Carrie Parry’s debut collection, “Mrs Montague,” tells a story about sustaining style through detachment. The Los Angeles designer’s primary inspiration was one Mrs. Orlando Montague, a fed-up 1830s housewife who cut her husband’s dirty shirt collar off to wash—before reattaching it. Taking a page from Mrs. M’s playbook, Parry designed her pieces for interchangeability and customization, complete with bows, cuffs, and collars that can be added or subtracted at will. By combining eco-friendly textiles (organic cotton, cupro, recycled polyester jersey, Tencel) with cues from the 1939 film The Women, Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama, and the creative chaos of circus life, Parry has produced a range of dresses and separates that is both manic and controlled, business and pleasure.
Parry, who graduated from Central Saint Martins at the University of the Arts in London, wants to create timeless garments that are not only built to last but also actively engage with their wearers. Through her ingenious detachable elements, Parry hopes to increase her garments’ life spans, as well as make frequent washing unnecessary.
Made in New York City, Parry’s clothes are as much about sustainability as they are about social responsibility.
Made in New York City and digitally printed with AZO-free dyes, Parry’s clothes are as much about sustainability as they are about social responsibility. “I feel it is important to help people buy more sustainably and to educate both consumers and the industry on what they can do to lessen the environmental and social impact of the fashion industry,” she tells Ecouterre. A cooperative of women artisans in India, for instance, hand-spins and -weaves the wool in her collection, allowing them to receive regular wages and transform the socioeconomic dynamics of their community.
Still, Parry is not anything if not realistic. “It is not possible to make a 100 percent sustainable fashion line,” she says, “but it is possible to be transparent and accountable for what one is doing and to address what still needs improvement.”