Here at G Living we really like mixing it up at a gas stations. Okay, I’m being a little facetious. BP Helios House is more than a gas station – it was the chosen location for the debut of Linda Loudermilk’s Spring 2008 collection, Windpower. Supermodel Kristi Hume and other long limbed lovelies pumped gas…I mean, strutted the catwalk…for a host of eco-fabulous celebrities including rumored guest Prince, although the super secretive star did manage to keep well out of the spotlight. How convenient.
When it comes to high-end green fashion, they don’t come any bigger or better than Linda Loudermilk. Linda introduced breakthrough fabrics like mud-dyed linen, vegan silk and milk cashmere. These were in addition to her staples like organic cotton, seaweed wood pulp and sasawashi (a Japanese leaf… don’t worry, I’m half Japanese and I had to look that one up).
Nature vs Future could be a Zen Buddhist koan to which there’s no logical answer. Brooklyn-based designer and graduate of the prestigious Parson’s New School for Design, Nina Valenti, chose the name to honor her belief that there’s a constant struggle between organic existence and technological advancement. “The more we advance, the more we need to consider nature before we deplete it. In this tension to find balance is the living energy of the collection and hence the name,” she says.
The name works on another level, too. “Nature” because of the natural materials Valenti chooses to work with like organic cotton, organic wool, hemp, soy, bamboo, seacell® (seaweed), lyocell (wood pulp) and Ingeo™ (created from corn), and “Future” because her strong, sexy collection represents a deconstructed future complete with asymmetrical hemlines, severe pleats, military collars and creative cut outs. All garments are locally produced in NYC.
Thanks to Kate McGregor of Kaight for introducing me to this newly launched line of shoes by Charmone. The sculptural wedges and platform shoes designed in menswear tweeds are some of my favorites for adding some chic to your office style:
According to their website the shoes are vegan and PVC free. They use instead high-quality microfiber suedes, and water-based glues which tread lighter on the planet and are healthier for people. Their shoes are made in Europe and they’ve incorporated recycled materials into their production process, and donate 5% of their profits to charities like Women for Women International, a charity that provides women survivors of war, civil strife and other conflicts with the tools and resources they need to move from poverty and crisis to stability and self-sufficiency.
Let’s face it: with a thick layer of negativity permeating the planet, we could all use a dose of positivity. Thankfully, we’ve got Re:volve working to create a better, more sustainable future.
The ethical clothing line debuted at LA’s uber trendy Fred Segal store late last year amid scores of flash bulbs and paparazzi. Socially conscious celebrities Amy Smart, Roger Cross and a camera-shy Anthony Kedis were among the supporters of this brand spanking new sustainable style endeavor from husband and wife design team Joe and Amy Tomlinson.
Parents of six, Joe and Amy were inspired by the lack of positive role models and positive images in pop culture. Rather than lament the status quo, they decided to get creative and do it to great effect.
A Small Collection would fit right in at a MOMA as part of an avant garde art installation, but these eleven short videos actually showcase Austin-based designer Alyson Fox’s eco fashion line. Inspired by vintage clothing, Alyson decided to emulate that look using only sustainable fabrics like organic cotton, hemp and linen, and organic elastics and buttons made from fallen tree branches.
Stella McCartney cares. No, really — she does. Stella cares for us so much that she decided to create her own 100% natural skincare line that doesn’t mince words. Care by Stella McCartney came about from the designer’s desire to have radiant, youthful looking skin without resorting to petrochemicals and silicone. This rock star’s daughter and internationally acclaimed fashion designer wanted rich, luxurious skincare products that would “sit proudly on her bathroom shelf”.
Finns have a unique sense of humor. Anyone’s who’s seen Aki Kaurismäki’s masterpiece “Drifting Clouds” knows what I’m talking about.
The concept of transforming used materials into funky new products is not a new one. However, Helsinki-based SECCO’s tongue-in-cheek take on post modern design had me at their homepage, which reads like a Dr Seuss story: “SECCO was born in the Electronic Waste Age in Wasteland, in a small village in a valley between the Rubber Hills. On the horizon, you can just make out the giant Computer Mountains where the river of Qwerty springs. At the edge of the forest that surrounds the village, you can find the LP-Towers reaching towards the white clouds. From the top of the towers you have a breathtaking view across Wasteland…”
What happens if you’re an avid record collector and your daughter cracks your favorite Fleetwood Mac vinyl? If you’re Meg Musick Makely — and your maiden name literally indicates that music is part of your life — you preserve the memories attached to that record by turning it into a fashion accessory. Meg made her first bracelet out of vinyl that day in her Chicago-based home. With the encouragement of her friends, she set up a modest stand at Chicago’s annual Wicker Park Festival that draws nearly 15,000 music lovers. They come to watch “up and coming” bands, purchase eclectic arts and crafts, and sample local foods. From there, she was featured in several magazines and it wasn’t long this former ballet teacher and jewelry sales rep had turned a broken record into a career.
In creating her pieces, Meg mastered a technique of using heat to shape the vinyl into its desired look. In making her bracelets, she uses a special cutting tool to slice the cross-section of the heated album where the band’s label appears. She cuts out the desired width for the size of the bracelet and then molds the strip into its shape.
Designers Karen Stewart and Howard Brown liken their latest collection, One Day This Summer, to “youthful freedom and carefree fun; like the summers we remember growing up”. Ahh yes, I remember those summers…the annual family beach holiday as an awkward adolescent, dying a thousand deaths whilst dining with my parents and younger siblings at a family bistro….ahh, the memories. But, no. I think the duo is referring to far less cringe inducing summery thoughts like lemon sorbet, gingham picnic blankets and butterflies. Images that this latest Stewart + Brown collection evokes.
For newcomers to the green scene, Stewart + Brown have been described as “organic pioneers” or as one of the original “ethical fashion brands”. They could be the described as the “fashion police” — policing themselves that is, by adhering to strict ethical rules of fashion conduct. Through innovation and artistic endeavor, their aim is to reduce waste, improve efficiencies and “use as little of the earth’s precious capital as possible”.
Take one clean, modern space, add a luxury product line, throw in some celebrity clientele and until recently you’d be on your way to a successful beauty boutique. But now there’s a new factor to consider: green. Or, if you have an appreciation of the French language like Renata Helfman, vert. Helfman, a make-up artist to the stars, recently opened her high-end luxury retail store on trendy Abbott Kinney in Venice, California, visited by Molly Sims & Alicia Silverstone. Specializing in all-natural planet-friendly organic products from around the world, Vert also boasts educational seminars and workshops on all things green.
What have we here? Another ethical clothing label? Not that I’m complaining. Having just written an article on child labor in the cotton industry, I’m all for organic cotton clothing. And if it takes a celebrity-filled opening at a trendy clothing store to get noticed, so be it. Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos
What do you get when you combine a global financial meltdown with an extended Winter? Apparently, a shortage of fashionable outerwear. SANS remedies this with two new releases in their successful digital sewing pattern series. Easy to create and customize, the result is a unique piece that keeps you warm while supporting your local economy.
With basic sewing skills and a single needle sewing machine standing by, download the digital pattern, print, and then cut and sew your own piece using a worn garment or a remnant of fabric. For a finishing touch, a genuine SANS label will be supplied to complete the garment (mailed worldwide).