DBTV: Girlie Girl & The Brute at The Green Shows, Pt 2

September 25, 2009

This is part 2 of our series about The Green Shows at NYC Fashion week. In this installment we meet Tara St. James of Study, Suki Kramer of Suki, and Eric Dorfman, founder of The Green Shows. Look out for part 3, coming soon!

Study

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DBTV: Girlie Girl & The Brute at The Green Shows, Pt 1

September 24, 2009

The Green Shows were an extravaganza of sustainable designers showcased over two days during NYC’s Fashion Week just days ago! Check out part 1 of our series from The Green Shows, featuring yours truly, Chloe Jo Berman from Girlie Girl Army, and designers Bahar Shahpar and Lara Miller. Stay tuned for more!

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Victoria Bartlett, VPL SS10

September 14, 2009

VPL01It’s Fashion week in NYC! Here is my interview with Victoria Bartlett about her show at the Chelsea Piers for Spring/Summer 2010.

In regard to her sponsorship by the Humane Society of the United States, she had this to say:

“I’ve always been anti-fur – I love my pets…and I could never see them being worn. It’s a very human time right now, and what’s the sense in more carnage? There are other things in life to celebrate and design doesn’t have to be draped with dead animals.” - Voctoria Bartlett


Prelovers, Superfoods, Fur Foibles, & Veganic Farming

February 24, 2009

from the left: Shelley Whelan - Montreal Retail Manager & Rep, Julia Grieve - Founder & CEO, Colin Seymour - Toronto Retail Manager & Rep

From the left: Shelley Whelan - Montreal Retail Manager & Rep, Julia Grieve - Founder & CEO, Colin Seymour - Toronto Retail Manager & Rep

PRELOVED held their first US in-store event on Sunday evening at the Greenpoint, Brooklyn boutique, ALTER. The Spring ‘o9 collection is made entirely of reclaimed items like bed sheets, shirts, suiting, and even curtains! These items would otherwise end up in a landfill, and have been reconstucted into really gorgeous garments for ladies and gentalmen, alike. Founder and CEO,  Julia Grieve told me that she never intended to be an environemntalist, she just liked working with reclaimed fabrics. But now, as Preloved heads to the forefront of the green-fashion movement, she realized the importence and gravity of making sustainability ‘cool’. Nothing says sustainable like turning trash into gorgeous, head-turning garments. You won’t find find any granola on their runway!

The Zuri Tee $169.00 at ALTER

The line does include wool, but it is recycled from old sweaters that would otherwise be garbage. I’m not going to be complaining about it. Hopefully this trend will catch on, and with styles as awesome as the Zuri Tee, who can resist?

ALTER consists of two boutiques across the street from eachother in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Owned and operated by Roy Caires and Tommy Cole, they carry a great selection of eco and veg-friendly items incuding their own repurposed line “This Old Thing?” as well as Matt & Nat accessories, Melissa shoes, and they have more coming! ALTER is carrying the women’s collecion for Preloved currently, and will be carring the men’s collection within a few weeks.

Speaking of Matt & Nat, I love their new vegan, canvas, Bauhaus bag with 100% recycled lining.canvas-men_lo bauhaus_2

gg125x125.jpgGirlie Girl Army shows us how to get superpowers from superfoods! This is a 101 for anyone who wants to know the basics of the superfood phenomenon! This is for dudes too! Wanna stop chugging sugary, milk-protein-laden workout ‘food’ and get a longer-lasting, healthy high for that extra curl, press, or pull-up? Try these foods! Also, if you didn’t hear Chloe’s sexy visit to the boys at Hot97, click here.

Veganic farming is wha…? Veganic farming takes organic farming and brings it to it’s logical conclusion. Who wants to eat organic potatoes that grew in factory-farm feces and blood? Ugh..  the vegan permaculture movement is taking hold! The Huguenot Street Farm in New Paltz, NY is one successful example. Check out their funny video here, and stay tuned for more updates on the veganic farming movement:

FICA is full of it. The ‘Fur Information Council of America’ insists that fur is the “natural, responsible choice“.

FICA

If you’ve already started rolling your eyes or laughing, you are not alone. In WWD, for the final day of NY Fashion Week (The Feb 20th, 2009 issue), FICA paid for an ad that was disguised as a part of the paper to make it seem as though fur garments were heavily talked-about in the publication.

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In fact, aside from one shawl by Issac Mizrahiny, there wouldn’t have been any fur in the publication that day. Boo hiss to Issac for his hideous new fur collection. Also watch his attempt to lose weight eating “vegan” M&Ms.

