Friday, April 20, 2012

Fashioning Self and the Environment Day 5

With this final post, Ecco*Eco will become an online archive – with occasional news or an inspirational visual or two, but for now, I will not be actively updating this journal.

I wrote my first post on October 14, 2008, and I feel that Earth Week 2012 is the perfect time to bring this era to a conclusion. We have all come such a long way since then, and I am truly grateful for the encouragement and support received along the way.

I will continue cultivating my own studio projects as well as researching/writing about ideas related to 'fashioning self and the environment'. 

You can continue to participate in this dialogue via the following platforms:

Monday, April 16, 2012

Fashioning Self and the Environment Day 1

Marshallese navigation chart made out of palm fronds and cowrie shells
Micaela Greg Spring/Summer 2012 California-produced knitwear

It was close to a year ago now that I organized an art, fashion, textile event at the Textile Arts Center in Brooklyn, New York called, 'Fashioning Self and the Environment'. Since then the focus of my visual research and personal art projects have been on ideas related to this theme, with increased focus on the balance between imagery from the natural world, precious materials and resources, and a deeper connection to self.

Ecco*Eco is not really an eco fashion blog at this stage, and I know that a lot of what I post about does not fall within 'sustainability' standards or even green design news. I guess that as an artist and writer my concerns have increasingly shifted to ways that visual awareness (and styling) can bring us closer to a more integrated and inspired dialogue with the environment.

As a celebration and examination of Earth Week 2012, I will be doing very simple pairings of images that speak to me in terms of ways that we might better navigate the fashion landscape. Nothing very scientific really but more poetic in terms of fragile states and audacious solutions.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Loza Maléombho Spring/Summer 2012 Collection

all images courtesy of Loza Maléombho New York

Loza Maléombho New York’s Autumn/Winter 2012-13 stand-out collection features richly tailored jackets, long or cropped vests with accent curved piping, Touareg-inspired full skirts and low-slung trousers. These powerful silhouettes are further dramatized with colorful turban head pieces as well as dramatic backless dresses.

Even though this label’s conceptual design and pattern/sample making process is executed in NYC, Maléombho has worked diligently each season to build a thriving community of talented artisans and women who produce each collection in a small scale, ethically-minded operation in Côte d’Ivoire. Loza has also made a commitment to support the economic empowerment of women in the region – with Fair Trade wages as well novel economic development opportunities.

(Photography by Elle Aime Creative / Model: Cynthia Séri)

Monday, April 9, 2012

Fashioning Self and the Environment: Tamar Areshidze

'Expressio' collection by Tamar Areshidze

I love these amazingly innovative and sculptural accessory designs by Georgian designer, Tamar Areshidze. The Tbilisi-based fashion talent created these bold pieces as part of her 2011 graduate collection, which was also featured last September on Fashioning Tech.

Georgia is definitely on my 'places to visit' list for the upcoming year. There is no doubt that the fashion talent and textile treasures to be found there run deep. Featured images are courtesy of/credited to the following:

Designer: Tamar Areshidze
Photography: Kikala Studio
Make-up and hair: Lado Bokuchava
Model: Marita Janashia 

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Colors of the Cauldron: Natural Dyes Gain Momentum via New York Times Home & Garden Feature Story

photo courtesy of Drew Kelly / The New York Times
(graphic courtesy of the Textile Arts Center)

So completely thrilled to see Sasha Duerr of The Permacouture Institute and CCA Textiles Program as well as Isa Rodrigues of the Textile Arts Center's 'Sewing Seeds' project featured in this 'Colors of the Cauldron' article in the New York Times yesterday. What a beautiful thing to witness grow-it-yourself natural dye projects, urban renewal, and non-toxic slow fashion production solutions really catching on.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Proud Mary Bucket Bags: Artisan-Made in Guatemala

I love these pastel-hued bucket bags for Spring 2012 by Proud Mary. All are beautifully hand-woven and sewn by artisans in Guatemala. Proud Mary works with textile artisans in both Mali, West Africa, and Guatemala for the production of their high quality, fair trade designs.

