Thursday, September 30, 2010

Issey Miyake Looks to Origami for Sustainable Design Solutions

Issey Miyake's 2007 pleated staircase design (image via Wired)

The sustainable style buzz at Paris Fashion Week (which actually started well before PFW) is definitely 132.5, Issey Mikyake's new origami-inspired fashion collection. Created as one of Miyake's uber-geeky Reality Lab initiatives, this latest enterprise looks to the ancient craft of paper folding to find more efficient and sustainable ways of constructing garments from a single piece of flat cloth.

image courtesy of WWD/Issey Miyake

Based on the mathematical experiments of Japanese academic, Jun Mitani and his computer-generated work to create complex 3D forms from a single piece of flat paper, 132.5 pieces will similarly be created from eco-textiles (made from recycled plastic bottles) and doubly efficient in their waste-reduction properties and 2D packability.

prototype models (image via Issey Miyake)

For more details on 132.5 Issey Miyake, read this interview in The Telegraph and this informative product overview on Design Observer. Impressive news that pieces in this collection will retail for under $300 dollars. Seems like the perfect art + fashion + environment investment.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Behind The Scenes at Ada Zanditon's Pyramora Show

Julian Hake's Mojito Shoe being tested on models

Several beautiful images of Ada Zanditon's Pyramora S/S 2011 collection at ON/OFF's London Fashion Showcase by talented photographer, Tomek Jasinski. So important to remember that part of fashion storytelling is the role that the scene's image makers play as well.

Visit Tomek Jasinki's website for more information.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Andrea Gutierrez Vintage Beaded Warrior Couture

Artist and designer Andrea Gutierrez really is on to something with these one-of-a-kind, handmade beaded couture cuffs. Each design is completely unique and embroidered on silk with vintage or antique beads that Andrea recycles from handbags and accessories that she finds in local flea markets and at dealer shops.
The stunning pieces above are all part of the 'Warrior Couture' Collection for women who are obviously courageous, bold, and free-spirited in all that they undertake. 

For more information on how to acquire one of these beauties, contact Andrea Gutierrez Jewelry at You can also become a fan on FaceBook here.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Weekend Visit with Cow Jones Industrials

Vegan and fair trade offerings at Cow Jones Industrials in Chatham
OlsenHaus shoes, Sarah Donegan hessian tote, and Offhand Designs

I had a lovely visit yesterday with Donna Oakes at her vegan boutique, Cow Jones Industrials in Chatham, NY. It was a magical day to visit this beautifully-curated space as the autumn leaves were kicking up on the country backroads and the fall foliage was beginning to reach its colorful and vibrant peak.

Donna Oakes at Cow Jones Industrials

You might recall my interview with Donna Oakes in August's Mindful Retailing Beyond Urban Zones: Part 1 for Goodlifer. As we all know, the Internet is a great way to connect with like-minded individuals, but honestly, there is no substitute for spending time with someone as knowledgeable and community-oriented as Donna. 

I also was lucky enough to be able to try on some stunning new designs by NaturevsFuture, Popomomo, Cri de Coeur, OlsenHaus, Vaute Couture, GG2G, Matt & NateThe Andean Collection, Wired jewelry, to name a few.

Vaute Couture critter-friendly tank tees
The Andean Collection's tagua bracelets with Wired jewelry

Popomomo Quartz cape made from hemp and recycled poly-denim

My coveted find from yesterday's visit? This super chic and versatile 'Quartz Cape' from Popomomo - perfect for upcoming travel to Europe. Donna was sporting it in the shop as well, and it is the perfect year round layering piece for both rural and urban jaunts.

Cow Jones Industrials will be participating as a fashion sponsor in this weekend's Vegan Fashion Show at the Vegetarian Expo in Albany, NY. Word is that October 2 has become official Vegan Fashion Day on both US coasts, with events being held in both NY State and San Francisco.

Do not miss visiting Cow Jones the next time you follow the Hudson River north. It is well worth the visit and a great way to add to your fashion-with-a-conscience wardrobe in the most relaxing of settings.

