Inside Yvonne and Mitchel's New Wave of Upcycled Clothing
Birds sing in conversation as insects fly in loose circles and buzz overhead.
The sounds of nature are exemplified in Arrow Rock, MO: A historic landmark that's nestled in between the Missouri River and miles of farmland, population 37.
People from all over the country travel to experience its rich history. Luckily, the hometown of Yvonne and Mitchel's co-founder and designer, Jared Armstrong, is only short drive away.
The state park located at the heart of the village serves as a serene getaway for him and his partner Caylin Willis, co-founder and CEO of Yvonne and Mitchel. A seed of inspiration was planted there during the couple's first visit just shy of a year ago.
Today it blossomed.
Feels Like Home
Yvonne and Mitchel is an upcycled fashion brand that creates one-of-one garments entirely out of secondhand fabrics and materials. Since the beginning, the brand has released their upcycled clothing in curated collections that have their own look and feel, called "waves."
From the outfits to the shoot location, Jared and Caylin take inspiration from their daily lives to create fashion stories that Caylin refers to as "physical fabrications of the soul."
The setting for this wave's narrative, Arrow Rock State Park, is a natural hidden treasure that embodies the couple's idea of home: peace, serenity, and comfort.
"When I come home from the city, this is a place where I like to some spend time," Jared confesses as he overlooks the park's mossy terrain. In the distance, a creek cuts through the plush grass and flows under a picturesque cobblestone bridge.
Yvonne and Mitchel's new wave of upcycled clothing is a collection of one-of-a-kind pieces that were handmade by Jared out of vintage quilts and crochet doilies him and Caylin sourced from secondhand shops. The materials used to create each upcycled garment are reminiscent of their time spent at home in the scenic countryside of Missouri.
"I think the story being told in this collection is a story of being outside and playing outside. I told Caylin last night that I kind of want this collection to be called Feels Like Home. All of the pieces in this collection feel like they’re made out of things I could find back at my mother’s house or my grandma’s house."
“All of the pieces in this collection feel like they’re made out of things I could find back at my mother’s house or my grandma’s house.”
Feels Like Home is a whimsical era of Yvonne and Mitchel that plays with a mix of antique floral patterns and crochet fabrics. In addition to its hometown influences, the artistry of this wave is inspired by classic prairie-style fashion and the re-emergence of "cottagecore."
This collection is meant to provoke a feeling of future nostalgia: The setting takes you back to a historic time while simultaneously springing you forward to a mythical world of contemporary shapes and silhouettes.
"I want the clothes to feel how the background of the photos feel," Jared explains. "So, just this feeling of being here in this creek bed, and how beautiful and peaceful and serene it is. I want people to feel that while wearing these clothes."
"... this feeling of being here in this creek bed, and how beautiful and peaceful and serene it is. I want people to feel that while wearing these clothes."
"This place is special," he continues. "I want people to feel special in this clothing."