London Fashion Week: Estethica Review

We are always excited to spend time in the Estethica section at London Fashion Week‘s Somerset House based exhibition. This season there was a great buzz as the great and the good of the international fashion pack attended the champagne brunch for the official launch of this season’s Monsoon sponsored selection of brands. To become part of the Estethica family, brands must be working with Fairtrade, organic and/or recycled and upcycled materials. Its an amazing opportunity for the best ethical fashion businesses to be showcased at the heart of London Fashion Week. Here we feature some of the brands that we particularly loved this season.

Estethica at London Fashion Week

Goodone is a contemporary womenswear brand with a distinctly London feel. Using pre and post consumer materials alongside new British textiles, all manufactured in the UK, they create a really energetic feel to the collection that features colour blocking and artfully mixed textures. Body con shapes offset oversized silhouettes. Bold brights interplay with softer neutrals. Thanks to the founder and creative director, Nin, who talked us through the AW’11 offer.

Goodone, worn well by the founder, Nin Castle

Partimi‘s AW’11 collection of poetic prints on soft and subtle silhouettes is a continuation from the theme of her first collection for SS’11 called ‘Dieu Bleu’. The Autumn collection is called ‘Garden’ and draws inspiration from childhood memories and lush winter gardens. Striking prints sit with sustainably sourced organic wool, silk and linen to create a soft and subtle yet luxurious offer. Thanks to Eleanor, the founder and designer of this label, for spending some time to talk us through the range. Do also check out Partimi’s stunning video showcasing the new collection.

Eleanor of Partimi with the AW'11 collection

Next to Partimi at Estethica, was Joanna Cave‘s collection of stunning jewellery. Joanna and Eleanor have been working together to accessorize the Partimi collection to great effect. Joanna’s collection of recycled silver and ethically sourced farmed pearls is produced in Athens where Joanna’s aim is to support an ancient, yet sadly dying tradition of expert jewellery making. The AW’11 collection is inspired by the delicateness of ballet, balanced with a strong Art Nouveau aesthetic which is particularly visible in the amazing headpieces.

Joanna Cave and her collection at Estethica

Joanna Cave's collection at Estethica

We also love the jewellery collection of Little Glass Clementine, the creation of Clementine James. We spotted her work first of all as part of Selfridges ‘Bright Young Things’. The AW’11 collection, titled ‘Beautifully Dismantled’ showcases a range of pieces that come with the unique history attached to the collection of found objects that are merged to create small pieces of accessories art. James takes what she calls “broken treasure” and gives them a new life in combination with carefully selected recycled materials including memorial china and discarded love notes.

Clementine James with the Little Glass Clementine collection

Lu Flux has developed her unique and wonderfully playful handwriting in a new direction for AW’11, channeling a sea style theme with her ‘Sea and be Seen’ collection. The Lu Flux collections are handmade in the UK, principally from carefully sourced vintage fabrics. The Autumn offer brings gorgeous tweeds, rich velvets and chunky wools into the mix with artfully sketchy embroideries of fantastical sea creatures. We particularly love the almost architectural shift dress with the clam inspired hemline!

Lu Flux with her collection at Estethica

Finally we have Michelle Lowe-Holder who’s AW’11 collection is a brilliant extension of her origami style, intricately folded accessories collection. This season plaids and prints layer into the collection, along with flashes of metallic foiled sections. The range is created from hand cut or crocheted pieces interlaced with off-cuts of previous collections, end of line ribbons and cuttings sourced from local factories. An additional layer of texture and colour is introduced with bold and bright flocking which has been applied to charity shop finds as well as pieces designed and created specifically by Lowe-Holder.

Michelle Lowe-Holder at London Fashion Week's Estethica exhibition

For more on London Fashion Week, just click here. Enjoy!

Blink Discoveries: Lu Flux vs the World!

