The “green” movement has definitely taken a hold of all industries, and fashion is no exception. Fashion Focus Chicago 2011 has again dedicated one fabulous night of fashion on October 20th to feature sustainable and eco-friendly fashions. This was Vert Couture’s 3rd Annual Eco Fashion Show and while the designs that graced the runway this year were sustainable and supported fair trade practices, they were nothing less than spectacular. The seven designers in this year’s show are all in different stages in their design careers, but as their Spring/Summer 2012 collections came down the runway, you couldn’t help but appreciate and admire all of their efforts and success!
Heart designer Jenny Greco‘s line came alive down the runway as the beautiful hand-painted fabrics and photographic images lit up the stage. One great thing about Greco’s designs was that all of her pieces were elegant but incredibly wearable. She added the finishing touch of her looks with hats designed by School of the Art Institute student, Sara Ormes.
One of my personal favorites was Dollparts. The inspiration of Michelle Dimitris‘ collection was 1970s Woodstock. This clearly came across in an edgy way with wearable fringe, and vintage patterns and textiles, that were all surprisingly modern and chic. I would rock those looks in a hippie heartbeat! Her focus was on the construction of the pieces through the re-fashioning and re-purposing vintage garments. Creating new from the old has never looked so good!
Brenda Abdullah’s namesake collection was definitely one of the the most innovative uses of textile remnants that I’ve ever seen. Her brightly colored and demure knitwear was fun and flirty! The large array of garments showcased her talent and eye for aesthetic.The bright and bold patterns were created using recycled wool, silk, and denim. Brenda’s use of and belief in fair trade practices makes her a star in this year’s Vert Couture show.
Richard Dayhoff is a seasoned veteran in the design world. His couture designs have graced the runways for years and this year was his first eco-friendly collection….of men’s underwear! The collection used recycled polyester made from recycled plastic bottles. We love! Jewelry was designed by Tracey Mayer.
Victoria Larkin‘s collection was probably one the coolest I’ve seen in a long time. I loved her deconstructed garments that were so sexy but still versatile enough to incorporate in your everyday rotation. Her range was amazing, sending separates, dresses, men’s and women’s wear down the runway. The collection was created out of recycled knit sweaters and other natural materials. Her aesthetic has an animalistic edge but so beautiful! The garments were accessorized by hats designed by School of the Art Institute student, DJ DeGayner.
Rose Mae Turner‘s collection was the only line of swimwear that I saw at Fashion Focus this Year. Rosina Mae, the title of the collection, is incredibly urban and chic. The bright colors popped on the runway and her use of lines on the garments reflected her inspiration of city architecture. Her pieces are made from recycled materials such as glitter, metallic and PVC.
Silk Utopia designer, Crystal Brook McCann gave the show a beautiful formal and elegant spin. Her reworked silk couture wedding gowns and vintages dresses have been given a new life! Her all natural tye-dying technique, results in a one of a kind gown that is a bold statement of elegance. I thought they were magnificent. The collection was accessorized by beautiful hats by Caroline Wayne, a student at the School of the Art Institute.
Lauren Lein has been in the business of fashion for over 20 years now, and is no stranger to Fashion Focus Chicago. This year is her premiere eco-friendly collection! We love her for bringing her signature out-of-the-box fashion sense to Vert Couture. Here inspiration comes from the four elements: fire, water, earth and air, the garments are manufactured by local fair trade organizations in Chicago. Her collection was powerful and feminine, with full length flowing dresses, cocktail dresses and separates. She topped off her intricate pieces with some beautiful hats made by School of the Art Institute student, Alex Ulichny. It’s always a treat to see her creations, and with her veteran status, she never ceases to amaze.
It was such a pleasure to see the Vert Couture show this year. Being ethical and eco-friendly doesn’t have to take a back seat to luxury and style. This opens a whole new door for the fashion industry. I know that as the Vert Couture show continues to to make huge strides in fashion, others will follow suit, proving that green is not just a color anymore!
Photos: Second City Style
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Tags: Brenda Abdullah Designs, Crystal Brook McCann, DJ DeGayner, dollparts, Fair trade practices, Fashion Focus Chicago 2011, heart, Jenny Greco, Lauren Lein, Michelle Dimitris, recycled fashion, Richard Dayhoff, Rose Mae Turner, Sara Ormes, Silk Utopia, sustainable fashion, Tracey Mayer, Vert Couture Eco Fashion Show, Victoria Larkin