Saturday, August 29, 2009

'Is This Recyclable' Opens Tonight

One Circle by Barbara Wisnoski

One Circle (detail) by Barbara Wisnoski

Montreal-based artist Barbara Wisnoski contacted me earlier this week regarding a group show that she is participating in called 'Is The Recyclable?' at Under Minerva Gallery in Brooklyn. I am sorry to miss the opening on Friday, August 28, as well as the opportunity to see Barbara's recycled textile work in person, but I encourage anyone who is in the vicinity to definitely stop by. Champagne will be flowing and the artist line up looks amazing. Thank you, Barbara, for sharing your amazing work with me. I hope to see the show before it closes in early October 2009.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

New Wave Eco Florals with Lila B. Design

There is nothing more gorgeous than greenery mixed with horticultural artistry, but when the materials for floral design and event arrangement are also cultivated in an environmentally savvy manner, this is indeed the best of eco finery. Lila B. Design, founded by Baylor Chapman, is an independent floral and garden design firm based in San Francisco. Their exquisite event designs use local materials whenever possible, with a focus on organically grown products - including a resourceful new initiative by Baylor to transform urban cityscapes by growing flowers and plants in barren plots in the heart of industrial San Francisco neighborhoods.

“Immediately it became apparent that the(se) gardens were bringing beauty, nature and ecology to spaces that would otherwise be trash-laden cement tops,” says Chapman. In addition to growing needed vegetables, plants and flowers, the green spaces offer a new home for such vital insects as butterflies, bees and ladybugs. “The gardens also create a community-enriching experience,” Chapman notes, “bringing neighbors together for the first time by giving them a talking point and a gathering opportunity.”

Lila B. Design is cleverly redefining the way that we celebrate and disseminate the seeds of true green style, from soil to table and all around the beloved hood.

*above images courtesy of Lila B. Design; photo credits as follows: Lisa Leigh Photography (image 3 & 4); Shields Photography (image 5); Sophie de Lignerolles (image 1& 6)

Monday, August 24, 2009

Sheep Water Friction Felting

Drop-in Design: 1 Sheep + Water + Friction = 1 Rug

If you are on Manhattan's Upper East Side on Sunday, 30 August, consider cooling off with some 'rural meets urban' crafting at the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum. 'Drop-in Design: 1 sheep + water + friction = 1 rug' will allow visitors to observe the raw wool from one sheep transformed into one felt wool rug. Designer Ashley Helvey will be working on-site in the Cooper Hewitt garden (one of my favorite hideaways) with local, organic wool creating a single source wool felt rug. Drop in at any point during the afternoon to view Ashley's progress.

Don't miss the exhibition, Design for a Living World to see Christien Meindertsma's Flocks Rug as well.

* Drop-in Design is free with museum admission

image courtesy of Christien Meindertsma

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Veliko Tarnovo's Treasures

I am totally smitten with these adjustable recycled leather bracelets that I found at the Ethno-Shop in Veliko Tarnovo, north central Bulgaria. One is typically looking for gold when on the trail of Thracian treasure, but these simple accessories seem true to the resourceful spirit and functional craft of this hilltop region.

*top image: Tsaravets fortress in Veliko Tarnovo

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Thracian Tour Holiday Time

John Galliano's Fall 2009 Ready-To-Wear Collection via

Inspired by these amazing Russian/Balkan folklore designs from John Galliano's Fall 2009 Ready-To-Wear Collection, I will be traveling for the next few weeks conducting research on Thrace, traditional costuming in Bulgaria, and embroidered textiles/fiber. A few posts might pop up from time to time, but not with the usual frequency. Stay tuned for pre-New York and London Fashion Week coverage in early September, though. Happy remainder of August 2009!
John Galliano's Fall 2009 Ready-To-Wear Collection via

John Galliano's Fall 2009 Ready-To-Wear Collection via

Traditional Bulgarian folklore costumes

Friday, August 14, 2009

EFF Spotlight on Africa: Seminar & Marketplace

Lalesso Spring Summer 2009 Collection via Vogue UK

For devoted community members and guests of the Ethical Fashion Forum (EFF), Tuesday, 18th August, marks yet another dynamic event in EFF's informative event line up for Summer 2009:

TUESDAY 18TH AUGUST 2009, 6pm - 8:30pm
35-47 Bethnal Green Road

SEMINAR, 6:30pm
Why is the apparel industry in Africa so important? This seminar focuses on the specific challenges and opportunities related to sourcing for fashion products from a range of locations in Africa. Through case studies, the event will give an insight into how different sourcing models , products and businesses have maximised benefits to communities and minimised environmental impact.


