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August 22 2014

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Bodkin and The Dalai Lama

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“It’s not easy being green,” quipped Bodkin designer Eviana Hartman at her presentation Monday afternoon. “People seem to forget that that’s how the song goes: It’s ‘not.’” Maybe so, but Hartman is making the creation of green fashion look like a breeze. The ex-TeenVogue and Nylon staffer has earned beaucoup press and plaudits for her less-than-a-year-old label. And this season, Bodkin became the first sustainably produced brand to land one of the coveted Ecco Domani awards. But as Hartman took pains to point out, Kermit had the green thing right all along. “Working sustainably imposes constraints,” Hartman acknowledged. “You can’t just think, ‘What do I want to make right now?’ You start there, but the next question is, ‘What’s possible? Can I dye that color organically? Is there a recycled fabric that exists that gets me to the right look?’” But the constraints also open up redemptive possibilities: For instance, Hartman’s Fall ’09 collection includes a berry-dyed patchwork dress made from silk blessed by His Holiness the Dalai Lama. “I needed to find a silk that hadn’t been treated synthetically,” she recalled, “and that led me to a factory that produces silk without killing the silkworms. So the factory was blessed by the Dalai Lama, and I guess that means all the silk it makes is blessed, too.” And she who wears the silk dress will be blessed, as well? “Hmm,” replied Hartman, looking skeptical. “I’d rather people just wear the dress because it looks cool.”

Photo: Don Arnold / WireImage

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