Friday, July 30, 2010

TEICH and Ryann: Chic Travel Essentials

TEICH scallop clutch  crafted out of pewter vintage lambskin, black hemp canvas - with a plum organic cotton twill lining and vintage facile frame, plus inside zippered pocket and clip for keys / made in Brooklyn, NY
I will be gearing up soon to head off to Europe for autumn in Bulgaria and Italy - with a side trip to Estethica at London Fashion WeekAda Zanditon and Beautiful Soul are tempting me. As part of my travel kit, I have been eyeing this luxurious, vintage-style scallop clutch by TEICH as well as the latest, greatest TEICH/Ryann accessory collaboration.
TEICH/Ryann belt with detachable wristlet - designed by NYC sustainable fashion designer Raina Blyer of Ryann & Creem. A fanny pack, belt, and wristlet all in one. Made in NYC from recycled content Ultrasuede with antique nickel hardware

TEICH has a special 40% off summer sale going on through August 12. Stock up now before the fashion week parade hits town in September. (I will be hiking up Mount Vitosha and dreaming of slow fashion ideas from my perch in Sofia). I aim to give you an insiders view of Estethica, though, after some fun in the sun with the family. Blah, blah, blah (see below).
People Tree at Estethica - image courtesy of the Guardian

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Scent-sational Drawings by Andrea Maack

Andrea Maack's CRAFT fragrance with hints of Alde Hyde, Elemi, Cold metal, Ice, Cedar wood, Patchouli 

I know that this is not an art blog per se, but I could not help but be intrigued by this collaborative project by artist/designer/perfumer Andrea Maack. The multi-talented Icelander has created mesmerizing drawings as an expression of scent-sational, olfactory realms illustrating the terms 'SMART, CRAFT, and SHARP'. Maack worked with the French perfumery APF aromes & perfumes to create unique fragrances that translated her original drawings into pure and alluring scents.

The alchemically-cool Amanda Walker at A Perfume Organic clued me into this rather novel art experiment. Check out Amanda's intoxicating Rose fragrance complete with seed-embedded packaging that you can actually plant in your garden. 

I look forward to meeting up with Amanda and her colleagues this evening at the NYC Natural Perfumers Guild gathering at Candle 79

Talk about delicious multi-media art - oops, I mean fashion. Above drawings courtesy of Andrea Maack's website.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Old New Guard

As a 44 year old mother of two, I am totally digging these shots of a 46 year old mother of three.
Kristin McMenamy in the August 2010 issue of Dazed Digital.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Cyanotype Scarves by Matt Shapoff Use the Sun's Rays for Textile Printing

Cyanotype silk scarf printed with the sun's rays and Matt Shapoff's nature collection

Summer is still very much with us, and whether you escape to the beach on a regular basis for some salt, sun, and sand is really not an issue if you are lucky enough to own an artisan-crafted scarf from Handmade on Peconic Bay. Artist Matt Shapoff has created a modern interpretation of the 19th century cyanotype photograph by using the sun's rays to print objects (found during local shoreline strolls) on his 100% silk scarves.

'Found Feathers' cyanotype (sun) print scarf from Handmade on Peconic Bay

Dried algae cyanotype print by Anna Atkins

You might recall from your art history studies an amazing woman named Anna Atkins - touted to be the possible inventor of photography or at least the first person to publish a book of photographic images. Her Photographs of British Algae: Cyanotype Impressions' was created using direct contact printing of dried sea algae on cyanotype paper. Handmade on Peconic Bay artist Matt Shapoff has revived this process by printing directly onto his silk scarves using a giant plate he constructed for use outdoors on a sunny day. Arrangements of dried vegetation, feathers, and other sea treasures are thoughtfully composed to create these exquisite organic impressions.

Handmade on Peconic Bay designs are also available at A Little of What You Fancy in East Hampton, L.I.

You can learn more about Matt Shapoff's cyanotype prints and process via his blog. A special thanks to jewelry designer Cynthia Rybakoff for this great design tip.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Source4Style's Upcoming Focus Group Fete

Source4Style 7.21.10 Report from SRmanitou on Vimeo

Source4Style's much anticipated launch is drawing near, and NYC-based eco fashion influencers will be gathering on August 5th for a focus group and summer harvest fete in order to provide feedback on the beta version of this B2B enterprise. Created by model and environmental activist Summer Rayne Oakes, fair trade entrepreneur Benita Singh, and serial entrepreneur Adam Schwartz as a marketplace where designers might source sustainable textiles from more than 25 hand-picked suppliers, there is no doubt that the fashion (and interior design) community is already buzzing with excitement about the impact this long-overdue online resource will make.

