Men’s Fashion Heads the Cassette Tape’s Revival

October 29, 2009 by Maria Kaski · Leave a Comment 

sonic-fabric-tie-1Artists Alyce Santoro and Julio Cesar have joined forces to create a men’s tie fashioned out of recycled cassette tapes. Maria Kaski writes.

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EXCLUSIVE Interview with Rachael Cassar

October 29, 2009 by Maria Kaski · Leave a Comment 

Rachael Cassar’s one off pieces stood out amongst the designing elite at this year’s Estethica for their intricate delicacy and vision. The Australian’s directional, dramatic garments, defined by a dark aesthetics and intricate detailing, are complemented by strong accessories.
Here she talks exclusively to Lucie Goulet about her musical and cultural inspirations and the difficulties of creating one-off eco pieces.
Why did you decide to become an ethical fashion designer?
From an extremely young age I knew I wanted to be a fashion designer. I started collecting vintage jewellery and accessories from markets and began experimenting, taking things apart, redesigning them in new ways. From this my love for creating flourished and I soon progressed to clothes- taking things apart and changing them for myself. After graduating from high school, I studied fashion and textiles at university. During those four years I learnt about sustainability and the fashion industry’s contribution to the degradation of the worlds environment. From that moment, I knew that the only way I would feel comfortable dedicating my life to fashion was if I could pursue my design vision and still manage to make it environmentally friendly. Since I had experimented with deconstruction my whole life it was natural for me to use this design process. My final year graduation deconstructed range won awards and received great reviews. When I graduated from university in 2006, I decided to continue my vision of eco fashion/deconstruction and thus started my own label.
Your pieces are quite dark. What inspires you?
I draw inspiration from anywhere. Art, music, photography, places… I am always attracted to dark moody images, which often inspire me.
Why did you name your latest collection Ruby?
My new collection Ruby is based on the Crow. I became really interested in this creature as I was quite scared of it, but intrigued by its beauty. According to a myth, when you see a crow, it is meant to be a deceased family member watching over you. I had a family member pass away at this very time. Thus it inspired me. I printed a huge image of a crow and posted it up on my studio window. I named the collection after my great aunt.
You’ve named Bjork as a source of inspiration. How did that translate in your work?
The 2006 Lancôme collection (http://www.rachaelcassar.com/RACHAEL%20WEBPAGE/Lancome.html) was inspired by the essence of an enchantress, an ethereal being. I was inspired by Bjork, the modern day enchantress, and her music. Her clashing off beat noises was translated into my fabric choices- harsh, metal-like wool contrasted with thin, skin-like organza. I also played on electric wirers meshed with silks, chiffons and embroidery. The shapes of the garments were experimental and pushed boundaries in terms of heavy structures effortlessly hanging off fragile bases. Being inspired by Bjork gave me no limits and allowed my most creative ideas to date to come to life.
My first collection in 2006, As The World Falls Down (http://www.rachaelcassar.com/RACHAEL%20WEBPAGE/ATWFD.html), was inspired by the tale of The Labyrinth.
She Grows ( HYPERLINK “http://www.rachaelcassar.com/RACHAEL%20WEBPAGE/SHEGROWS.html” http://www.rachaelcassar.com/RACHAEL%20WEBPAGE/SHEGROWS.html), a mini collection I made in 2007 using left over fabrics from As the World Falls Down, was inspired by the phrase “From muddy depths and days of darkness. She grows…” For me, it expresses the idea of a beautiful creature stuck in a world of darkness.
Your Sinking Night range was quite a break from those collections, using lace and white. Why the change?
The Sinking Night ( HYPERLINK “http://www.rachaelcassar.com/RACHAEL%20WEBPAGE/SINKINGNIGHT.html” http://www.rachaelcassar.com/RACHAEL%20WEBPAGE/SINKINGNIGHT.html) range was inspired by Venice and its fragility. My designs were based on the ghostly future of a city built on water. I tried to translate eeriness as I myself experienced it, walking the streets of Venice at night. Decaying lace, sparks of clear crystals, translucent fabrics together with nostalgic shapes represent a world of such beauty, history and delicateness
What has the response to your clothes been so far?
I have had nothing but positive feedback and interest. However, I am yet to strike a relationship with a buyer willing to take a chance on one off ecoture!
Winning the InStyle Women of Style scholarship last June gave me exposure, a huge asset to a young eco label. It also gave me access to a huge audience that may not have known about eco alternatives.
What sort of women are your clothes aimed at?
Women who are off centre, who do not follow fashion trends or care about having the latest ‘it’ item. They are designed for women who enjoy something different, want something that is personalized, bold and hand made. Women who enjoy the stories of the fabrics and respect the craftsmanship of reworking pre-loved garments, giving them a new life.
What is the main hurdle facing ethical designers these days?
For me the hurdle is competing with a mass-produced retail world. The nature of my work and philosophy of one-off designs often contradicts the whole concept of consumer fashion. I do not produce quantity- thus cannot take buyer orders. I do not make patterns therefore designs cannot be replicated. For me the hurdle I face is convincing buyers that a small, one-off range has a place in an overpopulated, cheap, trend-based wasteful consumer society.
Which schemes do you have in place to make Rachael Cassar an eco-aware company?
Everything is hand made by me at the moment. If in the future I do outsource any work, everything will be local, supporting small businesses. Fabrics are all recycled and dry cleaned at an eco drycleaner.
http://www.rachaelcassar.com/RACHAEL%20WEBPAGE/MAIN.html

