4 posts tagged "Organic"
It struck more than a few observers as odd that Organic designer John Patrick chose to present his Spring ’10 collection at, of all places, a steakhouse. What would Michael Pollan say? Doesn’t the production of one pound of beef require something like 100 gallons of water and emit about 15 lbs. of CO² into the atmosphere? Isn’t swearing off burgers and filet mignon the greenest thing you can do? “I eat meat!” protested Patrick at the presentation this morning. “I eat organic meat, and I eat it in moderation, and I buy it from family farms that are local to me. But, look, it’s a choice. You can’t make everyone a vegan.” As Patrick went on to explain, the choice of the old-school Keens Steakhouse in Midtown as his location had everything to do with its speakeasy vibe, which jibed with the new Organic collection’s Krazy Kat club inspiration and had nothing whatsoever to do with meat. “That was the idea,” he reiterated. “Speakeasy.” It was suggested that, perhaps, Patrick could split the difference and think of Keens as a steakeasy. “OK,” he said. “Don’t make me get on my bicycle and bike out of here.”
Fashion folk have a reputation for being food-phobic, but the fact of the matter is there’s nothing that makes a harried editor happier than arriving at a fashion week presentation and finding a spread. Cookies! Fresh bread! Locally produced Camembert! These were the wonders laid out at Organic’s Fall ’09 presentation on Monday. Designer John Patrick had invited a coalition of upstate farmers to sell their wares bake sale-style at the event, with a serving of food policy on the side. “We’re a Hudson Valley-based nonprofit,” Severine von Tscharner Fleming said of her organization, the Greenhorns, which supports young American farmers while she was hawking cookies and bicycle flags. “No one’s bought any of the flags yet,” she noted, as models clad in Organic’s farmer-inspired Fall collection dallied nearby. “I was kind of hoping we’d come out of this show with a big bicycle-flag fashion trend.” Von Tscharner Fleming may be on to something—what with the cuts in car services this fashion week season, harried editors would be well-advised to invest in a bike.
“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.”
“I had tickets to the U.S. Open and everything,” says Dana Lorenz. “I was dead-set. No fashion week. Maybe some other time.” Or maybe not, because Fallon designer Lorenz has ceded the courtside seats and found herself a fashion week partner-in-crime. She’s collaborating with CFDA/Vogue-nominated designer John Patrick of Organic on a new collection of jewelry set to debut at the Organic presentation tomorrow, and per fashion week usual, work on the first-edition Fallon for Organic pieces is going down to the wire. But Lorenz isn’t complaining. “John Patrick and I are nuts in very similar ways,” she opines. “So, he’ll say something like, ‘doll going crazy in an attic,’ and I think Flowers in the Attic, and we’re off to the races.” That “attic” theme has threaded itself into statement necklaces made from jumbles of chain and couture fabric and old scavenged cameos and lockets. “John Patrick is incredibly committed to the sustainability of his brand,” Lorenz notes, “and that’s been a really interesting education for me, and a big part of the reason I got involved. I’m excited about what we’re making. Although,” she adds, “I’d still like to see some tennis at some point, so back to work…”