Collecting flotsam and recycled glimmery bits is definitely a part of the upcycling process. Accessories designers who are both resourceful and highly selective in their editing process get extra points for creating lasting beauty out of consumer cast-offs. This is why I love this afordable luxe collection by VeridiAum, recently featured on Style Will Save US. Fair trade freshwater pearls are delicately suspended on ultra fine, hand-sculpted 14k rose or yellow gold fill wire. VeridiAum's designer, Eileen Caldwell, has stirred up a deep blend of eco materials for her delicate designs that include recycled vintage chains and metals. If ever there was a good catch for Spring 2009's sustainable style mavens, VeridiAum is definitely some deep fashion om.
* all images courtesy of Veridi Aum/etsy via Style Will Save Us
Walnut wood and sterling silver bracelet by Ema Fernandes Jewelry, photo courtesy of Ema Fernandes via Elle.com
Laser-cut cork bangle by Anthony Roussel, photo courtesy of Anthony Roussel via Elle.com
Krystof Strozyna embellished slinky dress, photo courtesy of Devon Jarvis via Elle.com
This is a whittled down selection of several 'tree hugger' fashion items that were featured on Elle.com on April 28. Gorgeous and luxe, though not necessarily sustainable in terms of materials, if at all. It seems to me that *treehugging* to the core entails a conscious and informed use of environmentally and socially beneficial materials. I so want to see these Alexander McQueen designs crafted out of bamboo, Ingeo, or Tencel.
Marshall McLuhan was no fool, and our global village should be populated by informed consumers who know the difference between tree hugging and season-to-season designer hugging.
Faux-grain silk jacket by Alexander McQueen, photo courtesy of Devon Jarvis via Elle.com
T-strap heel by Charlotte Olympia, photo courtesy of Devon Jarvis via Elle.com
* Tree Hugger style ideas were compiled by Kate Lanphear for Elle.com
slowLab has developed a new series of Slow Dialogues to expand the parameters of Platform21's 'Repairing' exhibition currently on view in Amsterdam (NL). These are small-scale public conversations about how Slow Design can help re-imagine consumption behaviors, human relationships and ways of collaborating, all with a view to systems-level 'reparations' for transitioning to a more sustainable future. Local slow creative activists will present their work and ideas to stimulate the discussions, and everyone is encouraged to join the debate. In addition to these events, an evolving installation within the Platform21 space will capture Slow Repair ideas, questions, quotations and comments from the public. For those of you not in Amsterdam, we've dedicated our Slow Dialogue blog to the topic for the duration of the project.
There will be four evening events throughout Spring/Summer 2009, each with featured Slow creative activists to open debate with other participants. Schedule and topics are as follows:
Friday 22 May: SLOW CONSUMPTION > Re-imagining Material Interactions Friday 26 June: SLOW TRANSITIONS > Rethinking Systems Friday 21 August: SLOW COMMUNITIES > Renewing Social Relationships
Slow Repair Dialogues happen on-site at Platform21/Amsterdam on Friday evenings from 18.30 to 20.30.
*I think that it is important to call out the amazing installation art created by Yuko Oda at this year's Project Earth Day. Her confectionary bees and recycled butterflies really added extra buzz to the night's runway presentation.
You can see more of Yuko's installation work, animations, and drawings, here.
Eko-Lab and Ekovaruhuset designer, Meiling Chen, checks in to Project Earth Day with designer, Melissa Kirgan
The theme of this year's Project Earth Day show at Nolita's bright white Openhouse Gallery was *through the looking glass*. The show's creative fashion director and stylist, Bahar Shahpar, came up with some stunning algorithms for magnifying the bold new dimensions of sustainable style. Here are a few of my off-the-cuff Leica shots from the night, with more images are viewable here.
Student Competition Design
Student Competition Design
Eko-Lab and Ekovaruhuset designers, Xing-Zhen and Melissa Kirgan
Designer Meiling Chen's amazing coif and attention to details
Professional Designers/Runway Show (Dress by Meiling Chen)
Professional Designers/Runway Show (Dress by Melissa Kirgan)
Professional Designers/Runway Show (Dress by Lara Miller)
Designer and fashion stylist, Bahar Shahpar, with PED founder and organizer, Molly Garretson
Next up: eco art events and my fiber projects this weekend - oh, and some good old fashioned *sunshine* with friends and family, too.