Colin McDowell, The Chair
Cristina Cisilion, Founder of MADE
Rohit Kuthiala, Senior Consultant- Supply chain at Accenture
Jo Maiden, Founder of SOKO
Claire Hamer, former buyer at Topshop, supply chain consultant
Eric Manu, Founder of Clothes Show Live, Ghana

Alongside the seminar, there will be a marketplace featuring suppliers, leading brands and support organisations working with and from Africa. This will provide you with a practical application of the topics discussed throughout the seminar, using the marketplace as an exhibition for direct case studies.

image courtesy of Arise Magazine

Support Organisations:
Business Fights Poverty, Arise Magazine (tbc)

Production Units:
Mantis World, SOKO, Poul Wedel & Co (tbc), Ethnic Supplies

Brands and Designers:
KiRette Couture, Mzuribeads, Tina Atiemo, UniquEco Designs, Fosuism, Lalesso (tbc), Akabi, Afro-Chique

* Ethical Fashion Forum

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Frei Designs Opens Shop

Frei Designs LookBook A/W 2009

Frei Designs LookBook A/W 2009

There is nothing more sustainable than good things happening to good people. Case in point, Annie Novotny of Frei Designs. I first met Annie at D&A's green room in NYC during Spring 2008, and she definitely floored me with her intellectual spin on the future of sustainable design and homegrown, eco fashion ethics. I am very pleased to announce that Frei Designs has now opened its own workshop and boutique in lovely Chicago.

Stop by and congratulate Annie on all of the goodness that she has shared with our eco style community to date!

Frei Workshop and Boutique Opening
Friday, August 14th from 6pm - 9pm
818 West 18th Street
Chicago, IL 60608

Monday, August 10, 2009

The Fashion Forecast in Stockholm

Stockholm Fashion Week begins today and runs through August 16th. For those of us keen on decoding the trends and viable threads of sustainable fashion, there will be a Fashion Forecast Seminar on August 12th as part of the week's line up. Respected speakers on the topic of sustainable fashion will come together at The Fashion Forecast at Stockholm Modecenter for a trend forecasting round table discussion.

Invited speakers include:

Xénia Nedelcoux - 'Ethos Paris gives us their story of putting sustainability into fashion production'
Henrik Mattsson - 'Leading futurologist gives us a snap shot of consumer’s hearts and minds when it comes to sustainable fashion'
Maya Saksi - 'Former Editor-in-Chief for the fashion trade magazine Habit gives us her view on this developing market and its opportunities'
Michael Schragger - 'From The Sustainable Fashion Academy tells us why we should bother'
Daniel Sarabia - 'Owner of the agency Sarabia tells us his sustainable success story'
Nanna Åkerlund- 'from Lodestar talks about brand values and how to please the Swedish conscious consumer'

For more details regarding TFF, visit their website.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Copenhagen Fashion Week Rolls In

Fin of Norway does SS2010

Copenhagen Fashion Week is currently underway, and I am rather excited to check in with two of my favorite Nordic fashion-forward houses, Fin and Noir. Also not to be missed is the new indie label by The Baand. Their 'essentials' collection is made from high quality organic cotton, produced in a socially responsible manner in Peru.

The Baand's debut hip, pared-down eco collection

But the ultimate style watch for the week might be artfully documented by Copenhagen Cycle Chic aka 'The Sartorialist on Two Wheels' - The Guardian.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Leblas Collection's Filigree Chic

Black Silver Filigree Links Bracelet by Leblas

Rosette White Silver Bangle by Leblas

A favorite new ethical jewellry design house, the stunning Leblas Collection with a gorgeous boutique at 149 Sloane Street in London to boot.

The Leblas modern interpretation of filigree metalwork combines traditional European craftsmanship with sustainable production methods and artisanal, small-scale mining. All pieces are handcrafted in slow design fashion out of 100% recycled gold, silver or platinum, sourced from a carefully selected single refinery.

Filigree chic earrings + Arabel Lebrusan and Clare Winfield

Leblas heirloom collectible necklaces, earring, rings, bracelets, and limited edition pieces are designed by award-winning artist Arabel Lebrusan in collaboration with artisans in ateliers throughout Spain. Leblas is also committed to using precious gemstones and diamonds from fair trade approved suppliers, such as the Brazil Gems venture.

Eco chic mannequin bedecked in garlands of jasmine outside of the Leblas store on Sloane Street

"The creative brain behind the business is award-winning designer, Arabel Lebrusan, who uses artisans throughout Spain to achieve a high level of perfected craftsmanship across the range. She started the business in 2007 with Clare Winfield: having both worked intensively in the Far East over the last ten years, they shared an enthusiasm for creating design-led jewellery in a way that was comfortable and sustainable for the workers and which revitalised traditional European techniques. Leblas aims to establish an apprenticeship scheme that will allow the transfer of jewellery-making skills to the next generation before they die out completely, and from this noble goal, we can all benefit." - The GoodWebGuide.Co.UK

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Ryann Trunk Show Tonight at TEICH

Something to definitely jump for joy about - the Ryann trunk show tonight at TEICH's NYC boutique.

Tuesday, August 4th from 5pm to 8pm
TEICH, 84 East 7th Street (just west of 1st Avenue)

Meet the designer and get 15% off her summer collection. Refreshments, too!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Dreamy Fashion Photography by Rachel Schwarz

photography by Rachel Schwarz

Welcome to the lazy, luxurious days of summer. Speaking of being 'lazy', I did not properly credit the amazingly talented photographer Rachel Schwarz in my June write-up on Coco Eco. My sincere apologies to Rachel as her beautiful, timeless images surely deserve to be properly credited. Welcome to August everyone.

* visit Rachel Schwarz aka San Raquel