers covered with gold-leaf, as well as an extravagant feathered headdress. Harris also won GQ’s Breakthrough Designer of the Year award earlier this month.
London-based Reed is driving conversations around gender and personal identity with his “romanticism gone nonbinary” approach to design, think tulle, puffed sleeves and lace, and the fashion world is excited to have a new emerging designer on the block.
Harris Reed ‘Found’ September 2021 demi-couture collection
Reed’s debut salon show ‘Found’ took place in the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion and placed sustainability at the heart of the collection, as the majority of the pieces were upcycled from garments and fabrics found in Oxfam.
The demi-couture collection features 10 black and white looks taking on the heteronormativity that surrounds the wedding day ideology, from a tiered wedding dress spliced with groomsmen tailoring to bridal lace steered by a reworking of a 19th Century waistcoat.
The social media sensation, who has more than 430,000 followers on Instagram, breathed new life into secondhand bridalwear sourced from Oxfam, as part of his efforts to grow a responsible brand.
He meticulously reconstructed the garments into his fluid creations, repurposing lace veils into halo headpieces and turning a tuxedo jacket into a dress with a veil draped from the body styled over the designer’s now-signature high-waisted flares.
This is a collection that makes you rethink the wedding day standard, with beautiful and over-the-top hybrid gowns and tuxedos with ruffles down one side, stylish striped suits with flared trousers, and lace refashioned into a top.
Reed, shared in the show notes: “Working with these older pieces has offered me a fresh insight into construction. While breathing new life into these looks, I’ve been able to hone my techniques and learn from the original state of the garment.”
Harris Reed’s demi-couture collection made of upcycled bridal pieces sourced from Oxfam
A look from the ‘Found’ collection will be displayed in the Selfridges x Oxfam space, curated by stylist Bay Garnett and will be available to purchase. All proceeds will go to Oxfam as part of the Second Hand September campaign to raise awareness about the harmful effects of fast fashion.
Lorna Fallon, retail director at Oxfam, said: “Oxfam is thrilled to be working with Harris Reed, who shows it’s possible to transform a second-hand wedding dress into haute couture gracing the runway.
“Upcycling is a brilliant way to breathe new life into clothes and tailor what you find in a charity shop to your tastes. This way we can help protect our planet by giving clothes a longer life, while raising money to help people around the world beat poverty.”