Imvidblog_2009_0208_lizshow_small

"Peanut M&M's are vegan" ...right

Robert Verdi PictureAlso boo, hiss to TV Host and supposed ‘style expert’, Robert Verdi who I spotted in the lobby, surrounded by plastic fur-hags, wearing this atrocious hood (Did his Court-Dress wig fall back, or was he going for the evil Skeksis look?).

http://images4.wikia.nocookie.net/muppet/images/6/6d/SkekAyak.jpg

Skeksis from "The Dark Crystal"

Tim Gunn should give them both a stern talking-to in the ways of educated and compassionate elegance. The only way to look like a bigger jerk is to have tan-lines in the shape of aviators on your head. Oh wait…

What I love (and by love, I mean hate) about FICA’s pretty-in-pink website is the total avoidance of ever mentioning an animal oustside of abstractions like “species” or “populations”. If they did acknowlegde that individual animals with brains and nervous systems existed, they’d have to follow through with logic that would contradict their reference of animals as “natural resources” to be used “responsibly”. I won’t even make the historical comparisons, you can do that yourself.


Fashion Week Highlight: John Patrick Organic, Fall 2008

February 11, 2008
Organic

I crossed under the scaffolding on a wet, gray Friday to enter the Bryant Park Hotel where a small crowd had gathered by the elevator, chatting about everything from the rain outside to Hillary Clinton’s pants-suits. I wondered if we were all headed to the same show – I couldn’t imagine the typical fashion-week crowd, ambling around in their furs and expensive-logos, getting excited by anything “eco”. Funny thing was, that on any other winter it would be snowing as opposed to raining. February in New York is typically a slushy mess, but – as we know – our planet is changing – and, being a physical part of it, so must we.

JPO Vest

Once inside the loft, a simple set of raw, wooden benches with recycled felt cushions lined the sides of the runway. The lighting was bright and sunny, and the room was getting packed. John Patrick ran around, saying hello to everyone and offering water. “You’re the one with the blog!” he said to me. “I grow my own organic cotton in the Peruvian jungle, and I recycle wool. I have offices in three different countries and I don’t even use computers!” He must have had some coffee. A suited DJ with classic Ray-Bans readied the turn-tables.

Apparently, John Patrick has mastered the art of turning old bed sheets into chic shirts, using harmless and natural dyes, and like Bono’s ‘Edun’, ORGANIC is comprehensive in it’s approach to labor. He travels around the world, training his factory workers to mill the organic crop into fibers and to maintain sustainable, local cottage hand-production industries.

JPO2

The menswear featured on the runway had a casual and bucolic, private-school feel. John Patrick’s home in the Hudson River Valley surely played a role in inspiring these rustic looks from the recycled wool herringbone pants and recycled alpaca, storm-dust gray, short-tie to the organic cotton and recycled-wool, kelp-green vest. Another highlight was a gorgeous, organic jungle-cotton henley.

We talked briefly about our common taste for folk-rock, his work methodology, and his motivations. “We make sexy, modern organic clothes for the sexy, modern organic world…to look at ORGANIC and see only clothes is to miss the point: the clothes reflect a lifestyle. To wear them is to vote for the radically modern concept that luxury isn’t about stuff, it’s about integrity.”

JPO4 While we disagree in some areas, specifically on the use of new wool and leather (aside form recycled wool, which I have no problem with, he uses new ‘organic’ Vermont wool and vegetable-tanned cow skin), our vision for a paradigm shift within the industry is mostly united. More and more, the symbology of ‘cool’ and ‘luxury’ is changing, albeit a resistance of status-quo financial interests, and continual waves of color-by-number designers, stylists, and writers who haven’t been exposed to anything but a traditional and dangerous ideology of garment production and it’s equally dangerous iconography.

Let’s be honest; prototypical fashion designers do not concern themselves with ethical issues of ecologicalJPO3 sustainability, social responsibility, and animal exploitation. Some do, however – recently, fur seems to have made a come-back, and even while a psudo-defiant celebration of infantile self-gratification seems to overwhelm the fashion industry’s most influential – there is a growing rebellion that has yet to be embraced as the true calling of the iconoclast. Designers such as Vivian Westwood, Ralph Lauren, Betsey Johnson, Benjamin Cho, Charlotte Ronson, Stella McCartney, Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, Comme des Garçons, Linda Loudermilk, Jay McCarroll, Richard Chai and Marc Bouwer have all banned fur from their designs. Michael Kors and Donna Karen, take note. For more on fur, click here.

Furthermore, organizations like the ICC, UN, and ILO provide standards in working towards sustainability and social justice.
>> Go to ILO

There is a new generation of people (not ‘consumers’) who really care about where their clothes come from and what lives they affect. The important thing is that SSA (Sustainability, Social Responsibility, Animal Advocacy) is no longer just a noble concept to put into action – it is literally crucial for the very existence of the fashion industry.

DB’s Etiquette Recommendation: We live on a finite planet (that means there are limits, not infinite resources) and the typical production model for fashion and most other industries is a linear one. All things considered, common sense tells us this is bound to self-destruct. Watch this video to get a better understanding. It’s high time for the rest of the fashion industry to evolve or die off. The stakes are high, but the reward is the sustenance of fashion itself.

Check back soon for my interview with John Patrick.

*Photos courtesy of Paper Magazine


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