Saturday, March 26, 2011

What is Eco Fashion? (By Taryn Hipwell)

Eco Fashion.  What is it?  Why is it separated from traditional fashion?  Initially it was separated because it was granola, scratchy, and not attractive.  Then Eco Designers like Linda Loudermilk took time to search out and even invent better eco fabrications.  Now you can find Eco Fashion that is comparable to traditional fashion at every price point and style - from skate wear to high fashion and swimwear to shoes. And to my delight, there is a fabulous shift happening right now.  All the large established lines want to be more like the Eco Fashion designers and incorporate sustainable practices.

Emma Watson (Harry Potter) has now made it her mission to consult brands like Burberry on ways to do production and fabrication more sustainably.  Sustainable fashion is just one part of Eco Fashion.  Creating a Sustainable company from the start means paying attention to people, planet and profit.  Trying to implement ideals like vertical integration, fair trade, etc.  Presently, I teach Sustainability and the Fashion Industry at FIDM (Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising) and I have been asked to guest lecture at several colleges and high schools around the US on this specific subject.  I also created a site called so I can post all the fabulous finds that come my way like "EcoFashion Weeks around the World".

I personally don't think the general public really thinks about what toxic chemicals and dyes are going into their clothing.  I don't think they know how or where the fabrics are made and how far they need to be flown just to get to them. And most likely people don't think about how traditional process affect employees and neighboring towns including when manufacturers don't take care of their liquid and solid waste properly.  So, when I start each new class I tell everyone, "When I first start to tell you what the fashion industry is really like, I'm probably going to make you want to cry.  But I promise by the end of the class I will show you so many alternatives that you will be happy.  And I will do everything I can to help you research what ever eco fashion practices you're interested in, so that you will also be passionate and informed about how to make real change happen."

And many people are

passionate about all different types of Eco Fashion.  So, if you like VINTAGE, I can introduce you to 10 different high-end vintage boutiques and consignment shops around the US. Or if you like cheap deals there are local thrift shops like Jet Rag in LA that has $1 Sundays...which is great for people that are interested in REPURPOSING.  Repurposing can mean redesigning clothes to make them super sexy and fabulous again, which gives them a second life. It can also mean repurposing food waste like candy wrappers, or movie billboards into purses.  Repurposing also diverts waste from going into the dumps.  Both of Vintage and Repurposed clothing take very little energy to be produced.

However if you do not like second-hand clothes, then EcoFabrication is your next option.  If you like High Fashion you may find fashion made from Peace Silk, Milk Silk, Coffee fabric, solar fabric.  If you want something more sporty, then you can find athletic wear fabrics made from recycled pop bottles, Hemp and Modal (which feels like heaven, but is moderately priced) which is made completely sustainable from trees grown on sustainable farms in Austria.  And some of you may only want clothing made from natural fibers.  The newest fabric is Organic Cotton with 5% algae, which actually feeds your skin nutrients.

So, with so many options and people having the inherit desire to do good, ecofashion is spreading fast, There are enough brands out there that prove that it is affordable, sexy, sporty, soft and it comes in every color, texture and price point.  So, why isn't everyone doing it?  Well more brands are shifting to green than you may think, and surprisingly lots of them have been implementing sustainable practices for years - Timberland Eco tanned and dyed leathers, Levi's - Water-less jeans, and H&M's Recycled Polyester tops and accessories.  Which proves that even traditional fabrications that may not be completely Eco can also be improved to contribute to a lesser environmental impact. 

My hope is to help create so much cross over
between a demand for great style in the Eco Fashion realm, and a demand for better less toxic fabrics and practices within traditional fashion companies, that one day in the near future eco fashion will shift from a trend to simply the norm within clothing companies. 

T. Hipwell designs for EcoDivas LLC. 
Green Girls Fashion show.
Custom Couture Upcycled (Repurposed) Prom Dresses to Sexy Cocktail Dresses.
Repurposed T. Hipwell designs for EcoDivas LLC
Deborah Lindquist - skirt, T. Hipwell designs for EcoDivas LLC - vintage repuruposed Scarf top, Mink - vegan shoes and all Eco Makeup as well. 

Taryn Hipwell
EcoDivas TV

Thank you very much Taryn Hipwell!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

New York Street Fashion

Some street fashion in Soho (and Noho), enjoy!

The best outfit of all!

Creator of Moderate Snobbery (

The Fashioneur

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Academy Awards Best and Worst Dressed

Note: All criticism in this post is meant to be constructive and helpful, not offensive, to those mentioned.
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Best Dressed:

Natalie Portman wearing Rodarte

Anne Hathaway wearing Valentino

Hailee Steinfeld wearing Marchesa

Halle Berry wearing Marchesa

Reese Witherspoon wearing Giorgio Armani Prive

Sandra Bullock wearing Vera Wang

Worst Dressed:

Cate Blanchett wearing Givenchy

"Mirror, mirror on the cardboard, who is worst dressed of them all?"
This looks like a mirror frame on pink cardboard.

Virginia Madsen wearing Romona Keveza

"The ugly duckling had a child."

Marisa Tomei wearing Charles James

"Pretty dress, and then...POOF"

A little much...

Sharon Stone wearing Dior

What is it with all the feathers?!
"Cruella Devil in 101 birds at the funeral of the 100th bird, one more to go..."

Poor birds!

The Fashioneur