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29 Apr 2009

Read Me: Ethical Style


This article from the very first issue of Ethical Style has some really good points about ethics and fashion … it is definitely worth a read! NB: I have edited some bits out for quicker/easier reading.

Back to Basics

M.J. Prest | September 2008

First and foremost, fashion is personal.

Yes, the Vogues and Elles of the world will tell you what designers are up to, which trends are getting all the buzz, and what A-list celebrities are wearing, but ultimately it’s the individual consumer’s call to find out what matters to them.

Think about Coco Chanel, for example: When she was getting her start in Paris in the 1910s, she was revolutionizing women’s attire in a way that shocked the public. She turned her back on constrictive corsets and bulky bustles, instead embracing comfortable pants and little black dresses made from jersey, which was then considered a junk fabric. She invented practical fashion for women. Chanel’s style was her own, and she showed the world that it was possible to use old materials in new ways.

A similar evolution is occurring today. …With so much talk in recent years about (global warming), it’s only natural that the ethics of fashion have started to enter the mainstream. Cotton is a staple in every closet, but now there’s a budding consciousness toward using fewer pesticides to grow it. The luxury market has exploded, and with it come questions of quality and authenticity. And the garment manufacturing boom in India and China means there’s more emphasis than ever on making sure workers there are getting treated and paid fairly.

All of this is why fashion ethics can mean many different things to different people. As with personal style – not everyone can walk in 4 inch stilettos and a babydoll dress doesn’t flatter all shapes – a consumer’s conscience has to be individually tailored.

There’s no universal prescription in creating an ethical wardrobe. For some fashionistas, finding organic and recycled textiles is paramount, while for others high-quality clothes that last are all-important. Some people are concerned about workers’ rights and fair trade, and other people seek out clothes made in the United States.

There will be some overlap between these groups for most consumers. Several companies are taking a holistic approach to designing clothes, using eco-textiles and paying their workers generous wages, for example. But most likely, you will have to shop around to create a closet that matches your personalized fashion sense as well as your conscience.

One of the first steps you can take is to review your wardrobe. Look at where your clothes have come from. How much is new or barely worn, and how much has seen you through many a season? Are you likely to buy something that will sit unused on a clothes hanger? Of the things you love, what are the qualities that are most important to you?

It won’t make any sense to purge your closet of everything you suspect was made by sweatshop workers or using environmentally unfriendly dyes. The solution to ethical consumerism is not living in burlap sacks, but to make informed decisions about the clothes you buy and what to do with them when you’re done.

(Source: ethicalstyle.com; amanalondon.com)

26 Apr 2009

DIY: Spring's Uberhuge earrings



I found these on whowhatwear.com and felt an immediate DIY project coming on. I actually used to make and sell leather earrings like this at the Valley Markets when I lived in Brisbane ... I have gotten lazy in my old age. Need to start DIYing again.

(Sources: style.com, whowhatwear.com)

Barbara Hulanicki


PS V. excited about the launch of Barbara Hulanicki for Topshop. I love Biba and wish wish wish I was born 30 years earlier! I want this piece.

21 Apr 2009

Matthew Ames


Occassionally I will come across images that i feel really represent my true style. This screams ME from head to toe. The slicked back hair, kimono sleeves, full length, colour (is beautiful) and of course the platform wedge sandals. I must remember to pay more attention to Matthew Ames in future.

(Source: style.com)

20 Apr 2009

Read Me


SECRETS OF EFFORTLESS FASHION

Take a cue from style icons Kate Moss, Maggie Gyllenhaal, and Stella McCartney.

We’ve all been there: arriving at some haute soiree positively preening over our pitch-perfect ensemble only to see her. That girl. The one with the Balenciaga leather jacket, the perfectly worn jeans, the Balmain crystal-encrusted sandals, and the smoky eyes. Suddenly, you want to burn a cigarette hole into your coat, smudge your eyeliner, muss your hair, and lose 10 pounds in 10 minutes. What was once a stellar outfit instantly seems so…bourgeois.

Save for scurrying home in a fit of pique, you can only hope to avoid a repeat of such an impasse by setting out to make yourself look equally dégagé. Then you won’t get sartorially bested your next night out on the town.

But how to accomplish such a feat? A more than cursory appraisal of our modern-day style setters reveals a treasure trove of subtle ideas that anyone with a good eye and a willing pocketbook can parse through. French actress Lou Doillon always manages to be artfully undone and spectacular no matter what look she decides to rock. If she’s in a snug minidress topped with a slouchy leopard coat or a body-conscious Hervé Léger bandage dress, the hair is loose, the makeup minimal, and the legs fantastic. Granted, her family pedigree and earthy sultriness help — as does a healthy dose of that very French je ne sais quoi.

For the likes of the perennially cool, like designer Stella McCartney, such inherent élan comes from within. “I just think that if you have the right attitude and you wear the clothes in the right way, you have a natural sexiness anyway,” says McCartney. “If you feel good in the clothes, then it comes out naturally.” Take actress Maggie Gyllenhaal, for example. She exudes a laconic nonchalance, so even when she turns up in a Louis Vuitton belted fur gilet, she makes a luxe look that would scream uptown on anyone else appear refreshingly downtown.

