I am so enthralled with these 'Divina' boots from the Australian-based Aware Network. They are uniquely crafted from recycled, patterned 'mola' textile art by Kuna Indian women indigenous to Colombia, South America.
Molas are hand-made using a reverse appliqué technique. Several layers (usually two to seven) of different-coloured cloth (usually cotton) are sewn together; the design is then formed by cutting parts of each layer away. The edges of the layers are then sewn down; the finest molas have extremely fine stitching, made using tiny needles.
I was really floored recently when dear friend Annouk Post of Hiphonest turned me on to the amazing textile work of Dutch artist and designer Marianne Kemp. Looking beyond the texture and strands of fiber is inherent to Marianne's exquisitely crafted work. Why? Because she uses delicate and gossamer strands of Mongolian horse hair to create sculptural, wall, and interior installations. Kemp's portfolio site, Horse Hair Weaving, provides an alluring glimpse into an environmentally-charged world inhabitated by forms such as 'crawling hedgehogs, golden ringlets, gods, and caterpillars'.
Marianne Kemp's work will be on view in 'Beauty Can Save The World' at thekey, the sustainable design fashion showcase at Berlin Fashion Week.
This Sunday, 28 June, the magical city of Arnhem will be showcasing the Awearness Fair Fashion Show, organized in conjunction with the Arnhem Mode Biënnale 2009. This is the first year that the month long biënnale will highlight ‘sustainable fashion' as a vital theme.
Sunday's carefully curated runway line up will include prêt-a-porter, eco couture and arty fashion labels such as Alchemist, Merunisha Moonilal, Studio Jux, Van Markoviec, Rianne de Witte, Marlon Borgschot and Hedwig Homoet.
I am so thrilled to have recently made contact with Vilte Kazlauskaite, a super talented eco fashion-forward felter from Lithuania. Her one-of-a-kind felted wool, silk, flax and other natural material creations are totally handmade and part of a long tradition of fiber art in her exotic homeland.
Vilte states, "I started my journey into magical world of felt about three years ago. I was a psychologist and dance therapist before then. Felting became an important part of my life. I got so into it that I also published a book, Veltinis ("Felt") about the unique felting technique in Lithuania, the first book of its kind covering this form of textile art."
I love the spirit of Vilte's designs and the sustainable alchemy that she so effortlessly conjures. Her entire collection is an inspiring example of the future of contemporary fashion being rooted in indigenous methods and earth friendly goodness.
100% organic sugar rock candy ribbon necklaces by Cynthia Rybakoff. Ribbons come In turquoise, grass, fucshia and tangerine. Signature packaging included. (Crystal is a natural material and therefore may vary slightly). Sweet sustainable style!
Now that the solstice has officially arrived, there is no better way to celebrate the chic rays of summer than with some super cool organic 'pamuk' (cotton) by BOA Studio. Istanbul-based designers Sena Çevik and Seray Cengiz call their latest collection, MOTHER EARTH, FATHER MOON or DOĞA ANA, AY BABA. And as usual, their original hand-drawn illustrations truly highlight the magic of their sustainable style whimsy. I so love it when real green fashion looks and feels like art that is irresistibly collectible.
If you are not yet following The Uniform Project, now is the time to get on board with this clever and sustainable enterprise.
1 Dress. 365 Days.A fashion philanthropy project.
"Starting May 2009, I have pledged to wear one dress for one year as an exercise in sustainable fashion. There are 7 identical dresses, one for each day of the week. Every day I will reinvent the dress with layers, accessories and all kinds of accouterments, the majority of which will be vintage, hand-made, or hand-me-down goodies.
The Uniform Project is also a year-long fundraiser for the Akanksha Foundation, a grassroots movement that is revolutionizing education in India. At the end of the year, all contributions will go toward Akanksha’s School Project to fund uniforms and other educational expenses for slum children in India."
So folks have been asking me to post photos of street chic moments from my outings here in Sofia. These shots are forthcoming, as well as coverage on my recent chats with young Bulgarian designer Evgeni Petkov, who will be showing his first eco couture gown at EcoChic Geneva this October. But in the interim, I could not resist these cool picts demonstrating just how over-the-top the stylists here are. Check out these 'hair raising coifs' featured at a celebration for the launch of Renault Megane in Bulgaria. Talk about hybrid style!
Loving Project Runway Winner Leanne Marshall's 100 % Linen 'Mae Dress' in medium royal blue, separating black and copper zipper down front, corset structured bodice, with layered architectural bubble skirt.
Its # Eight: International Talent Support, creative platform and fashion show developed by EVE in collaboration with Diesel, YKK and MINI to support young talent worldwide, is preparing for the final event that will be held on July 10-11 in Trieste, Italy in the 'Salone degli Incanti', the Olde Fishmarket.
June 16th marked the official launch of Loza Maléombho, a bold new Fair trade collection which celebrates chic, textile rich fashion as a means to provide improved conditions and job opportunities for communities in Côte d'Ivoire (West Africa). Sustained economic development in this region would allow for local facilities and workshops for Loza Maléombho's garment production, and in turn help with much needed health and education initiatives. In true style, Loza Maléombho intends to donate a percentage of their profits to the construction of local schools and hospitals.
Loza Maléombho is a high street fashion brand launched in 2009, based in the heart of New York City. Their smart new label offers contemporary clothing for the fashion-forward, international woman: a mixture of modern and trendy silhouettes with an ethnic and tribal textile edge.
One of the smartest things that I did this past week was join the Ethical Fashion Forum's social networking site. Not only is it rewarding to connect with like-minded individuals and their sustainable and ethical business enterprises, but it is also inspiring to see the difference that these talented designers are making in just about every corner of the globe.
One of my favorite eco fashion finds from EFF's network is NV London Calcutta. Naomi Cornelius-Reid is definitely a woman on a mission, and with a family history of doing great work in Calcutta, India, it is no surprise that her ethically-crafted accessories collection carries with it both integrity and a respect for a region and its people. If you really want to get inspired, visit her website and meet the talented individuals behind this new eco-luxurious collection. I love their exquisite silk scarves that are large enough to don as a chic summer sarong.
"Ethically produced in Calcutta by a ‘not for profit’, World Fair Trade Organisation (IFAT) member manufacturer, NV London Calcutta brings innovative design and high quality production to the ethical accessories fashion fore, filling the gap between the standard, ethical offerings and high fashion."
Founder Naomi Cornelius-Reid states: “We are incredibly proud to launch NV London Calcutta’s first Classic Collection. We’ve worked extremely hard to fuse the best of rising British design talent with fair, sustainable business practice and the promotion of Indian artisan craftsmanship and skills at a price point that won’t break the bank. Our emphasis is on highest quality materials, fittings and finishing and finding the right partners to work with where we can really make a difference to their employees’ lives while at the same time producing bags and accessories that will excite the buyer long before they know the products’ heritage. Fashion should be about style first and foremost, but style that comes at no cost to others.”
The Ten Best Women's Hats, chosen by Eliisa Makin for The Independent
Love these botanically-inspired bespoke headpieces by Bailey Tomlin atelier. Custom-made, artisanal designs are surely the way to go for heirloom pieces that you will covet forever. Even better? Just think how gorgeous these organic designs will look on your vintage dressing table or armoire. Also for brides.
Pod headpiece (photography: Andra Nelki)
Parrot headpiece (photography: Andra Nelki)
Filigree Leaf headpiece (photography: Andra Nelki)