Good Fashion for Spring 2017
Let's talk about three Spring collections from New York Fashion Week that also happen to be sustainable on some dimension! Who says we can't have our cake and be well dressed too?! Hit it, G!
Gisele Bündchen by Terry Richardson for Harper's Bazaar Brazil
Let's start with one of the most outstanding designers on the scene today in my book, Ryan Roche. Her unconventional views on production, speed, work-life balance, and corporate responsibility are as much a breath of fresh air as her designs. Her company's about is practically a love letter to this website:
"She is committed to supporting responsible manufacturing via sustainable, low-impact production and has worked with a women’s cooperative in Nepal for the last decade, whilst also supporting American manufacturing."
Roche makes clothes designed to last in your closet for a long time, and meant to work for you- that is, to complement what you have, and to became go-to "heroes" you can rely on time and again. She always designs in a neutral palette, and yet the clothes never fail to have many layers of interesting dimension delivered by playing with material, construction, silhouette, and drape. Here are a few standout looks from her Spring 2017 Collection.
All white looks feminine on the left in a slightly sheer, lightweight knit and more masculine (yet elegant) on the right in a heavier knit and looser fit. Attention to cut is everywhere, but particularly in the v, sleeve length, and shoulder detailing on the left.
Again, same color palette, varied by dramatically different silhouettes. The cool thing about Roche's designs is that even though the aesthetic is different, I could see myself wearing both looks.
Lace! As accent on the left and full out star of the show on the right.
And with all of these beautiful clothes, Roche could easily settle for a more fashion-centric definition of luxury, but instead she says this:
All images from Ryan Roche show Andre' Lucat/SPG via Vogue.
Eckhaus Latta, comprised of designers Mike Eckhaus and Zoe Latta, is one of the coolest brands in fashion right now (I rank it high up there, below Vetements, but up there, and trust me when I say we will get to Vetements!!!). By cool, I don't mean Alexander Wang downtown cool. I mean slightly irreverent, intellectually charged, and very much attune to the role that clothing plays in our society at this moment in time cool.
What's sustainable about Eckhaus Latta is that the duo essentially designs with recycled and deadstock materials, rather than using virgin materials for their collections. Of course, since the production of raw materials like cotton and polyester is taxing on the environment, using existing materials significantly reduces production impact. Despite this core focus on repurposing and reuse, the designers don't identify as a sustainable brand per se. In an interview with Vogue, Latta says:
"We love the principles of sustainability and resourcefulness—we work with them constantly. But it’s not about us identifying as that for the sake of selling more."
"It’s really about being resourceful, and within that I think it becomes exciting to see what exists through the refuse. Whether it’s been sitting around for 40 years or six months, there’s still all this excess of textiles in the [fashion] industry.”
This supports our longstanding notion that sustainability should promote creativity rather than curtail it.
So let's talk about the fashion.
To be truthful, I don't quite understand the clothes. I mean, I get a few pieces but others don't seem to rise to the occasion of necessarily inspiring me from an aesthetic perspective. But maybe that's the point. Maybe we're projecting a job onto clothes that they are not capable of performing- namely to somehow inspire us to be better, more beautiful, more interesting people? I'll emphasize the question mark for now and we can revisit. Sufficed to say, the clothes were interesting...
T-shirts and sweatshirts get a touch of drama courtesy of draped fabric that moves when you do!
Chunky knits in a monochromatic palette.
Metallic dresses that say, "I sort of want to go out tonight, but I sort of want to stay in and watch Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey with Carl Sagan." I wonder what both women decided to do.
All images from Eckhaus Latta show Marcus Tondo/Indigital.tv via Vogue.
Maiyet is one of the bright lights of sustainable fashion- a now established young label that has managed to package sustainability for the luxury consumer (no small feat). The company was founded out of the idea that social and economic empowerment through meaningful work is the engine of a safer, more peaceful humanity. Particularly passionate about promoting opportunity in the developing world, the brand has supported artisans from India, Kenya, Mongolia, and Peru, to name a few. Their latest collection featured sustainably sourced Egyptian cotton. You can read more about their work here.
What remains important about Maiyet is that the fashion has never come second to the mission. And that's something of a rarity in the sustainable fashion space. Their Spring 2017 Collection continued their tradition of making beautiful clothes that stand alone.
We're now firmly in the age of the wide pant, which I don't know about you, but I'm pretty excited about. Both looks here draw interest through a focus on design details. An asymmetric front panel on the white pants, and a subtle but impactful print on the right.
Monochromatic dresses with subtle details.
Exquisite beadwork on a sheer panel.
All images from by William Kaner via Maiyet.
What do you think? Is Ryan Roche compelling? Can you explain Eckhaus Latta to me? And what do you think the front of that Maiyet dress looks like?! I'd love to hear your thoughts.