Repurposing selvedge: unexpected luxury materials with traditionally crafted accessories

Commonwealth Fashion Council

Explore the exchange story of designer drennaLUNA from Jamaica and artisan MayaBags from Belize and find out how they created their look for The Commonwealth Fashion Exchange, 2018. 

The Exchange: Jamaica x Belize
For The Commonwealth Fashion Exchange 2018, designer drennaLUNA exchanged with artisans MayaBags to create a look that was inspired by tradition and craftsmanship in both countries. The look was unveiled at Buckingham Palace on February 19, 2018, and later moved to the Australian High Commission, London, where it was open to the public in the run up to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Summit, April 2018.
Jamaica: Designer drennaLUNA
The creative brain behind drennaLUNA belongs to Arlene L. Martin, a native Jamaican whose shows are the most eagerly awaited at Caribbean Fashion Week. Named after her grandmother, drennaLUNA is a line of day, evening and swimwear. Vibrant colours, fluid draping and elegant silhouettes are trademark to the drennaLUNA brand. 
Belize: Artisans MayaBags
MayaBags is a handmade, design-driven accessories collection, inspired by nature and crafted with the artisanal skills and spirit of the Maya. The driving motivation behind the business was a desire to save and enhance the quickly vanishing Maya handwork skills, and in doing so empower Maya women as income producers in their households, to encourage them to send their girls to high school along with their boys, to preserve their traditional hand skills, and to build a business—not just a charity. The bag featured in this look was handwoven by Maria Ack, and the basketry coiling was done by Faustina Choc.
The story behind the look
drennaLUNA created a skirt made of individually cut flowers and a jacket and bodice from the selvedge offcuts of the fabric used for the flowers. The look was complete with a hand-made bag from MayaBags in Belize.

The Skirt

The skirt portion of this dress is made of individually cut flowers featuring six petals, folded together in three stages and attached to the core fabric of the garment.

The Jacket

Fabric for the jacket and bodice was created from the selvedge offcuts of the fabric that was used for the flowers, by sewing rows of selvedge together for a subtly manipulated textile.

The Bag

The look was completed with a hand-made bag from MayaBags, an artisanal company in Belize working to preserve and enhance traditional Maya handwork skills.


The “uh tok” or in English “Moon Spark” basket purse is made from a coiled and stitched basket frame woven of plant fiber (Jippi Jappa), covered with a Maya hand-woven fabric, lined with Dupion silk, and fastened with a coconut button and macramé loop closure.

Final look on display at Buckingham Palace, 19 February 2018

Final look on display at the Australian High Commission, London, 22 February 2018

Credits: Story

This content has been specifically curated for the Google Arts & Culture platform on behalf of the Commonwealth Fashion Exchange exhibition that launched on the 19th of February at Buckingham Palace in partnership with Swarovski, The Woolmark Company and MATCHESFASHION.COM.

The project, created and managed by Eco-Age, with the support of The Commonwealth Fashion Council and The British Fashion Council.

More information about the images is available by clicking on them.
Read more about the Commonwealth Fashion Exchange at

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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