Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Thoughts on Sustainability and Fast-Fashion

Photo by Lillie Eiger

I received an email from a reader in New Zealand about the very inexpensive dress I included as part of yesterday's post showing a connection between the sculptures of Berner Venet and things I noticed floating around in the fashion ether.

The dress in question came from a D2C online Chinese company that I instinctively knew, after many years in this industry, couldn't be on the up and up. The reader was surprised and disappointed that I would include such an item despite my concerns, which I directly questioned in the post itself, about living wages and other labor and environmental violations a dress with such a low price would demand. She claimed that after clicking through to the site she felt like she needed a shower! Presumably because it was so icky and disturbing.

She was right to call me out. And so I removed the image as well as the link to the manufacturers site. If you check back you will notice that the post has been updated.

You probably know that I am an animal lover as well as a lover of all sweaters furry and fringe-y because they are a great alternative to using real fur. A while ago I pointed out that I would make sure to no longer post any image which has real animal fur shown. Because I'm also an advocate for sustainability and transparency in the fashion industry I mentioned the conundrum that faux furs create because the synthetic fibres from which they are made rely heavily on fossil fuels. I personally have made a choice that I would be anti-(real)fur first and support mills and bio-engineers working on alternative solutions for more eco-friendly materials.

In fact, I consulted with a brand that specializes in faux fur clothing to help them develop eco-friendly yarns which can be turned into eco-friendly, furry fabrics for their collection. They are being supported by both PETA and Cradle-to-Cradle in this endeavor. (Unfortunately I can't mention their name just yet.) This kind of thing is the future of fashion but it's going to take time.

We have a global culture of mass overconsumption. There is too much "stuff" in the world and $19 dresses contribute to the egregious waste of the earth's natural resources. $19 dresses also mean someone is probably not making a living wage or working in facilities that are safe.

53 million tons of clothing are produced each year and about 85% of that ends up in landfills. It is estimated that a woman wears an item of clothing an average of 7 times before getting rid of it. Each pound of clothing that ends up in a landfill produces 2lbs of CO2 emissions and landfill clothes, which can take up to 200 years to decompose in some cases, leak toxic dyes and chemicals into the soil, which can contaminate local drinking water.

Consumers are detached from this reality and unless those of us in the industry help to educate them, the cycle will continue. A return to quality and an appreciation for craft and skill must be redeployed.

I realize that most people can't afford luxury or contemporary priced clothing but fast-fashion, in its quest to achieve endless growth and profits, has trained customers to want more and more; faster and for a lot less. The more "stuff" they crank out, the more "stuff" we're convinced we need and like any addiction it soon spirals out of control.

I guarantee there is plenty of wiggle room between the $4.99 t-shirt at Forever 21 and the $499 one from Saint Laurent. Consumers need to be reprogrammed to buy less and buy better.

In any case, I welcome any and all comments and will strive to maintain my high aesthetic standards and a consistent POV while also making sure to uphold my core beliefs.

Monday, August 27, 2018

Inspired By | Berner Venet

I never heard of Berner Venet but saw his work on a trend board by Fashion Vignette and started to do a little research. OBSESSED! This is art you can live with forever.

Indeterminate Line 1984 - Graphite on wood
Indeterminate Line 2005 - Rolled Steel

Burberry's cashmere jacquard "Graffiti" sweater is what immediately came to mind. I have no idea if Venet's work was on the designers' minds of course...I'll leave that investigative research to the folks over at Diet Prada.

Burberry Grafitti Sweater
Available at Farfetch
Grib 1 - Torch cut waxed steel
Courtesy of Art Plural Gallery
I don't know why only the guys get to have this look.

Yohji Yamamoto Fall/Winter 2015
Installation at Versaille 2011
Kenzo Spring 2014
One Indeterminate Line, 1982
Grib 1 - Torch cut waxed steel

The artist with his work.


Thursday, August 23, 2018

Timeless Classics

There's a reason certain items achieve "classic" status. Editorially-speaking, the photography is usually the tell but most of the time, the designer or decade from which a piece was designed is indecipherable.

These images could be from the past, present or future. I snuck in 1 image from 20 years ago to prove my point. This is the difference between capital "F" Fashion and capital "S" Style.

Vogue Russia September 2018
Vogue Poland
Harper's Bazaar Australia June 2018
Marie Claire 1998
Marie Claire Australia May 2018
InStyle July 2018

Monday, August 20, 2018

Soft Stripes

These pieces all look like they're made from mohair, which seems like another crazy thing to be posting in August. Interestingly enough, when I was at Coach, mohair yarn always seemed to be prominent in the Spring collections. Go figure.

You can buy this one from Maiami on Goop


Ganni seems to be everywhere these days.


Simple and chic


Thursday, August 16, 2018

Summer Staple: Crochet Bikinis

Crochet bikinis are totally impractical but they always make for a great fashion editorial. We're approaching the official last 2 weeks of Summer vacation so now's your chance to wear one!

Harper's Bazaar Bulgaria August 2018
Harper's Bazaar Bulgaria August 2018
Harper's Bazaar Bulgaria August 2018

Monday, August 13, 2018

Fringey Patchwork

Not sure why I'm posting these chunky looks in the midst of a hot, sweaty NYC August but I can't resist a good fringe.  I absolutely love the first one and it seems easy enough for a decent handknitter to achieve.


Click on the link for this one and you can actually get the knitting instructions.

Novita Knits

Mixing in a little lace or other woven fabric lightens up the concept. Still, probably not good to wear in August!

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Inspired By | Performance Art

Rosetta Getty's crocheted flower dress is inspired by American-Cuban performance artist Ana Mendieta. Getty's dress is a limited run of 13 pieces, handmade in the USA. Each dress takes 75 hours to make and is constructed of 106 individual flowers. Enjoy!

Image courtesy of Wallpaper Magazine