(above photos, with the exception of Popomomo, by Abigail Doan)

Friday, September 24, 2010

Ada Zanditon S/S 2011 Pyramora Collection at LFW

Pyramora S/S 2011 by Ada Zanditon
read my review on Eco Fashion World here

(photos by Paul Persky)

Louise Goldin Takes the Filming of S/S 2011 to The People

Louise Goldin jacquard knit dress (image via the NY Times)

Cannot make it to a single fashion week (the few that remain in late September?), join designer Louise Goldin as she invites the public to creatively participate in a collaborative film for her S/S 2011 collection. In an upcoming project shot by Nick Knight, Goldin will allow 80 people to influence the "control and direction of the shooting of the model in her surroundings". Big brother comes to the studio and runways? Yikes. 

If this is your form of fashion democratization, you can e-mail the designer here to attach some stylist puppet strings:


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Old News is Good News For These Do-Gooders

Samantha Pleet pleated newspaper dress (photo: Abigail Doan)

Samantha Pleet pleated newspaper dress (photo: Abigail Doan)

Gorgeously green Renee Loux introduces the Do-Gooder Design Challenge participants (photo: Abigail Doan)

Lara Miller tea-dyed newspaper couture (photo by Abigail Doan)

Lara Miller tea-dyed newspaper couture (photo by Abigail Doan)

Bahar Shahpar spun newspaper tunic (photo by Abigail Doan)

Renee Loux with Bahar Shahpar (far right) and models (photo by Abigail Doan)

RESTORE Clothing's recycled NY Times couture frock (photo by Abigail Doan)

So exciting to see these one-of-a-kind recycled news creations at the Do-Gooder Design Challenge runway presentation in Chelsea last evening. The invited designers did a fantastic job of crafting some innovative and resourceful designs out of yesterday's news. All of the above pieces will soon be up for auction to benefit the charity of each designer's choice. Visit this link for further details. Extra! Extra! This was some newsworthy eco-fashion, for sure.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Let's Walk the Talk of Sustainable Style

Vivienne Westwood with models at the conclusion of her LFW show

It is probably rule number one to not blog about a previous fashion week when the next one is already underway. New York had its moment last week, and now our gaze has drifted over the pond to see what London has on tap. Given that I came across this stunning article on models storming the catwalk to end the tyranny of size zero’ in today’s online version of The Guardian, I must chime in with some additional thoughts on the runway casting of models, and the messages that we send regarding sustainable health and style.

Backstage at Bright Young Things  (photo by Nicole Lenzen)

Size matters as does age, not to mention the ability to age well. When I was having my make-up done backstage prior to the Bright Young Things runway presentation for The GreenShows, I was complimented on having long lashes and healthy hair, which made me feel quite lustrous as a 44 year old woman who is perpetually sleep-deprived due to my toddler twins. It was great to feel special in conjunction with the diversity of lovely models that BYT designer, Eliza Starbuck, had hand-picked. In addition to a line up varying body types, ethnicities, and professional backgrounds, Eliza also included two women considerably older than your average runway nymph.

'Bright Young Things' with Eliza Starbuck (photo by Elisa Hyman)

I really do not have any sort of agenda in terms of why I participated in The GreenShows besides supporting the work of a talented designer and growing community that I believe in (and also wanting to have a bit of dress up play in the process). It is interesting, though, to absorb some of the reactions that I have received since last Tuesday’s show - everything from sisterhood praise to emphatic comments that people who are not models have no business strutting down a runway.

A 'Bright Young Thing' shining bright (photo by Nicole Lenzen)

And to that, I just want to clarify that sustainable fashion is very much about materials, methods, and outreach efforts, but it is also about women and men having healthy relationships with their own bodies and, in turn, the environment. Creative styling and genuine self-awareness are very much a part of the overall equation that feeds the ebb and flow of goods as well as the confidence that informs our purchasing power. 