as-the-word-falls-downRachael Cassar’s one off pieces stood out amongst the designing elite at this year’s Estethica for their intricate delicacy and vision. The Australian’s directional, dramatic garments, defined by dark aesthetics and intricate detailing, are complemented by strong accessories. Here she talks exclusively to Lucie Goulet about her musical and cultural inspirations and the difficulties of creating one-off eco pieces.

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Corporate Fashion Embraces Natural Dyes

October 29, 2009 by Maria Kaski · Leave a Comment 

Cotton Roots, an ethical supplier of corporate clothing, is set to launch its new range of naturally dyed fabrics at the end of this month. Mandy Barder writes.
Cotton Roots will be using its fairtrade and organic background to produce eco-friendly and affordable dyed garments and merchandise that use natural ingredients, such as, tea, coffee, pomegranate, henna and onion.
Susan Waters, Managing Director of the Milton Keynes based company says that natural dyes have always been impossible to produce commercially without using chemicals to “fix” the colours.
“People have just not done it on any scale, but now using a technique in India we can. The possibilities are endless, from real tea-shirts in cafes to coffee-dyed aprons and we’re already receiving some amazing ideas from companies looking for a new way to develop their brand”, she says.
Waters was inspired to create this division of the business after perusing an antique clothing collection at the Victorian and Albert Museum in London. All the clothes had been dyed with the use of natural ingredients and traditional techniques.  The exhibition explained how traditionally people would use plants, minerals, salts and sunlight to dye their clothes and the end result was a richer and softer fabric that a lot of modern dyes can’t quite match.
The tipping point for Waters idea was when she was having a cup of tea at the museum and wondered how far she could take dying T-shirts with actual tea. So the natural dying arm of her business was born with a further sustainable process to match its Fairtrade and Organic values.
Waters asserts the sincerity of the concept: “We see a world where companies and charities can demonstrate their ethical values, and show commitment to communities and the planet, while enjoying hugely vibrant and lasting colours.”
Product prices start at £6.00 and the company logo will be branded on them.
For more information call 01908 290482 or visit HYPERLINK “http://www.cottonroots.co.uk”www.cottonroots.co.uk.

cottonrootsCotton Roots, an ethical supplier of corporate clothing, is set to launch its new range of naturally dyed fabrics at the end of this month. Mandy Barder writes.

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Daily eBay – Vintage 1960s Camel Coat

October 29, 2009 by Maria Kaski · Leave a Comment 

There are few pieces that can carry themselves from season to season, year to year and from catwalk to high street. Some of the top contenders include the LBD, the white shirt and the trench coat. An equally established piece is the camel coat. It may be less talked about but has always maintained a solid presence on catwalks. MaxMara is still reinventing the classic style, from slouchy, broad shoulders in the 1980s to the silky soft trench dressing gown styles seen at LFW this year. Mandy Barder picks today’s Daily eBay.
This vintage take on the coat strays somewhat away from the original simplicity favoured by MaxMara and Jill Sander. A slice of the 1960s Mod culture, with a faux fur trim at the hem, cuffs and collar, this vamped up alternative makes for a classy evening coat and because of the chocolate and honey camel blend it will go with a good choice of colours and styles. The dark panel down the front echoes the shorter panelled camel coats seen at Proenza Schouler this year, worn with charcoal grey roll necks and black leather gloves.
http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Vtg-MOD-60s-CAMEL-Wool-Czarina-COSSACK-Mini-Coat-MINT_W0QQitemZ230390283416QQcmdZViewItemQQptZVintage_Women_s_Clothing?hash=item35a454bc98
The bidding starts at £9.11 and the auction ends 30/10/09.

