Why Wear Upcycled Couture Fashion?

Here I’m wearing Royal Peasantry‘s Athena dress in black. Cato Pinkney Photograpy Clothing: Royal Peasantry

When it comes to creating personal style, what’s more exciting than pulling from upcycled options? In this blog i will tell you why i wear upcycled clothing and also a cool place to purchase it. Upcycled couture fashion is a great way to add unique pieces to your wardrobe that will make your outfits stand out from the rest!

The definition for Upcycled: (of discarded objects or material) reused in such a way as to create a product of higher quality or value than the original. The definition for Couture: the design and manufacture of fashionable clothes to a client’s specific requirements and measurements. Upcycled couture fashion means your getting a one of a kind item.

When you were a kid, did you ever individualize your old jeans by cutting them up and adding a design? Did you ever sew a piece of jewelry or other material onto an old jacket to yield something that couldn’t be found anywhere else? Our generation did stuff like this when we were in junior/high school. Royal Peasantry takes this idea to a level of expertise, precision, and magical creation.

1) Decrease wastefulness

Taking something old and making it new again decreases waste in the world and provides an outlet for creative expression.

It was love at first sight of Royal Peasantry. Everything is hand crafted and most can be adjusted to fit the individual.

RP is transforming and dying unused leather. They can cut up old garments, sew them together with other materials that would be otherwise forgotten to create wonderful, wearable pieces of art(this is what makes RP fashion upcycled)! Think of how cool that is versus mass production factory made clothing items!

Would you consider wearing something a little less conventional to give yourself a new look? Apache and I prefer clothing items that look like art so we can keep reinventing our style for many years to come!

We found a plethora of these creative designs for Men and Women in Royal Peasantry. If you want to try something new, you can definitely reinvent your look with upcycled couture fashion here!

Stick with me now, you won’t be disappointed ….

Can you say FIRE! RP upcycled leather jacket! I was completely blown away with the creativity of this jacket.

Apache and I strolled down Lexington ave in Downtown Asheville. We glanced to the right and our eyes immediately transfixed on the enchanting garments displayed inside the RP window display. Eyes wide open in the world of Royal Peasantry we found so many well crafted items.

Each garment made with sharp, artful impression and stand out quality.  Apache and I were like two kids in a candy store! You can’t find this stuff in a mall.

Mens RP Leather Vest- Stylin!

This boutique is as visually intriguing as an art gallery. The tribal smell of leather kept us entranced. There were so many tactile delights, some of which were wispy feathers paired against flapping fringe in juxtaposition with cool, hard iron and other interesting textures.

Amanda Swafford, RP House Stylist approached and immediately welcomed us. She shared about the incredible foundation on which RP has grown.

Daniella Miller, founder, owner and Lead Designer opens her doors to the public to share her and her team’s collections that decrease wastefulness. RP aims to give the wearer a sense of pride in the unique creations donned. 

Amanda selected items for us to showcase in our content. Ultimately this encounter lead us to our next adventure at RP Charlotte!

Honestly, i felt so divine in these outfits!

RP also has clothing items for rental!

We met Patti Byrd, Leather Worker and then Manager of RP Charlotte. Patti showed us many of the stunning neck adornments and bags that she created using scrap leather pieces. She talked about the peace she receives and love given during their development. 

Get something cool and dress it up or down! At RP you can find an outfit to make an unforgettable fashion statement. Or just pair an accessory with jeans/leggings for the casual but highly fashionable look- Super versatile. 

2) Find one of a kind fashion

Omg! Patti helped me try on one of their Upcycled Couture Wedding Dresses!  If I were going to purchase a wedding dress this would be it!  This doesn’t look like any ole typical wedding dress. This upcycled couture wedding dress is edgy, vintage, and magical looking! I think i could live in this get up!

But check out my crown thoooo!

Here is one of Royal Peasantry’s stunning upcycled wedding dresses.

The Athena dress is made from bamboo. This bamboo dress is super durable, super soft and stretchy. You can wear it long or pull it up to wear as an over the knee dress. The Athena dress looks really great with belts or bustles in which they carry a myriad of lovely options. Another really dope feature about the Athena is that there are about 5 different ways you can wear it!

