Fashion week is almost over in New York, and for ecofashionistas, the Greenshows were the place to be, with gorgeous clothes by a number of up-and-coming designers featured over four days in the East Village at 311 East 11th (a green condo called Village Green, natch). Some were more literal takes on the idea of green fashion, like Gary Harvey's playful take above and below (recycled laundry bags and pages from the Financial Times).
While a Columbia J-School student might actually wear this Gary Harvey dress to a Halloween party as a take on the demise of print journalism (yes, it's been done in that context!), this kind of one-off dress is more of a statement about fashion-from-ANYthing than a dress one would find on the rack.
Samantha Pleet was in a romantic mood when she designed her Fall/Winter 2010 collection, which was filled with layers of fabric, pops of color paired with black, and made from ecofriendly fabrics like organic cotton. “I love cinema, and I’m in love with my husband, Patrick, so the line is influenced by that,” she told me after her show. Samantha not only designs her own collection, but she also is the creative force behind Rapscallion, for Urban Outfitters.
House of Organic/Ekovaruhuset involves a collection of designers, who bring their diverse talents from Canada, Japan and Sweden to the table in some of the most organically-inspired collections out there, with a strong aesthetic taken directly from nature. All-natural dyes, knit details, and interesting, experimental fibres are hallmarks of the collective's creations.
Deux fm was channelling old-Hollywood glamour and the 1940's, because like today "everyone was getting glammed up but there still wasn't much money around," designer Anna Gilkerson told me. Organic cotton from India and organic wool from Vermont were paired with local fabrics (Gilkerson is from Nova Scotia) and organic denim for a very modern take on old-school.
C. Marchuska's hemp silk ruched and bowed jacket was a standout both for it's rich colour and beautiful detail which could be dressed up (pair with one of Spring's minis) or down (throw on those boyfriend jeans and a pair of Melissa flats). Marchuska's show closed the Greenshows and was packed; a look at her shift-dresses in simple shapes and urban color palette and one could see why the line's a local favorite. Designs were all made with sustainable fabrics and designed in Brooklyn, and produced in NYC.
Popomomo is designed, sewn, dyed and produced in the City of Angels, from lower-impact fabrics like Tencel gabardines, recycled poly/hemp denim, and hemp blended wovens and fleece. Several of designer Lizz Wasserman's pieces were simple up front but the backs told another story, with contrasting zippers, layers of fabric and othere make-you-look-twice details.
Theives" Fall/Winter collection was all about dressing chicly for the post-apocalyptic world. In shades of black and grey, with nary a colour in sight, these vestments would fit in perfectly in Cormac McCarthy's novel The Road, or Atwood's vision in Oryx and Crake. Despite the dark inspirations, designer Sonja den Elzen's pieces are incredibly wearable and perfect for urban nomads, who need simple, interesting pieces that layer up with plenty of sophistication. Made with soy, hemp, organic cotton and bamboo, the soft materials and defined shapes are ideal for travelling.
Wilian"s urban take on eco fashion was easy, wearable and fun, with lots of tunic-top shapes over leggings, which is not only comfortable, but easy-easy-easy (who needs hard these days anyway?) This newcomer to eco fashion surprised those of us who hadn't heard of the line - and we'll be keeping an eye on this designer with a flair for comfortable yet edgy fashion.
All images by Starre Vartan, except Willian image, courtesy of Ecouterre.