Friday, September 23, 2011

Cruelty Free Friday: Cri de Coeur Fall 2011

 Cruelty-free 'Moon Vanilla' boots by Cri de Coeur for Fall 2011

So I will be traveling for a week as of tomorrow – secret location to be revealed upon my return. I really wish that I had these 'Moon Vanilla' vegan boots by Cri de Coeur to take with me on the road. These boots were made for walking and bringing about much-needed change and compassion in the fashion industry.

Learn more about Cri de Coeur's latest offerings via their Facebook page. A selection of their designs are also offered at Cow Jones Industrials.

Over and out until October 1. Miss you already.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Indie Designer: Mila Ateva of Sassa Björg

'Bright Lights, Deep Shades' collection by Sassa Björg

So as part of the ongoing sustainable fashion debate, I have decided to start featuring the profiles of independent fashion and accessory designers who might not be using eco-fabrics or recycled materials per se (if at all), but instead have made a commitment to producing their designs locally – creating sustained jobs for talented artisans and sewers in their community, and subsequently, providing a way for artistic and cultural ideas to prevail.

Sassa Björg designer, Mila Ateva, being a bit 'sassy' 
(photo credit: Nadya Kaneva)

Mila Ateva of Sassa Björg understands what it means to be indie. She creates all of her designs in a bright and colorful atelier on a garden back street in central Sofia, Bulgaria, and during the rainy afternoon that I visited, she had a dedicated seamstress working away on a sewing machine that was surrounded by a rainbow of thread spools.

Sassa Björg atelier in central Sofia (polaroids by Abigail Doan)

I immediately thought to myself that this is how we should see garment workers working – kindly treated, in dialogue with the designer, and stopping at intervals to ask questions and tweak the designs. It was an inspiring thing to witness. It was a true crafting partnership.

My new wool fiber piece from Sassa Björg

Sassa Björg collections celebrate women with a killer independent spirit, and as designer Mila Ateva revealed to me over coffee, women of all ages collect her pieces as a way to add some edginess ("kinkiness") to their lives and closets. All ages? That sounds pretty sustainable to me.

I loved being able to go through racks of Mila's latest designs while we chatted. The fact that some one was on-site making something during the interview totally energized the combination workspace and retail set up.

The new 'Bright Lights, Deep Shades' collection featured here should definitely be snatched up by women all over the planet, although I think that it is pretty cool that savvy shoppers in Sofia know that their favorite picks are only one of a few in existence globally. For now.

Visit the Sassa Björg Facebook page for information on new designs and events. You can also find a curated selection of pieces online at parAvan.

(image credits)
photographer: Vasil Germanov

model: Yana Gerova
hair:  Lubomir Petrov
make-up: Slav

World Textiles On The Runway And Beyond

Made by SOKO for Beshlie

Please enjoy my recent article, World Textiles on the Runway and Beyond, a special fashion week feature on Goodlifer – includes an overview of HAND/EYE magazine's 'World Textiles' issue as well.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

LFW: Felicity Brown S/S 2012

I cannot get enough of Felicity Brown's SS 2012 collection presented salon style at London Fashion Week. The exquisite textile crafting, the timeless elegance, the setting of this shoot, even the mussed up braids – what more can a fashion dreamer ask for? If I was to sell off my art collection and invest in some new fashion pieces to gaze at all day, it would be these divine creations.

"Taking inspiration from Victorian lady explorers in Africa, such as Mary Kingsley, Felicity imagined how the influence of the tribes’ women would infuse into their dresses and create a hybrid of the two opposing culturesThe stiff rigidity of the neckline and corseted bodice is reworked with fluid, laser cut silk jersey tubes that have been hand dyed with a deconstructed tribal pattern. The nude silk tulle of the dress skirt has a ragged edge, giving it an antique yet contemporary rawness. The contrast and tension between soft femininity and strong cage like structures are another theme that resonates powerfully throughout Felicity’s work." - SS12 press release

Fashion = art = an amazing expression of the creative spirit. This is why I cannot leave fashion alone as some one who simply wants to be an artist and play in the studio all day. Well done and certainly one to watch on the conscious fashion horizon.

(all images courtesy of the designer's lookbook)

Friday, September 16, 2011

Cruelty Free Friday: Ivana Basilotta S/S 2012 Sirens

I could not think of a better way to kick off London Fashion Week, as well as celebrating Cruelty Free Friday, than by featuring Ivana Basilotta's latest Spring/Summer 2012 Sirens collection.

I first experienced the eco-luxurious nature of Ivana's designs on the runway at EcoChic Geneva in January 2010 and since then have followed her feminine and soulful collections each season with total admiration. Her commitment to using vegan 'peace' silk in her dresses and separates is totally fitting with her enlightened ideas about what constitutes genuine beauty and fluid style. The thoughtful incorporation of biodegradable and recycled fabrics also makes the 'Sirens' collection a timeless vision for the best in ethical fashion.