Pre-show glow (photo by Nicole Lenzen)

As part of the fine tuning of what sustainable fashion might encompass, it seems that we cannot exclude the unique role of the individual, not only in terms of responsible lifestyle choices, but also our ability to fashion ourselves in a way that allows us to participate in the long-term love affair that we have with our clothes, accessories, and most importantly, our self. Until we see ourselves as worthy of sharing the runway, we will continue to remain somewhat disconnected from our surroundings and the resources that fuel fashion houses as much as our true desires.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

NOW Showcase: Unifying Sustainable Style Like Never Before

So it has been rather fortuitous that my visa for Bulgaria required extra processing these past few weeks, as this delay has allowed me the opportunity to attend The GreenShows, see dear friends (some of whom I still need to visit), and also receive one more injection of sustainable fashion 'indie style' at this week's NOW Showcase. I will only be able to attend NOW during the latter half of the day on Tuesday, September 21, but I am looking forward to seeing the latest and greatest designs from an impressive roster of talent.

EcoSkin's Fall 2010 'Blackbird' Dress

For the first time ever, The Train, The Box, and Rendez-Vouz will collaborate with NOW Showcase in a rare Market Week partnership

All four trade shows, located in the Terminal Building (651 W. 27th Street at 12th Avenue), decided that collaboration, not competition, offers buyers and media the best Market Week experience for Spring 2011. Sounds like a uniquely sustainable plan for the future. Visit the NOW Showcase website for more details.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Mojito Shoe by Julian Hakes Takes The Stage at LFW

According to Dezeen, the next generation of the Mojito Shoe by architect Julian Hakes will make its debut at London Fashion Week over the next few days. The news on the street: “The Mojito shoe will be shown with the Spring/Summer collection by Swedish fashion designer Ann Sofie Back at Somerset House on Sunday 19 September and with London designer Ada Zanditon’s collection on Monday 20 September at ON/OFF Victoria House." Sustainable? This remains to be seen, but in the interim, the anticipation is off-the-charts contagious.

Previous prototypes of the Mojito looked like this:

*all images and story via Dezeen

A Shaded View on Fashion Film Festival: PARIS 24 to 26 Septembre

Founded & curated by Diane Pernet

24, 25 & 26 SEPTEMBRE 2010
Petite Salle (FREE ENTRANCE), cinĂ© 2 (6€)


Friday, September 17, 2010

Fashioning Self Beyond The Runway

Quarry image by Rene Habermacher via Filep Motwary
Estonian designer Reet Aus styles and models her own creations

So now that New York Fashion Week and The GreenShows have officially come to a close, I am here to say that there is life beyond the runway. Sure we all love the seductive and alluring qualities of the spectacle itself, but this complex production is simply a fleeting moment in a life that needs to be lived and shared organically. As someone who lives and breathes fiber, textiles, and concerns about environment each and every day, I could not help to be a bit pre-occupied this past week with the possibility of fashion labels being showcased on a stage that allowed the garments and accessories themselves to be in better dialogue with their true setting or environmental source, if you will.

How else are we to understand the connections between materials, the limited resources, and the creative innovations that might secure our future? It is at moments like this that I realize that I am not at all a fashion writer, but a fashioner of ideas or collaborative possibilities. I am not looking to hang on to the petticoat hem of the status quo. I am searching for ways to highlight our fragilities, our strengths, and those designs that might render us uniquely beautiful.

(image by Beverly Semmes)

This is not a linear process and nor are most ideas connected to sustainable fashion, for that matter. Women or men who are not models should not typically be on the runway either, but in the end, who are we really designing for, if not for ourselves and the diversely rich landscape that we are hoping to remain connected to?

'Ground Cover 01' by Abigail Doan (2006)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

a.d.o. Herb-Dyed Organic Collection Debuts at NOLCHA

Continuing with the theme of low-impact natural dyes, a.d.o. clothing ('anjelika dreams organic') made their NOLCHA debut as part of the Bel Esprit showcase for ethical fashion this week. a.d.o.'s Spring 2011 certified-organic cotton separates are tinted with organic herb dyes and laced with organic trims from Japan. (The word "organic" was just used three times in one sentence. That's impressive.)

Launched in Fall 2008, a.d.o. clothing does things right by using only certified organic cotton, natural herbs and plants from India, hand tags made from recycled paper, as well as manufacturing  all of its clothing in New York City's garment district. The dyes used are special Ayurvedic herbs that are touted to promote health and well-being depending upon the unique blends selected.

View a.d.o.'s Fall 2010 collection here.