Fashion that's green
This spring, art and nature vie with each other to create a season overflowing with colour. Keep pretty and eco-friendly this spring with these fashion trends.
This spring, art and nature vie with each other to create a season overflowing with watercolour florals and sculpted silhouettes. Blooming bouquets of colour are showing up on everything from extreme cut ensembles to whipped tulle dresses. We’re also seeing an updated ’70s vibe offering a new spin on the flower child. While eco-designers are not yet as well known, they are driving some of the top trends. From tie-dyed fabrics to bright whites, eco-designers are offering their take on a season that is at once pretty with a provocative edge.
The goddess theme coursed down the runway, inspired by one of fashion’s most austere figures, the legendary French couturier, Madame Gr? Born in 1903, Gr?is known for her draping, and represents an ideal of beauty and skilful handiwork that is almost obsolete. The classical Greek style of her gowns was a key theme in ’08 from London to New York.
Featured here is Vancouver designer Joanna Kulpa’s beautiful Rioja dress complemented by earth-inspired Contexture Designs wood cuff.
Neutrals & Transparency
Nicole Bridger’s short, see-through fabrics channelled Marc Jacob’s, who got everyone talking about sex with his influential themes of transparency and boudoir. The Danish label NOIR, a socially and eco-conscious label, held its first show in New York, where its transparent theme coincided with the launch of Nu NOIR lingerie. Indeed, lingerie-inspired clothing was everywhere. With the act of undressing a prevailing theme, neutral colours were a runway hit, blending in with the body and elongating the silhouette.
Featured here is Stella McCartney’s sheer silk check shirt with Nicole Bridger’s white tank and Thieves 100% organic cotton Capri pants. Vegan fuschia bag by Matt and Nat and sterling silver earrings and necklaces by Sugarlime jewelry complete the look.
Monochrome & Prints
If all that transparency sounds a little too much like the emperor who wore no clothes, the spring is also awash with monochromatic and geometric prints for those looking to make a bolder statement, such as this 100% silk print dress by Moschino.
Elroy’s dress channels classic white sophistication with an eco-twist. The 100% hand-loomed bamboo dress is accented with a flax and linen sun hat and silk satin Stella McCartney clutch.
Whether eco-designers are becoming more mainstream, or mainstream designers are answering to a growing consumer demand, the divide is dissolving. As newly launched Elroy designer, Leanne McElroy puts it, “The acceptance of eco-friendly fabrics being brought into fashion-forward lines, and, more importantly, the consumer choosing to buy these products, just shows how important this movement is: green clothing is not just a trend.”
There are signs that eco-designers may even be redesigning the trend criteria, coming up with their own options such as Ethical High Street and Organic & Original, as featured in UK-based ethical magazine, newconsumer.
A sign of the industry’s growing clout is Linda Loudermilk. Coined the queen of environmentally responsible fashion, she landed on W magazine’s list of 2007’s most influential people in style. Just five years ago Loudermilk began experimenting with organic cotton and recycled plastic bottles to develop a collection that is now considered at the forefront of environmental fashion.
More high profile designers are following down the green path. Oscar de la Renta recently designed clothing out of modified corn starch at the Biotech Fashion Show in Toronto, and Proenza Schouler presented environmentally friendly clothing at New York Fashion Week. On a grassroots level, Nicole Bridger is consistently producing high fashion eco-clothes. She trained under Diane von F?enberg, and it shows–her spring 2008 collection won the Generation Next Award at BC Fashion Week.
Beautiful silk tunics were illustrated with ’70s-inspired wood nymphs by Prada and hippie-prints by Narciso Rodriguez. And short silk dresses were also in high demand, present everywhere from eco-designer Thieves in Toronto to this Balenciaga floral number. White bag by Matt and Nat.
Light & Luxurious
This Jason Matlo 100% cotton dress looks beautiful with a Mandula 100 percent virgin wool scarf. This design appeals to confident women who celebrate fashion through a desire for innovation, luxurious fabrics and textures, and meticulous attention to detail.
Though none of his customers are specifically asking for it, Canadian designer Jason Matlo enjoys using natural fabrics for his design collections. “Fashion’s one of the worst things there is in terms of the environment. So if you can use something ethical, why wouldn’t you?” he asks. And when Matlo chooses a sustainable fabric, it is also about the quality and feel.
Eco-fashion is now turning traditional fashion weeks on their heads by producing its own eco-shows, such as Fashion Takes Action and The Green Carpet Series in Toronto and Sustain Your Style in Vancouver.
With eco-fashion shows raising funds for environmental causes, and producing shows that look at the entire eco-footprint of the event, enviro-friendly couture is setting new trends by creating new standards and, just possibly, turning traditional fashion green with envy.