Some other really great facts about bamboo fabric is that it’s hypoallergenic. Bamboo fabric is thermo-regulating which means it keeps you cool in the summer and warm in the winter! I also learned it is eco- friendly and wicks moisture away from the skin if you sweat in it. Last but not least, bamboo clothing is UV protective and biodegradable!

RP aims to decrease wastefulness and overproduction while creating one of a kind pieces.  I own a leather purse that I wore until it began to fall apart because I loved it so much. Now I’m excited I can turn that bag over to RP to redesign it and bring it back to life.

Any other Pink Floyd fans out there? Check out the dopeness for men!

Here is the front of that Pink Floyd sweater. It even has a satin lining on the inside which you can see on the cuff of the sweater. It’s the little details that really excite me!


Apache and I both prefer quality over quantity. Most times this costs a little more but it’s a gift to myself that will keep giving.  We found unique, timeless upcycled couture garments and accessories at RP.

One of my fashion weaknesses is fringe and leather! Over a couple of months I purchased a pair of red fringe leather earrings, and gorgeous leather neck adornment. I couldn’t resist the brown and black leather fringe belt as well.

I will probably end up passing these items down to my daughter and maybe even my granddaughter one day.

Loving this RP royal blue velvet blazer on our friend Ben!

RP blue velvet blazer

Yes, guys can get up on this hotness too! RP carry accessory items for men as well.

Casually rocking my new RP leather Neck Adornment!

RP has a boutique in Asheville and also in Charlotte. You can also find their fashion on Etsy or their website.  If you need a little guidance working with these styles, contact them for RP stylist assistance. 

Make sure to check out their cool website for a full list of how they may service you.  RP plays on my desire for imagination and a free spirited way of life.  Thank you Daniella Miller for allowing us to work/play in your beautiful designs and share your mission with our viewers!  

                  Watch Our YouTube Vlog at Royal Peasantry! –HERE

“You can’t use up CREATIVITY. The more you use, the more you have.” – Maya Angelou

This is not an ad.

My First Fall Fashion Blog!

Feeling fabulous in my new Pikolinos boots! (Praise hands)

Excitement galore! This is my very first fashion blog which also happens to be Fall oriented! 

Sometimes style can be a form of self expression for me.  I am also a mood dresser.   My colors and style vary with the day depending on if I’m feeling excited, brave, sexy, tired or solemn- just the truth. 

For my introductory Fall fashion blog I want to share some of my basic ideas about style. 

First, confidence can make or break most looks. Secondly, I think it’s really cool to pair old items with new ones. Tying in older clothing pieces with new ones can turn a trendy looking outfit into a creative looking one!  I begin to see the older piece of clothing/jewelry in a new light.  Shopping vintage, goodwill and going through my older items I find treasures to pair with newer fashion items to help create my personal style.  Lastly, in general I’m very attracted to clothing that looks like a piece of art work.  When I find a piece that looks like art or that i find very unique, it will stay close to my heart, be re-used for many years to come, and I may invest (out of my budget) if I can.

In my opinion, artful pieces are not trendy so they never go out of style.  In addition, Apache has been very helpful over the years sometimes finding amazing items for me that I may overlook initially.  We make a great team!

All that being said, it’s been a long and lovely summer and I am super ready to rock some Fall fashion! One of my favorite Fall colors is ochre, it’s so rich and I think it looks really great on all skin tones! This color does something for picking me up and making me feel beautiful.

Confidence is all in our heads

Looking good on the outside is an inside job.

Some people dress down because that’s how they feel about themselves or they are just not confident enough to wear what they truly like. Others just enjoy dressing down which is cool as well- i do too sometimes. Confidence or lack thereof is what could make a very casual outfit look like more than it is or not. Really it’s not about the outfit but more about what a person feels about themselves that others will see.

Nobody knows what’s going on inside of your head. Although, we can give away clues by our posture, the projection of our voices and also facial expressions. All of this begins with what’s going on inside of our heads. Check your thoughts.

The insecurities that we may choose to believe in is not who we are. The negative self talk does not make those thoughts factual. Negative self talk is just something we decide to take on as a self defeating belief system. Although this will take practice, guess what, we are allowed to change our minds!

