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Stella McCartney Interview by Suzy Menkes for the International Herald Tribune, March 2009



Eco-friendly London Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2010 - Estethica

Estethica is the eco-friendly fashion showcase of London Fashion Week and SS10 was sponsored By Monsoon for the fifth season running.  Eco designers not only have to create beautiful pieces that will set our hearts racing; they have to ensure the environment is not damaged, the rights of workers are fair and resources are not wasted.  Tough call but as you can see below, they have pulled it off:

Not dragging their feet are two eco-friendly shoes designers: Beyond Skin and Nina Dolcetti.

Beyond Skin are vegan shoes designers using PU plastic rather than leather. Their SS10 collection introduces a capsule evening wear range. They are excited about the US store Anthropologie arriving soon in to the UK (Regents St.) because they will be stocking their new pumps  ”Beyond Skin Sole”.

Nina Dolcetti designs leather footwear but only uses left overs, off-cuts, old colour swatches and any other unwanted pre-consumer waste to create her shoes. Left over leather soles are used from other shoe companies, re-cut and re-stamped with the correct size.  All the shoes are limited editions as the design and colour depends on the left overs.  So if you want to be ethical but can’t bear to give up your leather shoes – this is your kind of brand.

Hats off to Pachacuti who design fedoras and panama hats whilst ensuring just remuneration for current weavers, ensuring sustainablilty and training a new generation in weaving techniques.Their SS10 collection was inspired by the painters and sculptors of St. Ives in Cornwall, with the interweaving diamond shapes drawn from the sculptures of Barbara Hepworth.  Vivid colours and intricate detailing keep the authenticity of the Inca heritage.

Makepiece spins a yarn with their SS10 knitwear collection “the Matrimony” which was inspired by  Nicola Sherlock’s (the designer) own wedding this year. This collection sees delicate fine knitwear with ruffles, ruching, ribbons and plaits creating a romantic feel. Light airy colours of sky, petal, lilac haze and cream mingle with more earthy colours of evening green and dark earth.  The knitwear company is based in the Yorkshire Pennines where they take the natural yarns from their own sheep, spin them as locally as possible and knit them in their own community.  Buy from Stella, 5 Upper Market Hall, Camden Lock, London.

Anatomy’s SS10 collection shows tailored pieces in navy with an accent of red in buttons and buckles. Fabrics used are bamboo for their denim pieces; hemp and cotton blend for their fun stripey pencil skirts and jackets ; and a linen silk blend. Best sellers are their fencing styled waistcoats and jackets which flatter the figure and emphasise or give the illusion of a waist. A perfect brand for the woman who prefers her clothes structured. Buy online from www.devidoll.com

The Bees Knees - Designer Ada Zanditon created a Buzz with her SS10 collection “The Colony”. Inspiration came from bees. Main palette is red and navy. Hexagonal shapes were widely used  in patterns (as seen in the red tunic dress on the hanger) and to make 3D sculptural pieces such as the navy interlock skirt & cape. All fabrics used are organic and natural. Her designs can be bought from Digitaria, 60 Berwick St. London.

Soaring high is Christopher Raeburn’s SS10 collection made of re-appropriated military parachute fabric. The garments are brought to life with splashes of rainbow colours – red, orange, yellow, green ,blue, indigo and violet, with circle cut outs appearing on lapels and around hoods for decoration. Mainly designing outerwear such as parkas, bomber jackets, macs, capes and ponchos, Raeburn has created a capsule collection of dresses for SS10 with his orange creation being worn by Hilary Alexander to Downing Street.  Also this season, he has introduced the “jellyfish” bag made of woven netting with parachute fabric and cord .His designs for men can be bought from Liberty and for women in Browns Focus.

Elena Garcia’s SS10 collection is called “ Silk Safari” and was inspired by the films The English Patient and Lawrence of Arabia. Colour palette is chocolate brown, charcoal and ivory to capture the romance and the earth tones of the landscape in these films.  Garments come in one size but can be adjusted by means of ribbons or shell buttons – great concept when you’ve eaten too much for dinner!  The garments are made from organic and peace silk.

Beautiful Soul specialises in creating pieces from Japanese vintage kimonos (dating back to the 1940’s)  and has named her SS10 collection ”Miss Butterfly” after Puccini’s Madam Butterfly. Another source are vintage saris, and other fabrics used are peace silk, organic jacquard, handloom cotton and bamboo jersey. Although the designs can be reproduced, each garment is exclusive due to the fabrics used originating from a limited source of vintage kimonos and saris. Beautiful Soul is happy to create commissioned pieces and for you to select your own Japanese vintage kimono for the fabric.  You can buy  from Junky Styling , 91 Brick Lane, London.

Article 23 in the UN Declaration of Human Rights states “Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity”. And this is the commitment for Paris based fashion brand Art.23 whose garments are made in India where they ensure the most fundamental rights of the workers are upheld and their vital needs are seen to. Art.23’s SS10 collection was inspired by “Alice in Wonderland”- invoking the spirit of Alice for adventure in their women’s collection and a minimalist man in Wonderland who is ready for any occasion in their men’s collection.  Coral for women and mauve for both are the SS10’s colours to join their basic black and white palette. Truly playing in Wonderland sees the introduction of the Unisex collection with t-shirts, shirts and the unisex fantasy trench coat sporting six engraved buttons with closing for man & woman. SS10 also sees the introduction of peace silk jersey to their fabrics of organic cotton.  Buy  from  KJ’s Laundry, 74 Marylebone Lane, London .

Fifi Bijoux’s SS10 collection is in ethically mined silver and romantically called “Two Hearts Collide”. This is the first time they have introduced silver usually creating delicate pieces in gold. This is for the woman who prefers luxury timeless jewellery.  They also specialise in ethical engagement and wedding rings. Buy in London from Charles Fish, Canary Wharf; Cerise, 94 Columbia Rd, E2; Eco Age 213 Chiswick High Rd; Equa, 28 Camden Passage, Islington; or Nude, 36 Shepherd’s Market, Mayfair .

Estethica designers have shown that we can maintain our fashionable individual style; whether it is tailored, structured, romantic, bold, casual, quirky or glamorous; and keep the environment safe, ensure no-one is exploited and resources are not wasted. We can now strut our stuff happy with the knowledge we not only look great on the outside, but we feel good on the inside.

For help with eco-friendly personal shopping in London and image consultancy visit frumpytofunky's website: www.frumpytofunky.com

About the Author

frumpy to funky was established by Karen Grace, an affiliate member of the Federation of Image Consultants.

Karen has studied Personal Styling at the London College of Fashion and received her professional training in one of the London's leading Image Consultancy training centre.
More details can be seen on www.frumpytofunky.com

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