During Berlin Fashion Week I checked out two simultaneous Green fashion showrooms that were running in the city, thekey.to and the GREEN Showroom. I for one was on the look out for labels which were unique and fashion-forward rather than the usual ‘this Tee may be eco-friendly but it still makes me look like I belong on the Lord of the Rings set’ sorta thing.
And thankfully, I wasn’t disappointed. Truth be told, I ended up being enamoured with quite a selection of creative, green ideas that really made me wish I knew how to operate a sewing machine. Hmmm. Anyway, check out my gorgeous, green discoveries after the jump.
Royal Blush – if there were ever leather bags to die for and if I wasn’t already a thirtyfour fan then these would be it for me. The Royal Blush collection by Jana Keller (who’s also co-founder of the GREEN Showroom, BTW) contains various bags from clutches to totes and larger, oversized satchels and even swanky travel trolleys. Most bags have a hidden bag bases made from recycled and pressed leather leftovers and all bags are vegetable tanned. Because it’s au naturel, the natural tan (also comes in black and grey’s too) of the leather evolves into a deeper cognac hue with use.
Other features are leather plaiting and triangular accented details that I thought added some character to the simple, slouchy designs. My favourite picks are the Weekender in tan and black shoulder strap and Lady Biz laptop bag. There’s also the vegetable leather jewellery line that I am sooo wanting to get my hands on – think twisted, knotted leather cuffs and choker-type-neck pieces in bright colours. My ‘must-have’ pieces and more here.
Isabell de Hillerin was one of the few designers at thekey.to that impressed me. Immediately drawn to her use of traditional Romanian handwoven embroidered pieces paired with clean, structured cuts and soft draped dresses I know I had left my Lord of the Rings fear behind. Take what’s timeless and precious and combine it with the new, why not?
Isabell says that her designs “reflect a rebellious response to our modern system called life”. I think she may be on to something here. Her Miscelánea collection is bound to be a hit, so watch out for it and remember you heard it here on ‘iheart’ first!
Two other designers, which pretty much nailed the Green Spot for me, were Julia Starp Designs and Liv Lundelius from Blushless. Young, creative, environmentally conscious and extremely talented, their passion towards responsible and sustainable fashion was inspiring if not convincing.
For her bridal collection, Liv deconstructs the traditional wedding gown into an alternative piece for discerning and stylish brides-to-be. “Funky Bridal Couture for Vegan Chicks” she says. From the long lingering looks at her collection, I couldn’t agree more. Soft, sheer fabrics, ripped Tulle, vintage materials, fair trade silk and vegan leather breathe new life into wonderous creations fit to walk down that aisle and head straight on to the after party.
Some parting thoughts: How GREEN can a Green fashion label be? I mean if you’re using natural and/or recycled and sustainable materials, producing in fair trade conditions but still requiring to air-freight the end product to your retail points doesn’t that smear some of your green goodness? And how many companies are actually “responsibly green” and not greenwashing their way to the banks? Well, while we’re no experts either, I’m pretty sure there brands who are riding the green bandwagon without due license. Boo on you! Meanwhile, Kudos to all of you who are doing it right, straight up and proper, it’s not easy being green. Kermit was right all along.