Poet and artist Eleanor Flowers on the ReLi outfits that made her first year in ReLi
Vivienne Westwood once said that “you have a more interesting life if you wear impressive clothes.”
Fashion is my first love and I’ve been dressing up ever since I can remember. Dressing up does make life interesting, it is a magical art form that can elevate your mood and lift you up when you’re feeling down: that’s why we call it dressing UP.
I adore beautiful clothes, but I cherish the environment more. As a performing poet, an artist and a businesswoman who cares about Earth, I need access to an impressive wardrobe that won’t contribute to the textile waste and climate crisis. Here are the ReLi Outfits I rented in my first year as a ReLi girl, and the stories behind each look.
Look #1: ReLi to the Rescue
Back in October 2022, I was invited to give a keynote in Oslo. I needed a suit ASAP, and knew ReLi were moving into their Oslo headquarters that week, so I contacted Lisa, co-founder of ReLi, to ask if they had any suits I could rent. I was warmly welcomed into the ReLi showroom a whole week before they opened, while they were still painting the store! Despite being busy, they took the time to find me this perfect CMEO COLLECTIVE double-breasted suit in watermelon.
ReLi to the Rescue. Photo courtesy of Aurora Torres Heyerdahl
Look #2: a dress fit for a poet
In February I hosted my debut poetry show and art exhibition ‘The Dress and Other Love Stories’ in Oslo. For the show I selected a beautiful pink Nadine Merabi dress. ReLi were kind enough to sponsor the show and bring along some of their beautiful collection so that guests could browse through and see for themselves that renting is a luxurious and personalised experience.
A Nadine Merabi dress fit for a poet. Photo courtesy of Tanya Styrvol.
Look #3: the gala gown
This has to be my favourite ReLi moment so far. I had the honour of performing at this year’s The Annual. The Annual is an amazing gala by Diversify that celebrates diversity in the Nordics. There were several strong contenders for The Dress for this performance, but in the end I chose this backless sequin green Tania Olsen gown. I styled it with a pair of second-hand black mesh gloves. This is the kind of gown that must be worn with gloves! As I like to say: the glove is the most underrated fashion accessory of the 21st century 😉.
Performing in Tania Olsen. Photo courtesy of Maciej Pulit
It’s a mindset shift to rent instead of buy. I plan my outfits much further in advance now, and I love to make the pilgrimage to the ReLi showroom to work with their team to curate the look I am after. You often find the ReLi team sewing or steaming a dress in the front room – and this display of care for the clothes inspires me to take better care of what I’ve already got in my wardrobe too.
It makes me feel good to know that the ReLi pieces I wear and love are so well taken care of by the ReLi team. I like that those pieces then go on to make another ReLi lover feel a million dollars. Sometimes I spot someone in Oslo wearing a dress that I’ve seen hanging in the ReLi store or on ReLi’s Instagram, and it lights me up to see how differently we all style our rentals.
It’s never just the dress, but the smile on the person wearing it that makes a look stand out.
Thank you ReLi for making my first year of rental so special!