365 Days of Stylish DIY, Down To The Shoes: Makeshift Project (Photos)

natalie purschwitz makeshift project photo
Photos: Natalie Purschwitz, Makeshift Project

There's no shortage of people taking up year-long DIY eco-fashion challenges out there (365 days of the same little black dress? Check. 365 days of upcycled dresses under a buck? Check).

But with Vancouver designer Natalie Purschwitz's Makeshift Project, the DIY-365 ante was upped: for an entire year, she wore only items she made herself -- including shoes, underwear, bras, tights, pants, coats, sunglasses and swimwear -- all of which ended up looking more stylish than your usual DIY fare, down to an awesome pair of green handmade shoes.

natalie purschwitz makeshift project photo

Though they look great, Purschwitz admits they were not that comfortable, since she lacked the knowledge and time to make a really comfortable pair. Still, she managed to make clogs, boots, flip-flops, sandals and sneakers.

Many of Purschwitz's pieces have an interesting asymmetry that's a cut above usual DIY fashion projects, even with her lack of use of accessories, including jewelry. Check out some of her dashing coats and dresses and a pair of pretty funky pants:

natalie purschwitz makeshift project photo

natalie purschwitz makeshift project photo

But the point wasn't necessarily to do an experiment in stylish sustainability she says, rather, Purschwitz was more interested in experimenting with her personal limits and how clothing production affects our lives.

natalie purschwitz makeshift project photo

natalie purschwitz makeshift project photo

So according to the Vancouver Sun, Purschwitz's surprising "do-what-you-can" vs. "do-it-all-yourself" conclusion after a "year of endless sewing" that ended this September was that

Humans specialize for a reason.

..."I think we all do have the basic skills. We can figure stuff out if we have to. But I don't need to figure out how to make a really technical running shoe because somebody else is already really good at it and has done all the research and really honed it. So for me to go back and start from scratch seems like a waste of time and effort and energy."

There's more of Natalie's year of vestiary experiments on her blog Makeshift Project, and her fashion line at Hunt and Gather.

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