We first came across Lu Flux at the Estethica exhibition at the last London Fashion Week, and we then had the pleasure to meet Lu again whilst at the Centre for Sustainable Fashion. Lu Flux is not only a brilliantly innovative London based brand, but it’s also created in an ethical and sustainable way- and that really rings our bell.

We were super excited to see that Lu’s work has made it on to the red carpet. American actress, Brie Larson, wore a Lu Flux frock to the ‘Scott Pilgrim vs The World’ European premiere in London’s Leicester Square.  The dress, called ‘Bluetit’, is from the SS ’10 ‘The Eco Life of Riley’ collection. Its made completely from salvaged silks and is a total one-off.

Lu Flux will be showing as part of Estethica again at September’s London Fashion Week and we are really looking forward to seeing her new collection.

Brie Larson wearing Lu Flux (image from the Eyeprime blog)

Blink Events: Fashion gets Ethical

Somerset House was the key destination for the fashion crowd once again, and this time they were all gathered to celebrate something a little greener than usual, and we aren’t talking about the fact that khaki is having a major fashion moment.

On 22nd April 2010 (Earth Day) Somerset House hosted the ‘Estethica‘ press day. One of the aims of this event was to celebrate eco-friendly and sustainable fashion brands, presenting them as a viable and desirable part of mainstream fashion. Young designers face a fashion industry that must reassess its values, from the perspective of customer pressure and also due to global ecological and economic issues. The desire for transparency means that every brand will soon need to have a crystal clear conscience on the who, what, where from and why of each and every aspect of their product. The BFC and The Centre for Sustainable Fashion, under the ‘Estethica’ umbrella do a great job spotlighting the fabulous brands coming through with brilliant ethical credentials. Here are some of our favourites from this presentation….

Goodone’s A/W 10-11 collection certainly exceeds what recycled fashion is about with their unique designs. Founder, Nin Castle says “We want to push a new level of quality within up-cycling by mixing surplus luxury fabrics with used garments. This season we have introduced new textiles such as cashmere off-cuts and end-of-roll British knits, allowing more freedom of design without losing sight of our strong and feminine look”.

Nina Dolcetti’s beautiful shoes are constructed from off-cuts and unwanted pre-consumer waste. The leather used in the  ‘On Cloud Nina’ collection introduces a series of ethically sourced  vegetable and tanned leathers. The heels are formed from sustainably sourced cork and wood. Even the soles are made with recycled leather. Wonderful!

Michelle Lowe-Holder’s ‘Ribbon Reclaim’ accessories series is another great example of looking at production ‘waste’ as an opportunity to create something utterly desirable. Each piece uses off-cuts from previous collections and ‘end of line’ ribbons.

Tara Startlet’s approach to fashion will keep your conscious completely clear. She specializes in 40’s and 50’s pin-up style clothes, created using recycled and reclaimed fabrics.

When it comes to maintaining a mini carbon footprint, Makepiece’s policy is one to admire. They want their clothes to travel very few road miles before they reach the consumer so all the spinning, dyeing and manufacturing is done in the UK. They even keep their own sheep!

The imbalance between consumption and waste is redressed in From Somewhere’s philosophy. The collection is manufactured at the Cooperativa Rinascere in Montecchio Maggiore (VI), a non profit organization that helps rehabilitate the disabled and disadvantaged. The collection is made using only the finest fabrics such as pure cotton, silk, vintage lace and superfine viscose jerseys which are all reclaimed from the local industry, thus minimizing the transport and production carbon footprint.

Without compromising style, fashion can be part of the bigger picture of responsibility towards social justice and the environment. These are exciting times, and we at “Blink” hope to be able to bring you more and more news on the development of this fashion option.

Thanks to Asta for pulling together this brilliant post.

Guest speakers at the Q&A session included Baroness Lola Young, Charty Durrant, Laura Bailey, Livia Firth, Vera Boudmilija, Yasmin Sewell

Makepiece

Michelle Lowe-Holder

Nina Dolcetti

Tara Starlet