Sustainability is a new buzz word in fashion and for good reason – turns out the clothes business is the second biggest polluter in the world, just behind oil. Yep, I winced too but the facts remain- fast fashion is costing the planet. It turns out a humble t-shirt requires 3 years worth of drinking water to produce the cotton needed for it’s production alongside heavy pesticides. Not only does la mode guzzle water, creating environmental disasters where it’s produced but it also pollutes it – it is estimated that 20% of water pollution comes from the treatment and dying of textiles with harsh chemicals.
The carbon footprint isn’t pretty either- 10% of global carbon emissions can be attributed to clothes production’s long supply chains and cheap synthetic fibers emit gasses like N20 which is 300 times more damaging than CO2. An average Australian buys 27kg of new textiles every year and then discards 23kgs into landfills, mostly cheap fabrics made from petroleum that further pollute the environment when incinerated. And if all this makes you feel like you never wish to shop again, here is the silver lining; brands are hopping aboard the sustainability train at record speeds since 66% of millennials have said that they would pay more for sustainable fashion. And it’s not just staple basic brands such as Everlane or Allbirds that boast eco credentials- sustainability is getting sexy across the board. Prepare to feel optimistic as we look at some designers that exist in this exciting new sphere of fashion with our gorgeous model Rae, herself a marine biologist in training.
(Above)This bustier is made by Wynn Hamlyn who stress local, ethical manufacturing and utilize a variety of natural fibers. thus minimizing environmental impact. Susan Driver hand makes jewellery in Brisbane using sustainably sourced metals and stones whilst the bumbag is by St Xavier who practice fair trade and invest in underprivileged communities - products are handmade in Northern India generating sustainable income for 500 men and women.
KowTow is a NZ label that prides itself on utilizing organic cotton whilst being environmentally conscious and providing certified workers’ rights and safety, not to mention creating cool jumpsuits. Lingerie is by Lonely, another NZ label that has been accredited child labour free whilst protecting the environment with the safe disposal of waste materials and Jewellery is from Tiffany & Co who use sustainably and ethically sourced metals for their pieces.
The Conscious Collection is a label by the giant H&M who created this dress and earrings. They have pledged to use 100% renewable or recycled materials by 2030, are using 59% sustainably sourced cotton now and recycled nearly 18 tonnes of textiles in 2017. The coat is by Arnsdorf who rebooted after 5 years with impeccable eco credentials- the label not only has full transparency on fabric sourcing which includes organic cotton and indigo dyed denim but also on manufacturing costs and wages. The pieces are meant to be timeless- the brand offers in house fittings and lifetime repairs too. The bag is by St Xavier( as mentioned before )
Kit X is a label that has been at the helm of this movement and it’s founder Kit Willow is passionate about ethically sourced materials, developing eco fabrics and fair treatment of workers whilst creating pieces that look amazing like this dress. Temple of The Sun jewellery uses sustainably produced silver and gold plating which has either been recycled or sourced from a certified mine and produced in a boutique, ethical fashion.
Maggie Marilyn creates luxurious, modern and quirky clothes that are sustainably and ethically produced and this gorgeous dress is no exception. Byfar is a Bulgarian shoe label produced in a small Italian family factory that utilizes sustainable dead stock leather rescued from luxury Italian factories
Matches Fashion is jumping on board the sustainability movement by promoting many new designers and this dress by Kalita sees the designers utilizing sustainable materials whilst hand dying fabrics
Fashion practices are shifting but as consumers we are the ultimate creators of change so let’s choose with our wallets by supporting labels leading the way in creating a cleaner future that doesn’t give up on the fashionable factor.
This story appeared on Vogue.com.au here!
Photography: Alice Wesley-Smith
Model: Rae Rodriguez from IMG
H&M: Claire Thomson
Styling & words : Tanja Gacic
Australian fashion continued to carve its own path on the world stage at this year’s Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia (MBFWA) with our designers covering everything from swim to denim, ready-to-wear and high-gloss evening wear.
Dion Lee opened the week with a spectacular show at the foreground of the Opera House, wowing with his unique mix of high tech craft, interesting tailoring and modern swim whilst simultaneously launching the kind of menswear any man would love.I was excited about Alice McCall’s foray into glam rock with a Hollywood starlet edge, Bec & Bridge’s return to rock 'n' roll party dresses, Akira’s soft yet modern collection, Double Rainbouu’s signature look, Michael Lo Sordo’s dramatic silks and hipbone detailing, Christopher Esber’s mix of irreverent cool and great tailoring, Vale denim’s pastels, the ever amazing Ellery fashion code…and the list goes on! Special kudos goes to this year’s casting which included older women, street kids and ordinary people, making shows diverse and fun to watch.
I was privileged to borrow clothes from five designers prior to fashion week to bring you this story. It is always difficult to pry items away from designers so close to their big event, but also incredibly exciting to shoot the pictures whilst getting a sneak peek into their collections.
Without further ado here is my review of five designers …
Wearing: Yousef Akbar dress, Gucci heels from Farfetch, Christian Louboutin bag
Yousef Akbar is a young designer making a name on the world scene designing daring clothes favoured by the likes of Chrissy Teigen, Kelly Osbourne and Jessica Mauboy. Yousef has his own way of mixing avant-garde with eveningwear and I’m excited to see what this fresh designer does next. I especially loved his foray into sequin and feather this season.
Wearing: MacGraw top, skirt and shoes
MacGraw is a label I have been following for a while for their vintage-brought-to-the-21st-century-sensibility. For this collection they seemed to veer far into the past, mixing Edwardian times with the 60s, 70s and 80s, with puffed sleeves, high collars, checks, prints and ruffled skirts that young Madonna would’ve adored.