"We create unique, handcrafted patterned goods that are made in a socially and ecologically responsible manner. Our aim is to establish healthy relationships with artisans in developing nations. These relationships offer a beneficial exchange of ideas and resources. Purchasing product along with access to new markets provides economic growth for the artisan and their families. Through our products, we hope to share the stories of the hands by which they are made. "

Shop Proud Mary's other home decor and accessories offerings here.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Off The Grid Runway: Gossamer Threads

Steven OO via Project Artisan
Spider web strands via RX Wildlife
Alba 01 (site-specific installation in Italy) by Abigail Doan
Loup Charmant Spring/Summer 2012
'Loom-Hyperbolic' by Barkow Leibinger Architects
image courtesy of the European Linen and Hemp Community
image courtesy of landlessness on Tumblr
image courtesy of Unusual Young on Tumblr

I am keeping things light as the weekend approaches – dreaming of gossamer threads and luminescent, low impact solutions. Never underestimate the power of the delicate and weightless.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Alder Spring/Summer 2012 Collection

'Mexico City Vest' by Alder
(textiles sourced in Mexico/garment made in the USA)
'Mexico City Vest' by Alder (right detail)
'Mexico City Vest' by Alder (back detail)
'Mexico City Dress' by Alder 
(textiles sourced in Mexico/garment made in the USA)
'Mexico City Dress' by Alder  (detail)

I love the electric 'prepster' vibe of this collaborative clothing line created by Alder's David J. Krause and Nina Zilka. Alder's latest Spring/Summer 2012 collection features dead stock fabric unearthed during a trip to Mexico City. The Brooklyn-based design duo describes the SS12 colorful mix as 'preppy classic meets the bright neon eccentricity of Mexico City'.

David J. Krause and Nina Zilka of Alder
(photo by Zenith Richards for Time Out New York)

We love that Alder is also a member of the Pratt Design Incubator for Sustainable Innovation in Brooklyn's Navy Yard. They shared the following details about their mission, materials, and methods:

"At Alder, we believe a garment should not only be aesthetically interesting, but also have the quality, craftsmanship and attention-to-detail that our customer deserve. Fashion is inherently about waste, and it’s important to us to minimize our waste and make responsible decisions about our fabric and manufacturing choices. Alder manufactures all of our pieces out of the NYC Garment Center and tries to source locally and sustainably whenever possible."

Shop the collection here. Follow Alder on Facebook for the latest news.

Hair: Julia Reinhard
Make up: Alder Studio
Photography: Alder Studio
Jewelry: Carrie Bilbo

Monday, March 26, 2012

Wrapped Bangle Bracelets by Dyan Ashby

I loved these wrapped bangle bracelets by Dyan Ashby – currently available at Fibershed Marketplace. Ingredients include locally grown organic cotton and a mixture of seasonally foraged natural dyes. Even sweeter, "10% of each sale will be donated toward building a solar-powered farm based mill in Northern California."
Ashby's wrapped bangle bracelets come in a set of three.

Learn more about Fibershed here.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

PARTIMI Autumn/Winter 2012 North End Collection

PARTIMI AW 2012 'North End' Collection

London-based fashion label, PARTIMI by Eleanor Dorrien-Smith, was hands down one of my favorite presentations during Paris Fashion Week earlier this month. Please read why in my review for The WILD Magazine's fashion column. An excerpt appears below: 

"Dorrien-Smith works with select fabrics and textiles that explore innovation in sustainable and/or ethical design production: digitally-printed silks, organic wools, modals, milk fibers, and luxurious cashmere. Creating fashion collections with minimal environmental impact is key to the long-term strategy that this designer adopted early on. Her emphasis on place making and narrative has 'strong influences thanks to both sides of her family: from a wonderfully eccentric ecology-based 60’s hippy sensibility to a more considered design approach grounded in architecture and new urbanism.' All of PARTIMI’s dresses, skirts, and accessories illustrate this holistic and grounded approach to wearable art married with smart, efficient design."

Photos courtesy of the designer and photographer Nicole Maria Winkler.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Courtney Cedarholm's Chainlink Necklace Pattern

We love Courtney Cedarholm's knitwear as well as her design work with Awamaki Lab, but her latest enterprise to create DIY knitwear patterns epitomizes just how cool she really is. Now available on for $3.50 US dollars, the 'Chainlink Necklace' pattern is a great way to get creative with recycled fiber or luxurious hand-spun of your own choosing. 

Courtney shared the following details: 

"This is a necklace using a larger gauge jewelry chain edging to give weight and add drape to the knit piece for a look that is not your average knit jewelry. You can use any weight yarn from lace to sport, and it is a great way to use up extra yarn from another project, recycled yarn from something else, or buy that one beautiful skein of luxury yarn you’ve had your eye on. The pattern is written out with a chart showing where to attach the chain."

The Chainlink Necklace pattern is available here.

(all images courtesy of Courtney Cedarholm)