A little confidence can go a long way! But, if you can’t find a little, fake it until you make it! Act as if until it becomes true for you!

At times i have to work on changing my mind. I have been guilty of this type of self abuse and therefore spent many years preventing myself from enjoying great experiences and joy. If you start changing the words you tell yourself, you will begin to project out more good feeling and self confidence. Try it out! Walk tall, know you are God’s beautiful, unique creation and tell yourself that your awesome just the way you are. I guarantee that whatever you wear will look a lot better when you embrace self love.

Fall Fashion- Pairing the New with the Old

Shopping for new Fall fashion items

Obviously the color attracted me first but upon laying my hands on the stretchy fabric of this dress I knew we would be one! 

The stretch in this dress is crazy ladies; and as much as my weight has fluctuated since I bought it a year ago from Urban Outfitters, it’s been a great gift.   When I bought this dress in Urban Outfitters I was just happy it stretched nicely across my then wide muscular back and today I am happy it flows loosely around the waistline- no bulge showing here!  As women our bodies tend to go through so many changes so i love an outfit that can adjust accordingly. When I turn this baby around there is this plunging crisscross back- a unique twist, yes it’s one of my fall favorites!

My Pikolinos ankle boots are so dope-says me!

The burnt sienna color opaque tights I got from Target. There is a special place in my heart for Fall colors!  I have quite a few pieces that I can pair these tights up with for a cozy feeling so they made a perfect purchase. 

Trying my burnt sienna color stockings and Pikolonos boots with a different outfit!

I couldn’t say too much about my new favorite footwear brand Pikolinos – LOVE!  They save my feet with ultimate comfort and style.  I can rock these leather boots and walk all day long like I did in Asheville, NC boutique and gallery crawling without a problem.  At 41, I am so over being uncomfortable in an effort to look cute.  The outfit must be functional or i can’t be bothered.

I wish I had learned the lesson in my thirties that being uncomfortable aint cute!  My fellow sisters, we need the full package so we can feel our best.  I love these brown ankle boots because I can wear them with a dress or jeans and Fall thru Spring easily!  Pikolinos produce quality leather shoe craftsmanship. So although these boots are expensive they were worth every dime for me.  Also, I purchased another pair when they were on sale in Delaware for 50% off so keep an eye out for those deals and save. 

Shopping for something old

Now, on to my oldest piece- I found this vintage men’s blazer in a thrift shop probably 8 years ago. It’s a timeless piece that adds class, a pinch of androgyny (which I love) and angle to an otherwise very girly look. I knew I could wear this jacket every year because it was classic as opposed to trendy. I also noticed this gem was 100% pure wool- another investment. This blazer kept me oh so warm in my ochre colored dress – jackpot!!! Make sure to raid the vintage and thrift shops, I didn’t pay more than $8 for this jacket. 

Fall Fashion Colors -adding artful accessories

The earrings I bought at the LEAF festival up in Black Mountain from a Native American craft maker.  They were $35 but I felt they were so beautiful and could dress up most outfits.  They paired well with this outfit because the colors were in the same family as my outfit including yellow and orange.  The color of rust is a mix of red-orange-brown and so I pulled in the same colors with this blazer.  The pop of blue in the earring and in my hair was minimal enough to just add a spark of surprise to the color scheme.  The other statement piece of jewelry worn is my wide gem bracelet which was a gift from my other Mom.  This bracelet speaks for itself as far as color choice.

I would say don’t be afraid to try adding a bold statement piece to your outfit if it makes you feel great. Your outfit should make you feel like the best version of yourself. Create how you always wanted to see yourself. Make sure to have fun experimenting with looks you want to wear but are just doubtful to rock- you may get a pleasant surprise. 

Congratulations to me on my very first Fall fashion blog!!!  This was fun! Please let me know if you enjoy this type of blog and wanna see more!

By Nikia Knapp  

If you enjoyed this blog you may also enjoy…

My Fashion Coming Out Party , What To Wear with Dr. Martens  and  Reinvent Your Look – Fashion Upcycled Couture !