18 November 2008

A Labrinth of E Couture Baby

Australian designer Rachael Cassar is a master of eco couture with this dress from her 2007 Labyrinth Collection. Using recycled and deconstructed materials to create the shady side of chic I am in a trance for sure.

Coco Chanel once said, “Fashion is not something that exists only in dresses. Fashion is in the sky, in the street; fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.” The world of fashion is certainly evolving into this new century in shades of green.

The winner of the Media’s Choice Award for the 2006 LancĂ´me Colour Designs Award, Rachael is a master of color and shape. I personally have a taste for vintage with a twist and could troll for hours in and amongst these designs given new life.

At the end of the journey clothing takes up a large amount of landfill. Factor in the environmental costs of packaging, transport and washing and it’s a wonder that the poor old planet has survived this long. This is why fashion designed using recycled materials comes as a welcome new trend.
“I wanted to create something sustainable that doesn’t compromise design and everything that people love about fashion,” says Rachael. From her chiffon ball gowns to her embellished evening dresses we see a vision that is a darker side of heaven.
I tend to reach for classic clothing in my wardrobe and opt for quality over quantity...perhaps Chanel had it right all along with her little black dress.

There are countless ways to reduce your fashion footprint. Whether or not we choose to sustainable or recycled style the choice is ours and its good to have so many new options available.

16 November 2008

Green Fest

Today, Green Festival is wrapping up its 3-day stop in San Francisco. I was thrilled to attend last weekends event in Washington, DC. At a time when all eyes are on our nation’s capital, and people are filled with hope after electing a new President, what an inspiration it was to see so many out in support of a greener planet.

The festival was a 2-day celebration of community, offering ways to improve our planet and its people.

By making responsible choices in our lives -- fair trade products over sweat shop labor, renewable resources over depleting the planet, organic products over pesticides and recycled materials over landfills -- we can enrich ourselves and nurture mother earth.

What struck me as most pleasing was the diversity of people who stopped to peruse our natural, organic and sustainable clothing. After that first irresistible touch, a common response was, “wow, this is bamboo?” Yet others seemed to seek it out. Telling their friends that once they wear bamboo, they’ll never go without. The organically grown, pesticide-free bamboo is naturally antimicrobial, wicking moisture and inhibiting the growth of bacteria and fungi that cause odor. That’s the functional benefit of it.

The fashionable benefit, is the array of flattering, sexy and modern silhouettes that feel oh so luxurious on our skin. Offered in pique pullovers, cashmere-like cardigans and flowing jersey knit dresses, bamboo appeals to many different tastes. It was such a treat to see the versatile styles modeled by beautiful women from dreadlocked college students to sophisticated retirees.

Details such as pointelle stitching, raglan sleeves and mother of pearl buttons add elegance while each piece easily adapts to an individual style. Regardless of body shape, age, or coloring the modern designs looked fabulous and unique on each fabulous and unique woman who wore them. Oh so chic and socially and environmentally responsible, too.

So having asked myself, “Am I here for the eco- or the couture?”, how nice to know that we can choose to have both. Choose to live large and leave a small footprint.

Green Festival will continue in the spring with stops in Seattle, Denver and Chicago.