The creatives and stylists for Project Earth Day 2009 did an amazing job last night of interpreting the fractal and fabulous world of green design and eco fashion. I had a lot of fun backstage before the runway show. More photos to come * but for now, here are a few to toss in with the sunshine of the weekend's forecast.
One of my absolute favorite artists, Donna Sharrett, has her opening reception at Pavel Zoubok Gallery tonight. Even though I will be at Project Earth Day, I hope to swing by her exquisite *reverb* exhibit as soon as I can. Sharrett uses mixed media ingredients like: rose petals, handmade rose beads, synthetic hair, guitar-string ball-ends, violin bow-string, blue jeans, hand embroidered damask linen, cotton shirting, rings, buttons, synthetic pearls, bone beads, dirt & thread - just to name a few.
My old trusty Levi's donated at Bloomingdale's Soho for COTTON. FROM BLUE TO GREEN.®'s denim drive
COTTON. FROM BLUE TO GREEN.® denim drive. April 22, 2009 - April 26, 2009 @ Bloomingdale's
Recycle your denim. Celebrate Earth Day with Bloomingdale's. As a result of the COTTON. FROM BLUE TO GREEN.® denim drive more than 100 homes have been built using UltraTouch? Natural Cotton Fiber Insulation made of recycled denim. Bring your clean, old or gently worn jeans to our denim departments. We'll donate them to build houses for those in need. You'll receive a reusable Bloomingdale's Brown Bag as a special token of our thanks.
The denim collected by Bloomingdale's will be recycled through the COTTON. FROM BLUE TO GREEN.® denim drive program and donated to a non-profit organization to assist in their environmentally-responsible building efforts for communities in need.
One of the most exciting aspects of the annual Project Earth Day eco fashion event is the showcase of student talent from fashion programs around the US. Last year's student competition winner, Amira Marion, was a brilliant example of just how innovative and knowledgeable up and coming eco fashion designers truly are. Her textile rich collection featured a striking collage of original knits, indigenous-inspired weaves, and other organic materials that melded so effortlessly and eco stylishly. Amira's presentation was totally charmed from the get-go and a hands-down crowd pleaser at the 2008 event's Teknion showroom.
Since graduating from Parsons fashion design program, Amira has travelled to Paris and Amsterdam to do more research for future collections (and enjoy life as well). She is currently working as an accessory designer for J.Crew's subsidiary brand, Madewell 1937. I look forward to seeing Amira again this Thursday evening at Project Earth Day 2009 to share in some cheer after a year of design adventure and dedicated fashion toil.
If I could don any pair of shoes to wear to Project Earth Day on Thursday evening, I would definitely opt for these sculptural slingback Nectar sandals from Coclico. A fusion of French chic and Spanish artistry, Coclico's designs are the eco*it girl's answer to covetable heirloom investments. I love Coclico's dazzling enviro-attitude, perhaps because they walk the earth walk without losing their stylish edge. Here is a list of ingredients that makes Coclico such a hot eco find:
vegetable tanned leathers; sustainable FSC certified wood platforms; sustainable FSC certified cork; non-toxic, water-based adhesives; nickel-free & lead-free buckles; recycled PU foam bed (produced in Spain with the highest standards of environmental & labor laws); components in Spain (sourced locally); and purchased carbon credits from Native Energy.
Check out all of Coclico's tempting specials for *Earth Day* and beyond. Lofty summer sandals never looked so fresh and totally earth walkable.
Many thanks to fashion designer Amira Marion for forwarding this great tip regarding 100% Cerrado, a fashion-forward project by designers Sandra Maria and Sonia Reis, whose innovative textile collection helps support local communities of artisans on the outskirts of Brasilia while also promoting the preservation of natural resources in Brazil's 'Cerrado' region. Production waste is re-utilized as much as possible, and textile traditions are able to thrive in this 100% inspired Latin American enterprise.
I am a writer and environmental fiber artist residing in NYC and Europe. My art farming and textile projects are a means to create sustainable solutions and visual links to the global challenges we collectively face.
I am also a mother of twins.