daily-ebays-camel-coatThere are few pieces that can carry themselves from season to season, year to year and from catwalk to high street. Some of the top contenders include the LBD, the white shirt and the trench coat. An equally established piece is the camel coat. It may be less talked about but has always maintained a solid presence on catwalks. MaxMara is still reinventing the classic style, from slouchy, broad shoulders in the 1980s to the silky soft trench dressing gown styles seen at LFW this year. Mandy Barder picks today’s Daily eBay.

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Get Crafty for Christmas

October 28, 2009 by Jen Marsden · Leave a Comment 

zebra300This holiday season is the time to share creativity with your loved ones by gifting unique presents, such as  crafty favourite ‘make your own’ kits! Eleni Sardi writes.
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Ethical fashion show to be held in County Durham

October 28, 2009 by Maria Kaski · Leave a Comment 

An ethical fashion show and charity Christmas Fayre will be held tomorrow  at Derwent Manor Hotel, County Durham to raise money for local charities. Mandy Barder writes.
Organised by Daisy Green,this  event will be host to 30 local companies selling homemade ethical products, vintage clothes, food, bags, jewellery and beauty buys all with an ethical and sustainable mindset.
One of the main features of this stylish bonanza will be the Clothes Swapping Party at 8:30pm, following on from the fashion show at 6pm. At a cost of £5,  guests can get involved by bringing as many clean clothes that are in good condition to the party ready to start swapping with each other. Each guest will receive a ticket in exchange for their clothes, allowing them to take away as many items as they’ve brought in.
Other events will include the Charity Christmas Fayre from 1-6pm, an ethical catwalk show at 7:30pm and a prize raffle and competition that will run throughout the day. Whatever is made will be donated straight to local charities in Consett, County Durham.
Any products left over at the end of the day, from clothes and cosmetics to food, bags and jewellery will be sent to local charity shops.

IMAGE-Shop,-swap,-swoonAn ethical fashion show and charity Christmas Fayre will be held tomorrow  at Derwent Manor Hotel, County Durham to raise money for local charities. Mandy Barder writes.

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Dazed & Confused, Edun and Joe Ratcliffe team up for charity

October 28, 2009 by Maria Kaski · Leave a Comment 

Dazed & Confused, Edun and Joe Ratcliffe team up for charity
Dazed & Confused’s latest eco initiative sees the renowned magazine collaborating with  Ali Hewson’s eco-luxe label, Edun, and artist Joe Ratcliffe on a range of fantastically aggressive, eighties-inpired graphic printed 100% organic cotton T-shirts and T-shirt dresses. Amiee Jones writes.
Featuring the illustrative skills of Joe Ratcliffe, the prints vary from cheetahs, a snake, a lion, and a zebra. The garments have all been produced ethically in Peru with 15% of the profits being donated to War Child’s current projects in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Joe Ratcliffe told Dazed Digital that the aim was to create something like the large eighties animal tees, but with modern appeal, and no gimmicks. A monochrome palette and clean, hand-drawn lines resulting in exactly that. She also said, “We wanted to use an elephant or a rhinoceros, but because we were trying to focus on the mouth those specific animals didn’t work out. Then we worked together as I collaged placements and possible ‘roars’ to see what looked vicious enough.”
The limited edition collection is available at Selfridge’s 3rd floor pop-up-store and Edun’s online store. From the 29th October they will also be available at Saks Fifth Avenue.

dazedDazed & Confused‘s latest eco initiative sees the renowned magazine collaborating with  Ali Hewson‘s eco-luxe label, Edun, and artist Joe Ratcliffe on a range of fantastically aggressive, eighties-inpired graphic printed 100% organic cotton T-shirts and T-shirt dresses. Amiee Jones writes.

