I am currently settling into life here in Sofia, Bulgaria for the summer. Sweet sunshine, organic foods, and crisp mountain views abound. The family made an excursion to the peaks outside of Sofia yesterday, and in less than half an hour we were perched high above the city, soaking up pristine forests carpeted with moss and floral ground cover. The late afternoon light streaming through the birch trees was exquisite, and the threaded bird songs rivaled the textured polyphony of the famed Bulgarian Voices.
I will be hunting for interesting examples of traditional folk costumes, lacework, and embroidery all summer. Nature hikes, organic Bulgarian rose oil, and savory local meals are sure to create a potpourri of raw beauty that will be transformative. True fashion takes many shapes and forms, and sustainable style obviously has deep roots in some pretty spectacular far off lands.
You are so right. One could only be totally smitten ("obsessed") with Suno New York by Max Osterweis. This must be such inspiration for your future collections and fashion-forward thinking.
* With the help of highly skilled sample and patternmakers in New York City’s garment district and talented artisans in small Kenyan workshops, you get one-of-a-kind, authentic pieces that incorporate vintage Kenyan kengas with contemporary silhouettes. The outcome being barely-there minis, leg-baring jumpers, sleeveless dresses, off-the-shoulder blouses, and lightweight, fitted blazers, plentiful in color and print, akin to wearable art.
Crafted in both sterling silver and 14k gold, as well as a larger sun pendant crafted in sterling silver ~ all styles drop approximately 12" (center back of neck to chest ~ not including pendant). Individually signed and handmade in Brooklyn.
*For every bag sold, one dollar is donated to a non-profit organization of your choice. Vote for the cause that is most important to you: International Aid, Animal Welfare, Women's issues, or the Environment. Your vote dictates the final donations.
*Samsara or saṃsāra (Sanskrit: संसार) is the cycle of reincarnation or rebirth in Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism and other related religions.
*Angled Knottedrush Black Necklace(vintage black enamel chain patterns the chest. A hand-made 10kt gold knot worn to the side connects the interlocking chains to a pair of gold-filled chains - 24 inches)
Bario-Neal jewelry is handcrafted in Philadelphia with reclaimed precious metals; ethically-sourced stones; and low-impact, environmentally conscious practices. 1% of all Bario-Neal profits is donated to the Association for Responsible Mining.
The May issue of Eco Fashion World's online magazine, BODY, is not to be missed with its eco-fashion-forward (progressive) views on body image and dis/able/bodied design collections featuring 'classics with a twist'. The his and hers yoga-friendly pieces are excellently curated as well. It's corporeal style totally redefined.
Kate Spade/Bolivian craftsman sustainable fiber handbags
Ezri Tarazi used raw bamboo stalks furnishings/China's Yunnan Province
* . . . with these amazing, sustainably-crafted designs from Design for a Living World, which officially opened at the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum last night. Talk about enchanting. I could barely drift off to sleep last night, as the future looks so bright and promising. This movie just kept running through my head.
Isaac Mizrahi's custom-made, handsewn recycled salmon leather skin paillettes on silk dress (images courtesy of the Cooper Hewitt)
detail of Alaskan and Canadian salmon (discards leather) paillettes
Isaac Mizrahi fitting model in his sustainable couture for Design for a Living World
Isaac Mizrahi is one of several designers featured in Design for a Living World, which opens at the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum on Thursday, May 14. "Ten leading designers have been commissioned to develop new uses for sustainably grown and harvested materials in order to tell a unique story about the life-cycle of materials and the power of conservation and design. The featured designers and places include Yves Behar/Costa Rica; Stephen Burks/Australia; Hella Jongerius/Mexico; Maya Lin/Maine; Christien Meindertsma/Idaho; Isaac Mizrahi/Alaska; Abbott Miller/Bolivia; Ted Muehling/Micronesia; Kate Spade/Bolivia; and Ezri Tarazi/China."
So very exciting that my recycled textile fiber forms are featured in an international exhibit that opens to the public today in Fiskars, Finland. Although I was not in attendance for the gala opening and press preview of 'It Is Beautiful Here' last night, I do intend to travel to Fiskars with my family this summer to soak in and document the exhibit in person.
Fiskars is an amazing historic village that has a lasting tradition of supporting artisans and craftspersons. I want to extend a special thank you to the curators and organizers of this exhibition, as they have been incredibly lovely to work with. Next up, an exhibition on 'knitting, knotting, and netting' at the Hunterdon Museum of Art this October. What a great year for fiber exploration and travel thus far.
Interior views of Fiskar's Onoma Galleries and The Granary exhibition space
I have been a big fan of Allison McGowan at TEICH for some time now, so I was thrilled to learn that she has recently been nominated for an Independent Handbag Designer Award in the category of "Best Green Handbag". Her TEICH Rockaway Tote has been selected as an outstanding example of sustainable accessory design, and though the award is judged by a panel of industry movers and shakers, you can also help Allison win an "Audience Fan Favorite" award by voting here. Scroll down and you will see the Rockaway Tote under "Best Green Handbag".
Congratulations, Allison, and thanks for being such a fabulous designer-to-watch on the NYC green fashion scene.
Michele Brody's 'River Grass Skirts' installation at the World Financial Center Winter Garden in lower Manhattan
"Site-specific artist Michele Brody has constructed five 'grass-sprouting' skirts for display in the World Financial Winter Garden in NYC. Each living, lace garment hangs individually off armatures made from recycled copper piping that will support the growth of Native Purple Love Grass, indigenous to the Hudson River waterfront. By interweaving manmade, natural and living materials Brody attempts to create an experience where viewers develop a new sense of awareness of the tenuous relationship between themselves, nature and the urban environment.
On Saturday, May 9, the skirts will be worn and featured at the Hudson River Pageant: Art & Ecology Project whose mission is to raise awareness for the restoration of the Hudson River and address climate change in New York City."
Yes, you read right, a Permacouture Institute exists, and it is what you might hope for as a dye-friendly, eco fashionista and avid gardener. Permacouture's projects are incredibly inspiring and even include a seed saving program for fibers and dyes essential to maintaining biodiversity in the organic realm. Read more about the founders' sustainability mission here. Not to be confused with permaculture, but certainly an offshoot of ecological a(wear)ness.