Tuesday, 28 September 2010

One To Watch: Jane Bowler

Old shower curtains, bath mats and random pieces of plastic are not usually the materials of choice for a designer, even an ethical one. But for Jane Bowler, a recent graduate from the Royal College of Art, these bits and pieces that we just discard without a thought are her inspiration for her Masters graduate collection.

Concerned with sustainability, Bowler aims to make pieces that last forever in our fast fashion, throwaway society. While I love her works and think they are beautiful and striking, I am unsure as to how making garments that last for thousands of years will help the environment. Nevertheless, anyone who highlights the need for sustainable fashion is on the right track.


Saturday, 18 September 2010

Inspirational Fashion Figure: Jeff Garner for Prophetik

Jeff Garner isn't your typical Pepperdine Christian University graduate. He is, however, a great example of the new fierce ethical designer.Creativity, skill and a whole lot of perserverence is what's needed to push ethical fashion to the forefront in today's fast fashion world and Garner has it in bundles. Originally an entertainment manager for the likes of Fleetwood Mac and Barry Manilow, Garner moved into the world of fashion because he had always wanted to be a designer.

Describing the process of moving from show business to ethical fashion as "super hard, with a lot of testing and learning", Garner was clearly meant for this industry: within eight years he had interned with Calvin Klein and J Lindeberg and had opened London Fashion Week with his own sustainable label Prophetik.

By using vintage materials, Greenspun fleece made from recycled bottles, hemp and peace silk to name a few, Prophetik is one of the world's leading and most famous ethical labels. As well as ethical design, Garner is always keen to bring a charitable element to his collections. He chooses a beneficiary for each of his collections, his Autumn/Winter 2010/11 one being Equine Destiny, a film exposing the unhumane treatment of horses.

Prophetik also has a strong partnership with Elephant Art, an organisation which trains elephants to paint organic silk and hemp with their trunks, making each garment unique. I am loving the new A/W collection from Prophetik! Inspired by the American Civil war, the collection partners romantic floating fabrics with bold colours and beautiful lines.


Saturday, 4 September 2010

One To Watch: Nancy Dee

The bosoms are bountiful, the waist is waspish and the hips are womanly this A/W season. Lara Stone caused a right rowdy reception at the Louis Vuitton show, proudly sashaying down the catwalk with her rather plentiful chest and brands such as Fendi and Dries Van Noten have followed suit. The likes of L'Wren Scott and Dolce and Gabbana have favoured the pencil skirt look instead but I am thrilled to announce that Retro Glamour is here to stay! For this season at least.

However, for the ethically minded consumer, where do we go for such beautiful shapes and echos of a bygone era? Well, it appears I have found the guiding light, the solution: Nancy Dee. Founded by sisters Tamsin and Seraphina Davis, Nancy Dee is an ethical womenswear label specialising in 'day to night jersey' garments. Painstakingly sourcing top quality jerseys from wide variety of natural, sustainable and organic sources such as bamboo, modal and soya, the girls believe versatility is the key.

"Our style is mainly inspired by retro shapes and prints - actually bold prints in exciting colours are a big part of the Nancy Dee look. The Autumn/Winter season is all about patriotic colours - think French Resistance and the forties with a bit of silent movie glamour thrown in too! You can expect pencil-skirted dresses, pussy-bows and a retro snowgoose print," says Tamsin.

I have to say that I am a huge fan of the Nancy Dee prints and always have been. Their rich colours give a luxurious feel and clever pleating and draping make their creations easy and comfortable to wear. The forties has come back with a bang!

"Ooooohhh Renéeeee!"