Contributing Monkie Jennifer Buonantony
Published on November 19, 2007
Twice a year the fashion industry hosts one of its biggest and most important events Fashion Week. And Los Angeles, a city known for its red carpet celebrities dressed in designer duds, is vying for recognition among the top fashion cities of the world.
A week-long event that allows fashion houses and designers to showcase their latest collections, the events feature runway shows and often incorporate musicians, celebrity guests, charity events and high profile parties. Held in the fashion capitals of the world — Paris, London, Milan, New York and (now Los Angeles) – Fashion Week draws not only fashion professionals, but press, celebrities, members of the entertainment industry and fashionistas alike.
For me, the best part about LA Fashion week this year was the increasing trend toward highlighting green designers and giving back to the Earth and the local community. In addition to L.A.-based Petro Zillia’s bright sassy dresses, Nicky Hilton’s casual Chick line and chic “modern art” inspired dresses by Sue Wong, the event debuted eco-friendly lines Ecoganik and Evidence of Evolution and highlighted other designers making a move toward sustainable fabric choices.
In addition to the main events at Culver City’s Smashbox Studios, an art production company called BOXeight also hosted its own three-day party as a part of Fashion Week, matching the “green” vibe of its competitor across town. The venue was the ultra-hip cathedral turned nightclub Vibiana Place, located in downtown Los Angeles.
Ecoganik is a California-based fashion designer/manufacturer who rocked the runway at Smashbox. Recognizing the demand for green purchasing options, this they created a line designed for the contemporary customer; young, hip eco-responsible. Their stylish fashions use only certified organic or eco-friendly fabrics and their manufacturing adheres to the international organic certification standard. In addition, the company is committed to promoting the alternative cropping of organic, pesticide free and low impact dye fiber that in turn saves the planet from further contamination and degradation.
Evidence of Evolution, chosen as the Mercedes Benz “Designer Presents” show of the week, launched their latest collection, which incorporated environmental messaging into their original artwork and designs. The line also uses low impact dyes and no VOC water-based paints for silk screening. It adheres to Carbon Free Business practices to offset its carbon footprint and utilizes local artisans for its crafting. The ready-to-wear line features both men’s and women’s clothing, including premium organic sateen cotton suits for men, and fluid, organic cotton voile dresses for women.
In addition, the Evidence of Evolution line was sponsored by TheFindGreen.com — a shopping search engine which debuted this past September and is entirely devoted to the discovery of green-friendly fashion, home, and lifestyle products, all developed through processes and practices that contribute to the preservation of the Earth’s natural resources.
Matching the “green” vibe at Smashbox Studios, EcoNoveau opened BOXeight’s Fashion Week with a non-traditional runway show featuring an array of innovative eco-fashion designers, as well as incorporated music and artwork from eco-friendly artists in their production. EcoNouveau hopes to drive the green movement deeper into the local and global consciousness by highlighting the most exciting new designers, artists, musicians, activists and businesses in a creative and accessible way.
Other designers are taking leaps toward more eco-friendly choices. Heatherette debuted a line filled with bold prints and wild street ware, some of which incorporated organic fabrics. In addition, Richie Rich — one of the main designers of Heatherette — recently participated in FutureFashion show, an event which featured only sustainable fabrics. “People often perceive the fashion world as superficial,” says Rich, “so it’s great to work with materials that are actually good for the environment. I had my doubts, but when we actually saw the fabric swatches, we were blown away.”
In my opinion, LA fashion week proved that as consumers, our purchases are influencing the lines designers design and manufactures produce. Wider awareness of global issues are pushing consumers to demand higher standards and more environmentally responsible designs.
Hopefully this year was the beginning of a trend toward globally conscious lines that will one day soon become the standard in all fashion design.
Photography by David Heisler