"Our market research reveals that designers have difficulty accessing information on sustainable materials and spend more time researching than designing," says Oakes. Source4Style's aim is to facilitate a more cost effective and less time consuming way for designers to source and purchase quality raw materials. For suppliers of sustainable materials, Source4Style will represent a unique platform through which to offer their products to a range of buyers." - Eco Fashion World

So true. My time in Eastern Europe chatting with Yva Schatz's talented fashion design students as well as young Bulgarian fashion designers like Evgeni Petkov (who presented his eco-couture knit gown at EcoChic Geneva last January) definitely has opened my eyes to the challenges that designers everywhere face when trying to identify suppliers for sustainable textiles and new models for shared and affordable sourcing.

Titania Inglis Fall/Winter 2010

Designer Titania Inglis of Fade to Green wrote an interesting piece about sourcing challenges on the inside after attending TexWorld and listening to Oakes' update on S4S's goals and over 1,000 materials that are already uploaded. Read Titania's post 'Sustainable fabrics at your fingertips? How about on your screen?'.

Stay tuned for more coverage on the upcoming August 5th event and the launch of Source4Style this fall.

*video courtesy of Source4Style/SRO

Friday, July 23, 2010

The Lacemaker: Tord Boontje

Raffia Lace Dress by Tord Boontje (image courtesy of Dezeen)

I am rather smitten with The Lacemaker exhibit currently on view at Marsden Woo Gallery in London. The design blog, Dezeen, recently did an engaging write up on Dutch designer, Tord Boontje, contemporary lacemaker and knotted form builder extraordinaire.

Visit the Dezeen article for further examples of how grass and raffia are the ultimate in couture and home design solutions. Even more intriguing? This exhibition was inspired by the collection of Quaker lace at Philadelphia University's Design Center as part of their Lace in Translation exhibit.

*photos courtesy of Dezeen and photographer Philip Sayer.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Interwoven at The Textile Museum This Weekend

Peggy Noland 'Thread Vest' via IS MENTAL

Join the Embassy of Denmark and The Textile Museum this weekend for two fashion/art performance evenings featuring cutting-edge textile projects by international artists, hosted by INTERWOVEN.

threeASFOUR 2008 collection image courtesy of Strong Kent Wythe
On July 23, the New York-based fashion collective threeASFOUR, whose designers hail from Lebanon, Israel and Tajikistan, will collaborate on a performance based on Yoko Ono’s "Cut". The July 24 program will feature a new, site-specific work by Copenhagen-based duo, Henrik Vibskov and Andreas Emenius, in their first ever U.S. appearance. Following the performances, Sabrina Gschwandtner, founder of KnitKnit magazine, will moderate a discussion with the artists. The evening events will also feature film screenings and a performance by artist Peggy Noland

Tickets are available online or call (202) 667-0441, ext. 78.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Collina Strada Novella Rucksack

So until I am able to do my own log home chinking on a fixer-upper mountain cabin, I am considering donning this rustic and sleek Collina Novella Rucksack for both urban and rural outings. Crafted by hand in the USA, this organic cotton and vegetable-dyed leather shoulder bag is as versatile and chic as any eco-pioneer might require. (All printing is also done with chemical-free 'eco ink'). I love a rucksack that says get up off your derriere, woman, and do something for yourself and your gorgeous local environs.

*The Collina Strada Novella Rucksack (by Hillary Taymor) is available at Labelgazer

Sunday, July 18, 2010

The Beginning of Something Truly Beautiful

Bodkin Spring/Summer 2010 collection (photo by Tina Tyrell)
There is no doubt that the Summer of 2010 has been the beginning of something truly beautiful. Not only are more eco fashion collections gaining the attention of mainstream media and fashion editors, but many of our outdated notions about what constitutes skin deep beauty have finally been peeled back and laid bare for closer inspection.

Authors Siobhan O'Connor and Alexandra Spunt (photo by Carolina Crespo)

The recent release of No More Dirty Looks by journalists Siobhan O’Connor and Alexandra Spunt, is a welcome blast of fresh air in an industry that has been dulled by stifling policies and toxic attitudes about consumer health and safety. It seems obvious that with increased focus on what is in our food, our textiles, and the environment at large – we might finally take a closer look at the daily regimes we adopt as part of our personal cosmetic rituals.

No More Dirty Looks serves as an accessible and refreshingly sassy guide for consumers to become better informed about hazardous ingredients in beauty and cosmetic brands as well as the impact of pervasive mystery ingredients on our long-term health. 

Emma Grady at Treehugger asked the authors some pointed questions about their findings during an interview at the NYC book launch party this past week*. Do not miss Emma’s video chat with Siobhan and Alexandra, as their candid discussion reveals that ‘dirty looks’ and industry practices impact every woman, girlfriend, and beloved family member. The decisions we make about responsible beauty and ‘how to get that glow’ are ones that we now must make with bold investigation and open doors.
With The Story of Cosmetics film release date this Wednesday, July 21, the timing could not be better for a well-researched and probing book like this one. As the sustainable beauty movement begins to mature and ripple outwards, let’s hope that future government involvement does not go the route of mismanaged policy and corporate greed masked by blatant cover up.

