Designer Giles Deacon’s top tips for making your clothes look new for longer

Warning, this might lead to the death of your shopping habit

Giles Deacon

by Lucy Morris |
Published on

You know the drill. You see a new top, you fall in love with it and you save up your hard earned cash to buy it. But, now it is home and hanging in your wardrobe, is there any way of ensuring it stays looking as good as new?

We’ve all dumped a well-loved item in the washing machine only to find it several hours later looking like a withered version of what it once was. British designer Giles Deacon has teamed up with Ariel to see if it is possible to send a piece through a spin cycle – not once or twice, but three times - without it being destroyed. For this new campaign, Redefine Clean, the designer who has dressed the likes of Cate Blanchett and Scarlett Johansson was challenged to create a collection that would look shop-fresh after being stained and washed three times over.

Giles Deacon, Ariel
Giles Deacon's jazzy collection for Ariel (Credit: Ariel) ©Ariel

The five-piece capsule collection was presented to unassuming shoppers at a pop-up store as brand new even though it was pre-stained with familiar foes, like casserole gravy, red wine and jam. None of the customers had even the slightest idea that the range of tops, dresses and leggings were anything but unworn, let alone pre-laundered with Ariel 3 in 1 PODS.

"The aim of the project was to make clothes last longer,’ said Giles, ‘I thought it would be a really interesting social experiment to challenge our perceptions of what clean really is.

Giles Deacon
Giles Deacon with his girlfriend, Game of Thrones actress Gwendoline Christie(Credit: Getty) ©Getty

"Everybody has felt that first wash anxiety, and I think it is great to prove that when you machine wash clothes with the right detergents, they can remain like new. And, as a designer that is what you want, you want your pieces to remain as you designed them for as long as possible."

We usually turn our noses up at synthetic fabrics, but Giles swears by them. Finding one that didn’t buckle when washed, that wouldn’t shrink in hot water or loose its shape was a lynchpin of this collection. Giles said he found a new, ‘intelligent fabric that can handle stains and has fibers that are invisible to the human eye that make the fabric stronger.’

Making the most out of your purchase goes beyond how you care for it or the science hidden in its fabric; how you store it when you’re not wearing it helps keep it looking store-fresh. Giles says, ‘hanging clothes where possible is best. Give them some air and space between them if you can. Everyone on the planet is short of space and are forced to cram and squash everything up and a lot of the time that can flatten clothes. I hang pretty much everything and in plastic bags if I can as it protects them from the sunlight and damp and moths.’

Giles Deacon
Giles with his celeb pal Millie Mackintosh (Credit: Getty) ©Getty

When asked about jeans he debunked the myth. ‘I really think you should be washing jeans, it is something that I always do every three weeks.’

After years of showing on-schedule at London Fashion Week it’s unsurprising that he has some brilliant last minute tips for fixing clothes. ‘Backstage at shows we often use hand steamers as putting a hot iron on the fabric is a quick way to damage things,’ he laughed adding, ‘for last minute stains in a show context we put make-up over it – we just chose a different colour.’

Giles Deacon
Giles Deacon has been a London Fashion Week regular for years (Credit: Getty) ©Getty

Fancy winning a new designer dress from Giles Deacon’s Redefine Clean collection? We have three pieces to give away, simply enter our completion below. Best of luck!


Transeasonal Dressing: Our Top 7 Fail-safe Buys For Spring

Ripped jeans: How to make ripped jeans at home

Holly Willoughby: All her clothes from This Morning and where to get it cheaper on the high street

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us