Wearing 10 Pieces
Ten Pieces showed their collection at Icebergs's dining room and bar, with the pretty views juxtaposing the tough streetwear collection on show. A mainly black and white series of easy to wear pieces showed designer Maurice Terzini’s penchant for avant-garde yet relaxed clothes that are sure to be a hit with the cool kids. For this story we shot a different side to this label, influenced by Terzini’s partner Lucy Hinckfuss who is bringing in a soft and feminine hue as a polar opposite to the label’s aesthetic. Hinckfuss has said: “ Ten Pieces is an androgynous label so we decided that there should be more variations and the kind of clothes that appeal to women. These will be available alongside our other pieces online.”
Wearing: KitX, vintage Balenciaga heels, YSL sunglasses from Farfetch
KITX is one of my favourite brands showing at MBFWA. I am not sure if it is Kit Willow’s infectious enthusiasm at bringing top-notch quality to ecologically responsible manufacturing, or the fact that she always uses beautiful fabrics that she makeshifts into addictively interesting staples . This season, Kit continued her reign as the tailoring queen, mixing it with sensuous silks , sexy draping, colour blocking and grown up relaxed chic.
Wearing: Romance Was Born dress, Gianvitto Rossi boots, vintage hat
Romance Was Born closed MBFWA in a spectacle of a Studio 54 extravaganza. High drama and theatrics always make Romance Was Born’s shows eagerly anticipated and this year did not disappoint. The audience tapped their feet to the beat and swooned over amazing specifics (each girl had different hair and make up! There was a dance sequence! Nude models were body painted by artist Del Kathryn Barton!). Underneath all the glitz, however, certain things stand, such as the incredible attention to detail. The codes that Romance Was Born has built over the years have been re-invisioned through cool denim, oversized sleeves and beading. Lush ruffles have joined oversized feather jackets, along with rainbow fringing and colourful suiting.
Styled and Photographed by Tanja Gacic
Hair and Make up by Claire Thomson using Oribe hair products
Model: Nathalie Nyren from Chic Model Management
Assisting by Eleni George
This post originally appeared on vogue.com.au here!
My love for Australian Fashion Week runs deep. For 20 years now, I have participated in it in some way or another; first as a budding young model going on intimidating castings, later as a runway model with an incredibly OTT walk that I’m not even sure I could replicate now, and nowadays as a blogger who is passionate about the amazing fashion being created in our country. A lot of people think that to look stylish they need to look beyond our shores but I am finding that to be more and more untrue as time goes by. In fact, I would like to state that I believe Australian Fashion has never looked better, more well made or relevant on the world stage than it is today. The variety and ingenuity of our designers only gets deeper and wider each year, so that it is now possible to dress only in Australian fashion and look incredible each day. Fashion made in this country now covers all price points and all styles of dressing; the glamorous and the basic , not to mention sporty and swim. Without further ado, here is my review of 8 designer’s shows this year.
(above) ROMANCE WAS BORN: Set in the beautiful Carthona house and it’s magical gardens, RWB sent out otherworldly girls that belonged in the 1920s wearing romantic and whimsical yet strong and intricately detailed clothes that took my breath away. I feel RWB are really hitting their stride and capitalising on their codes; embellishments, tactility and craftsmanship mixed with sparkle, vintage aesthetic and off beat femininity. This collection is full of the sort of gowns and dresses that you will covet for life ; you know how there is always a moth eaten vintage dress that is so beautiful you just cannot part with it ,ever? These pieces are destined to become keepsakes that your children fight over. ( gown by RWB, shoes by Saint Laurent )
KITX : To start an ecologically conscious label is no small feat in today’s world of fast fashion, yet Kit Willow has managed to mix impressive eco credentials with clothes that actually look amazing as well. This collection is full of gauzy cottons, the softest, naturally dyed leather and quirky artesian detailing,boasting perfect, breathable pieces for your next holiday along with every day staples that you’ll cherish forever ( Kit X bustier dress and boots, Dior sunglasses )
PE NATION: Pip Edwards and her partner Claire Tregg have managed to create a sportswear label that is not only functional but also achingly cool and desirable. Think sexy,high tech, rave , 90s inspired pieces that will look just as cool at the gym as they will sipping the morning latte at your local. No wonder OS buyers have gone gaga over the brand (P.E top, skirt, bra tops and sunglasses, Tommy Hillfigher booties )
REBECCA VALANCE: The queen of the well cut dress sent out perfect examples of her tailoring across supple leathers, a smattering of yellow, stripe and off the shoulder gowns that made me swoon. These are not clothes that reinvent the wheel but are pieces that every woman needs in her wardrobe- elegant and sexy at the same time whilst remaining well made (Rebecca Valance dress, Stuart Weitzman heels)
TONI MATICEVSKI: The 80s trend has been building up for a while, yet no where did I feel it deconstructed in the right way as much as I did at Maticevski. Whilst bustles hail from 17th century, they made a reappearance at Maticevski in a variety of ways, building up on the designer’s love of peplum, along with all of by now famous Maticevski codes; the punky yet sexy gowns, amazing pencil skirts that do miracles to a woman’s booty and crop tops that are anything but their namesake. Maticevski does his thing and he does it well; these are clothes for grown up women who are not prepared to lose their sexuality or elegance any time soon. Blade runner vibes were punctuated by amazing crystal gags and cuffs by Ryan Storer. Because why wouldn’t put together also be irresistibly naughty? ( Maticevski skirt, top and sleeves, Giuseppe Zanotti pumps)
Read the full story on vogue.com.au here
Photographed by Alice Wesley-Smith