Restoration revolution: how make do and mend turned into a fashion statement

As interest grows with TV shows, books and now a major a new exhibition in London, the idea of repairing beloved items is about more than cash

Early in 2020 Claire Catterall, senior curator at London’s Somerset House, began exploring the potential of an exhibition about mending. Inspired by the proliferation of social media hashtags #visiblemending and #mendingmatters, and pop-up repair cafes, she observed a new generation of thrifty fashionistas wanting to preserve clothing using traditional methods and contemporary creativity.

“There was growing interest in the craft of repair,” recalls Catterall. “Artists such as Celia Pym and Bridget Harvey spearheaded an artistic approach to the process, and mending felt relevant to all the conversations about sustainability.”

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