Halters that flip upside-down to become skirts, coats that transform into minidresses, and sarong wraps that sling over the shoulder or around the waist. Yup, that sounds like Eliza Starbuck of Bright Young Things all right. The Brooklyn designer, best known for creating The Uniform Project’s now-iconic little black dress, has partnered with Urban Outfitters on a four-piece capsule collection with more moves than Optimus Prime and Megatron put together.
Comprising a pant, a halter top, a skirt-dress, and coat-dress, the collection stems from Starbucks’ reaction to fast fashion. (There’s a certain irony—or subversion, perhaps—to the line’s chain-store affiliation.) “These are clothes designed to stay in a wardrobe as lifelong styling basics,” Starbuck tells Ecouterre. Her clothes, in other words, are the perfect salve for the girl who has a closet full of clothes but nothing to wear. These are pieces you’re meant to have fun with, to experiment wearing in multiple ways.
These are pieces you’re meant to have fun with, to experiment wearing in multiple ways.
That’s not to say Starbuck skimps on the details, or ethics for that matter. To maintain a dainty footprint, the garments are made in New York City and Pennsylvania from less-thirsty cotton alternatives such as hemp and Tencel. The strategically placed buttons, derived from the tagua nut, are hand-carved and processed where the trees grow.
Above all, Starbuck prizes her designs’ chameleon-like versatility. (“How many ways can you wear it?” is both her guiding principle and the challenge on her clothing tags.) “The key to curbing consumption might just be playing with what you already have,” she adds.