'Kahina Giving Beauty' now available at Bergdorf Goodman (photo by Johanna Bjork)

*A special thanks to Katharine L’Heureux of Kahina Giving Beauty and Jessa Blades of Blades Natural Beauty for being such wonderful hosts at the NYC book launch party. Both entrepreneurs are at the forefront of sustainable beauty offerings and do so with total grace and expertise.

No More Dirty Looks is now available on

Friday, July 16, 2010

Christopher Raeburn in VOGUE's Style Ethics

Congratulations to Christopher Raeburn for the feature story in Vogue's August 2010 Style Ethics column. Even Christopher's autumnal parkas recycled from cast-off military garb look totally cool in the depths of summer. Ethical fashion just keeps on trucking. Bravo!

*Christoper Raeburn

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Sleepwalker Series by Fashion Stylist Holly Suan Gray

I find these images by fashion stylist Holly Suan Gray to be so haunting and prophetic in terms of the future of fashion in a world unprotected from encroaching environmental evils and total lack of regulation. 

I first met Holly at EcoChic Geneva where she worked her magic as the stylist for the runway presentation on the United Nations stage. Her latest 'Sleepwalker Series' is certainly not pretty by conventional standards, but eye-opening nonetheless and an indication that eco styling might finally wake us from our long slumber.

p.s. I also see these models being paraded around tonight at the Rock the Reactors event at the Hiro Ballroom as a demonstration of fashionistas joining forces for anti-nuclear protest and green energy solutions.

(all images courtesy of Holly Suan Gray)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

HACKING Sustainable Fashion Workshop

Do not miss this collaborative art/fashion workshop at Eyebeam 

What is sustainable fashion? Why are design codes important? How do we decode them? 
Curator Sarah Scaturro and interaction designer Giana Gonz├ílez will use these questions as a starting point to work with participants to explore how the code for the sustainable fashion movement can be decoded and reassembled. 

The HACKING Couture explorations will be a starting point for this work in progress. In the past, HACKING Couture has reversed engineered fashion labels to create open participation and entrance for all into the fashion system. Now, this process of hacking fashion labels has been expanded - how can we decode a period and/or a movement in order to re-appropriate it for your own purpose? This collaborative workshop between Hacking Couture and independent curator and sustainable fashion expert Sarah Scaturro will explore how we can collaboratively document, decode and reassemble the Eco-fashion movement.

WEDNESDAY, July 14 from 7pm to 9pm.
This will be an informal group session with refreshments and bold creative sustenance. Register here.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Berlin Fashion Week: Risto Precollection S/S 2011

Risto Bimbiloski has done it again. Gorgeous textiles and fluid graphic knitwear of the most feminine variety. I first wrote about Risto's ethical fashion knits from Macedonia in 2008, and I just cannot say enough about this stellar fashion designer who also knows how to make galaxies, volcanic activity, sunsets, and, oh yes, the girls look so pretty and out-of-this-world gorgeous.

You can see the entire Risto Bimbiloski precollection for Spring/Summer 2011 in the following video from Berlin Fashion Week.

*images via Risto and Stylemag.

Creating New 'Dialogs' with Ethical Textile Accessories

Summer accents with the potential to work their magic all year long are a welcome option when it comes to sustainably savvy style. I recently came across Dialog clutches and bags at the EcoSalon Shops! event at Green Spaces NY in early June and really was impressed with their design simplicity and textile chic. Now KAIGHT shop is offering these gorgeous clutches by Dialog's sister company, World Butik.

"World Butik bags incorporate hand weaving from the Saori WEaving Co-operative in Thailand. Saori weaving is a source of income as well as therapy for those who lost jobs and family members in the tsunami disaster of 2004."
Locally-crafted, traditional textiles are really the most fashionable luxury statement you can make these days. I love that a clutch like this is truly global in outlook and most importantly, connects us to what matters most - working together to solve environmental challenges while also looking our best.

*Dialog/World Butik's 'Blue clutch' retails for $98 at KAIGHT

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Refreshingly Cool Mint Ceramic Jewels

Like a cool breeze sweeping in from the hip shores of NYC's Lower East Side, Marion Vidal's 'Mint Ceramic necklace' available at Maryam Nassir Zadeh. Currently on sale and sitting quite pretty.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Berlin FW: The Key to Isabell de Hillerin

My admiration for  German designer Isabell de Hillerin continues, as per this recent collection entitled, Faded, for Berlin Fashion Week's green showcase The Key.To.

"Pictures and memories of what once was, are bleached by the present. Out of focus but still visible. A thin line between now and then. Structured cuts and sensual materials encase the body in a grey scale of colours with light beige tones. Transparent but still visible. Smooth transitions between shapes and shapelessness." - Isabell de Hillerin

*Isabell de Hillerin