The Met Gala, JUUL Pods and TikTok – Oh My!

WRITTEN BY Victoria G. L. Brunton

May 31, 2022

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The Met Gala, JUUL Pods and TikTok – Oh My!

Victoria G. L. Brunton

31 May, 2022

Now I have your attention, sustainable fashion is truly having its moment. While of course we hope and believe this ‘moment’ will go on forever, and eventually become the norm, it’s fun and inspiring to revel in the excitement – at least that’s how I see it. 

The source of this inspiration comes from the younger generations. People like Anna Molinari, for example, are appropriating sustainable fashion for the runway, the red carpet and everywhere in between. The young designer went viral on TikTok over the last couple of years due to her upcycled creations – among them, a JUUL pod corset and a toothpick necklace. 

We haven’t reached (my personal favourite) the most famous feat of the designer’s yet; her newspaper dress. Constructed entirely from papers collected from 2020 to 2021, the gown is bursting with meaning; from it’s turtleneck upper, nodding to the beloved masks of COVID-19, to it’s boned bodice that gives way to tiers made up of pages containing dramatic stories published throughout an incredibly news-heavy year. Coincidentally, the piece fit perfectly within the MET Gala’s America: A Lexicon of Fashion theme. Despite a very generous post offering the gown to any attendee that may have found themselves in a last-minute outfit crisis, there were no takers – and after scrutinising the outfits that did turn up, the loss was entirely the attendees. My bet is on a waitlist to wear Molinari’s designs cropping up in years to come.

Speaking of the creators work, her brand Instinct (@instinct.brand) saw it’s debut at 2022’s New York Fashion Week. Her pieces shared the runway with works by other emerging designers, acting as the token sustainable brand – which turned out to, in fact, steal the show. No cheese, I mean that literally; after posting about her upcoming place in the show to her army of 150,000 followers, the entire event sold out. She also crafted a yellow and blue vest, out of up-cycled materials of course, in aid of Ukrainian refugees. Shaped to a boxy-fitting, cropped silhouette the sleeveless jacket is embellished with a glimmering, broken heart on the front alongside shiny, capitalised text spelling out ‘Unfuck The World’ on the back. The designer held a raffle in which contestants donated as little as one dollar to the cause, in the hopes of securing her piece, and all proceeds were donated to registered non-profits / NGO’s USA for UNHCR and the UN Refugee Agency. In the end, a grand total of $579 dollars was raised and one lucky winner was given their prize – whether they donated $1 or $100, the return on their investment is sure to be exponential. 

With innovators like Anna Molinari making the Sustainable Fashion space so exhilarating and motivational, it’s hard to feel anything but hopeful and elevated for both our industry’s future, as well as our planet’s. I truly can’t wait to see what’s to come from Molinari and her brainchild, Instinct.



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