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Daily eBay – Vintage white lace gloves

October 28, 2009 by Maria Kaski · Leave a Comment 

If you’re keeping up with the AW trend of thick knotted knits wrapped, bunched and swaddled around you, a touch of seductive delicacy is needed to break up those heavy swathes of wool. Chanel’s fingerless lace gloves provide just this. They are a complete style contradiction, which makes them all the more beguiling; totally sexy but also unmistakably pure. Mandy Barder picks today’s Daily eBay.
Lace has had a dappling effect across the catwalks this season, from black lacy underwear worn as outerwear at Dolce & Gabbana to John Galliano’s mad mix of gothic lace-girlie burlesque designs. But all over lace can be too much and needs something softer or plainer to really make it shine. One of the key pieces of the season, the boyfriend blazer, with OTK knee boots or skinny jeans would work best with the sleeves rolled up to reveal an enticing laced-up wrist. These vintage gloves have the fingers intact, so if you want to rock the Chanel look, get the tips chopped off.
http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/PRETTY-VINTAGE-60S-WHITE-LACE-STRETCH-GLOVES-GOTH-PUNK_W0QQitemZ160371694177QQcmdZViewItemQQptZUK_Women_s_Vintage_Clothing?hash=item2556e5da61
The bidding starts at a fantastic £1.99. Auction ends 28/10/09 so there’s still time to decide on that provocative accessory for your winter blazer.

daily-ebays-lace-glovesIf you’re keeping up with the AW trend of thick knotted knits wrapped, bunched and swaddled around you, a touch of seductive delicacy is needed to break up those heavy swathes of wool. Chanel’s fingerless lace gloves provide just this. They are a complete style contradiction, which makes them all the more beguiling; totally sexy but also unmistakably pure. Mandy Barder picks today’s Daily eBay.

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Top 10 Party Handbags

October 27, 2009 by Jen Marsden · Leave a Comment 

UseUKAs Christmas approaches the party scene begins to come alive! Now is the time to refresh a few key items for that glitzy guise. Jazzing up your handbag choice can be step number one and on-arm to compliment any daring red number or sequinned fashion. Mandy Barder writes…

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Celebrities back Fit for a Princess eBay initiative

October 26, 2009 by Maria Kaski · Leave a Comment 

Over 30 dresses donated by celebrities are currently on auction on Ebay to benefit the Princess Alice Hospice. Lucie Goulet writes.
Among the garments auctioned are a Max Azaria draped cream dress from Shilpa Shetty, an Alberta Ferretti sequined number from Helena Bonham-Carter, a George Chakra jacket from Dame Helen Mirren and a full-length black dress from Hobbs worn by Samantha Cameron.
As well as raising money, the project, named Fit for a Princess, hopes to educate the public about the key role of the Princess Alice Hospice. To that end, each auction page includes detailed information on the charity work and its funding. The Hospice provides specialist end of life and palliative care for people with life-limiting illnesses and their families, both at the Hospice and in their homes in South West London and Surrey.
Each garment will come with authentication, often in the form of signed photographs. Some celebrities further personalised their donation. According to Emma Chenery, the event organiser, “Joanna Lumley has written a delightful letter explaining where she wore the dress, and how when wearing the outfit Roger Moore and Daniel Craig kissed and hugged her. Lynda Bellingham sent a Gok Wan book following a specific request by the charity for the dress she wore on the Fashion Fix show on Channel 4”.
Prior to the start of online bidding, the dresses were exhibited at the Bentall Shopping Centre ( HYPERLINK “http://www.thebentallcentre-shopping.com/events/157-Fit-for-a-Princess-fashion-exhibition.cfm” http://www.thebentallcentre-shopping.com/events/157-Fit-for-a-Princess-fashion-exhibition.cfm) in Kingston.
Chenery hopes to raise £5000. A reserve has been put on each piece, meaning that they should at least sell for a total of £1700. The Hospice heavily relies on operations like Fit for a Princess. “Yearly costs are in excess of £7 million and 75% of funding must come from community donations and fundraising,” explains Chenery.
The auctions end at 8pm on October 29th.
Auction page:  HYPERLINK “http://shop.ebay.co.uk/i.html?LH_Charity=1&_nkw=Fit+for+a+Princess&_armrs=1&_from=&_ipg” http://shop.ebay.co.uk/i.html?LH_Charity=1&_nkw=Fit+for+a+Princess&_armrs=1&_from=&_ipg=
Princess Alice Hospice
HYPERLINK “http://www.pah.org.uk/” http://www.pah.org.uk/

trinny-woodallOver 30 dresses donated by celebrities are currently on auction on eBay to benefit the Princess Alice Hospice. Lucie Goulet writes.

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