Tuesday, February 23, 2010

DC Fashion Shows Spotlight Ethical Designers

Ethical fashion shared the spotlight at DC Fashion Week 2010 thanks to Avani Ribbon. The organization introduced nearly 150 eco-fashionistas and fashionistas alike to six designers and fair trade companies, proving that eco and ethical fashion is ready-to-wear and au courant.

The Textile Museum served as the backdrop for the runway complementing the current exhibition of contemporary Japanese fashion. Gowns by Japanese designers Issey Miyake and Yohji Yamamoto were suspended in air while DC designers showcased green jewelry, fair-traded handbags and scarves, and clothes produced by women co-ops grounding the fundamentals of style and innovative design.

For the parents of one of the models, the show debunked the idea that eco-fashion means hemp tees.

“The name “eco-fashion” can suggest clothes that are unattractive, but the designers showed how eco-fashion can be great looking,” Jim Sandman said with his wife, Beth Mullin, adding “you could really see yourself wearing some of the pieces.”

Model Bridgett Bassett, 21, sported a sheer tank and sheath top by Rupalee over black leggings (her own) and a necklace by Calamarie in the show. “I love the boho feel of this look. It is very light and flowy,” she said. “I would not suspect this top is “green.” This is something I can dress up or down.”

Cecilia Guerra dressed models in her new collection, Ceci G. The jewelry designer recently turned her skills to apparel, combining her reverence for the 60s and bold colors. The simple A-line construction factored into casual and cocktail-ish sheaths that could be dressed up or down with a pair of shoes.

Thick wool scarves by Peruvian Trends substituted for menswear as male models boldly walked passed spectators naked sans covered from waist to thigh (although most donned scarves around the neck with or without the pants).
Going green looked chic when accessorized with jewelry by Melissa Lew or handbags by fair-trade companies Calamarie and Blumpari.

Avani Ribbon works with local and international eco-designers and fair-trade companies in educating consumers about ethical fashion. The DC-based organization has produced shows for DC Fashion Week and Street Glam Fashion Event.

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