Of course, fashion’s reigning queen of effortless dressing is Kate Moss. Whether she’s dolled up for a night on the town in a Chanel jumpsuit bedecked with stars or traipsing around L.A. in denim microshorts, a psychedelic printed shirt, and caramel booties, she’s got that hard-to-pinpoint but easy-to-covet innate style that never looks overdone or overthought.

“When you think you’ve spent too much time getting ready, stop. It’s better to get dressed on a whim because you make instinctual decisions,” advises model-cum-designer Erin Wasson, who refers to her own look as “disheveled perfection.” Wasson has mastered tough chic with edgy styling choices like accessorizing an evening gown with a pair of hard boots or topping off an ethereal frock with a feathered headdress.

Designer Alexander Wang urges fashion followers to keep the mix fresh. “Go bold instead of dainty,” he advises. “Don’t be afraid to wear something oversize with something body conscious.”

The chicest looks these days are indeed all about contrasts. Anything ladylike or classic should be paired with something modern and cool. Actress Chloë Sevigny always manages to pull this off with aplomb, whether donning a denim jacket over an übershort camel dress or taking transparency to the limit by funking up a sheer top with a sexy matching brassiere. Ditto model Natalia Vodianova, who slips leggings under designer cocktail dresses.

Don’t wear everything from one designer, one season, or with one theme,” says Annabel Tollman, celebrity stylist to the likes of the Olsen twins and Scarlett Johansson. “Sometimes something wrong is right.”

This idea extends even to black-tie functions. Once a ball gown with a matching satin Manolo and a fur capelet would have been de rigueur; now it’s just old-fashioned. “Evening doesn’t mean traditional,” says Roopal Patel, senior women’s fashion director at Bergdorf Goodman. “There are no rules anymore. Bring more of your own personality and style to your look.” She suggests wearing a shrunken jacket over a posh frock or adding an “off” — a.k.a. nonmatching — color to your outfit in the form of a boldly hued shoe or clutch.

This season, jackets are a key piece to zero in on. One of McCartney’s brilliantly cut blazers will do the trick. The designer herself recommends throwing “a boyfriend jacket with a drop lapel over anything from a minidress to little shorts or skinny jeans.” A leather topper is another must-have staple, perfect with jeans and more formal dresses. Also, keep in mind that furs and animal prints lend instant cachet. And over-the-top accessories are always an easy add-on for transforming an outfit from staid to spectacular. Look to extravagant shoes, oversize clutches, and statement jewelry.

Naturally, effortless styling also encompasses your beauty regimen. For spring, it’s all about the eyes, according to Manhattan hair-and-makeup guru David Evangelista. “Whether it’s a lot of mascara or a strong eyebrow,” he says, “the focus is definitely on the eye.”

As for hair, gone are the days of perfectly shellacked chignons or pin-straight blowouts; it should be sexy and mussed. “I’m a big fan of the messy ‘do,” says Tollman. “I haven’t owned a hairbrush since 1982.”

Just remember: When trying to artfully cull the perfect look by imbuing just the right amount of nonchalance, don’t force the issue. Stick to your basic tastes, but tweak them just enough to give a modern insouciance. That way, the next time you’re out at a glittering fete, you’ll be the girl in the enviable ensemble.

(Source: harpersbazaar.com)


19 Apr 2009

Vivienne Westwood for Melissa

I never in a million years thought I would own a pair of shoes made from plastic but as Bliss from bliss-a-porter points out they are THE most comfortable shoes I have ever tried on. I don't own them yet but I have a feeling that I will ... very soon.

Whilst their website says very little about their ethics here's what I've gathered from doing a spot of google research. Melissa Shoes are completely vegan and made from something called MELFLEX plastic, a patented, hypo-allergenic, recyclable, and flexible PVC. The Brazilian-based company recycles of 99.9% of factory water and waste, and best of all recycle overstocked styles into next season’s collection. According to various sources employees are paid above average wages and benefits.

Finding shoes that tick any of my 'ethics' boxes is hard enough let alone one that ticks 3 (vegan, recycled/able & socially responsible) and I actually wanna wear them too!! Who knew.


(Source: hervia.com)

16 Apr 2009

14 Apr 2009

Label Love: Rani Jones





'Ethical' fashion labels have come a long way. I'm a real advocate of 'ethical fashion' (more on that later) but I just feel like so many labels are completely missing the mark. You can't sell a product simply because it's organic, recylced or because it's fairly traded. It just doesn't work like that. I think it's so important that designers or individuals who are driven by social responsibilty make a great product ... that people actually want to buy!!!

Rani Jones consider themselves to be contributing to the positive impact of slow fashion - their products are of high quality and long lasting. They are committed to pioneering this type of high quality, durable and long lasting product made from sustainable and eco-friendly materials.

(Source: ranijones.com)

11 Apr 2009

Breathtaking




Possibly the most beautiful shots I have ever seen.

Masha Novoselova in Vogue Germany February 2009

(Source: modelcouture)

1 Apr 2009

Label Love: Best Behavior






Best Behavior was established by the Danish designers Marie Ørberg and Malene Brøchner in 2004. Really love this brand.

(Source: BestBehavior.dk)