Finding Eco-Elegance in 2011’s New York Fashion Week

Finding Eco-Elegance in 2011’s New York Fashion Week

Eco-couture is stepping into the spotlight this fall. Fashionable sustainability has been in the works for years but only days ago did it finally come full circle. New York Fashion Week hit the Big Apple this month and with it came a revolution. Armed to the teeth with organic materials, designers showcased some of their latest and greatest eco-achievements to date. From chic ponchos to bold print gowns, the fashion produced was flawless and shamelessly raw.

Bodkin, Study NY, Popomomo, and Gary Harvey name only a few of the design studios, came forward to showcase remarkable wears of the eco-fashion realm during the fall/winter 2011 shows in New York City. Despite years of skepticism, it seems eco-fashion has finally stepped away from the forever phase of casual wear and into the heels of runway couture. Designers have created a way to successfully meld eco-materials into designs that support comfort, sustainability, and most importantly: style.

Popomomo, also known as a post-post modern movement, showcases a life in a style that is both classic chic and beyond industrial. Inspired by polar ice caps and quartz crystals, Pop Momo’s style grasps elements of nature and seamlessly interlocks them with mechanical elegance. Designer Lizz Wasserman created a palate of neutral charcoals and bold indigo that evoke impressions of geometric shapes, shapes that complement the angles of the female form. Popomomo’s collections peppered with knee length mini dresses and flowing cover-ups, shocked viewers with its innovative prowess and obvious wearability.

New York fashion weekBodkin’s downtown New York style stood strong next to Popomomo’s accessible design. While Bodkin opts for more organic swatches, their style appeals to those who seek wearable fashion trends while still appearing effortlessly chic.

Giving an updated twist to traditional knit patterns, lead designer Eviana Hartman’s 2011 Fall/Winter collection is full of high-quality organic pieces, reminiscent of homemade, one of a kind design.

The collection, bearing similarity to past Bodkin collections, shows the longevity and sustainability of the assemblage. Organic cotton-Sherpa jackets and fair-trade cotton-wool jumpers crown the collection and showcase the versatility of Bodkin’s traditional style.

Study NY’s collection took viewers from city chic to country crisp. Housing color palettes like mustard yellow floral and deep blue flannel helped balance rustic, tweed undertones to complete a look of casual sophistication. With hand-knit alpaca wool tube skirts and secondhand pipe necklaces, Study NY designer, Tara St. James showed runway goers that you don’t necessarily need expensive factory made accessories and materials to complete a look. Having no fear of DIY projects, St. James embraces the challenge and enhances Study NY’s line accordingly.

Likewise, Gary Harvey’s array of gallant green gowns blew away audiences as tall amazons strutted down the runway encased in designs structured from 100% repurposed goods. One dress, accented only by bold black print and composed of 20 organic cotton t-shirts, showcased a wearer’s trim mid section while boldly declaring the statement, “Clean up or die.” Another creation, complete with puffed sleeves, billowing train, and comprised of 26 nylon baseball jackets reminded audience members of more flawless Oriental design than long forgotten American treasures.

Although barely attaining the complete taste of the eclectic collections found during this year’s festivities, found elegance seems the ideal summary for these four designers’ Fall/Winter 2011 collections. New York Fashion Week has been taken for a ride by innovative design; and while traditional style once went unmatched, eco-fashion is truly becoming a stronger presence in the eyes of the consumer.

Though designers compete to create the boldest and chicest looks, wearability and ease were far from forgotten. Understanding that in order to win over the public, pieces need to possess both style and effortless ease and comfort, designers are fully listening and evolving to ensure everyone has a place within eco-couture.

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