Learn more about Ivana Basilotta's philosophy and previous collections via her website.

*all images courtesy of the designer/photography by Paul Weaver

Thursday, September 15, 2011

NYFW: threeASFOUR Spring 2012

Totally provocative – threeASFOUR's Spring 2012 collection, InSHALLom:

"They made prints that wove together iconography from Jews and Arabs, Israelis and Palestinians both: six-pointed stars and kaffiyeh patterns, the evil eye, the hamsa. These were printed on the billowing, fluttering silk chiffon and silk de chine dresses the designers have been exploring season in and season out. Breastplates dangled hamsas, glass evil-eye pendants, the knotted strings of tallisim. One necklace was made of two joined shofars, the ram's horn ritually blown on the Jewish new year. Taken as a whole, it proved affecting, a message about the essential similarity of even warring parties." – Maya Singer for

Peace out from NYC, hello London, for the next round. 
(all photos via

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Evgeni Petkov Continues His Pure Eco Fashion Quest

Evgeni Petkov's new Pure Beauty Collection 
with eco-fabrics and antique embellishments
(photography by Ivomir Peshev / model: Ivelina Choneva for Visage)

Evgeni Petkov's Pure Beauty Collection 
honors Bulgarian culture and the environment

Evgeni Petkov has been an inspiring fashion friend since our first meeting at Sofia Fashion Week in 2009. At the time we discussed the possibilities for introducing sustainable fabrics into his future collections, but the cost and availability of these materials seemed quite prohibitive. Fortunately, through continued dialogue, a prestigious invite to show one of his hand-knit couture gowns on the runway at EcoChic Geneva in January of 2010, and new online sourcing sites, the natural fusion of cultural identity and eco-materials in Evgeni's ready-to-wear and couture designs has become more and more of a reality.

I am thrilled to share news of this latest Pure Beauty Collection by Evgeni Petkov. These latest pieces are artfully created locally in Bulgaria out of hand-crocheted eco-cotton, soy silk charmeuse, coconut fiber and rafia palm. This was also the first time that the designer sourced several of his fabrics from Source4Style and Offset Warehouse.

The Pure Beauty hand-crocheted dress mimics the local landscape

Congratulations, Evgeni, on your first semester of fashion studies in London. As a young designer who is only twenty four years old, we are excited to see how you will continue to celebrate your cultural roots as well as your love for exquisite materials.

all images courtesy of the designer
photography by Ivomir Peshev / model: Ivelina Choneva for Visage
hair by Polina Boevska / make-up by Zoran

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

NYFW: Ivana Helsinki Indian Summer S/S12

My love affair with innovative prints floating down the runway at New York Fashion Week continues with Ivana Helsinki's Indian Summer S/S 2012 collection. Helsinki born Paola Suhonen has made ethnic accents and feather motifs into a ready-to-wear expression of global connectedness and modern tribalism. Indian Summer offers bold accents pieces for wardrobes that are increasingly trans-seasonal and border defying.

"Ivana Helsinki is an independent art, fashion, and cinema brand, delicately mending Slavic rough melancholy and pure Scandinavian moods. The balancing between white arctic summer nights and endless winter sadness. Eerie hovering isolation and intense starkness.  Ivana Helsinki collections are like small ballads with charming, soulful and savvy tones."

runway photography by Etienne Tordoir / 
all other images courtesy of the designer

Sunday, September 11, 2011

NYFW: Mara Hoffman S/S 2012 Presentation Video

Cannot get enough of this textile rich and globally inspired Spring/Summer 2012 collection by Mara Hoffman. The hair styling is so right on. Love it all.

NYFW: Titania Inglis Spring/Summer 2012

Bias Tank + Half Kilt + Pleat Short / Titania Inglis S/S12

Dip-dyed Peak Dress / Titania Inglis S/S12
Colorblock U-neck Tee + Mini Pencil Skirt/Titania Inglis S/S12
Collarless Jacket + Pleat Short/Titania Inglis S/S12

Flyaway Top + Two-Tone Pant/Titania Inglis S/S12

Brooklyn based designer Titania Inglis has yet again demonstrated that sustainable fashion is all about killer style that dovetails seamlessly with the ethical use of organic and dead stock fabrics as well as local production resources such as NYC's Garment Center and the talents of natural dye expert Isa Rodrigues at the Textile Arts Center.

Titania's latest Spring/Summer 2012 collection speaks for itself in terms of bold versatility, exquisite patterns and asymmetrical draping, and the cool permutations that this graphically rich line offers. I love the addition of Bliss Lau jewelry as a means to highlight the edges and seams of the garments.

You can follow updates on Titania Inglis clothing via her blog and Facebook page.

Photography: Evan Browning
Jewelry: Bliss Lau
Model: Vanessa Lee/Muse
Makeup: Kumi Hosoda
Styling assistance: Erin Lee
Dyeing: Isa Rodrigues/Textile Arts Center