77 posts tagged "Vivienne Westwood"
Zoe Lee is not one to let decorative flourishes detract from a cool finish, either in her tiny, pared-back new Paris boutique or in her footwear. “I’ve always been more into textures and materials. The contrast between modern and traditional interests me more than ‘decorative,’” explains the London-raised and -educated Canadian-Japanese designer, who’s an alum of both Alexander McQueen (she worked on prints and embroidery) and Vivienne Westwood. “Eventually I realized that I could convey stories with shoes. It let me slow down. You don’t have to change every season,” she said of her decision to go into footwear.
Lee favors finishes that project the patina of time—such as burnished brass-plated heels—and shapes that don’t cut across the foot, like a flat leather boot with a circular zip that spirals up the calf.
For Spring, Lee is venturing into new territory with coated linen, a material she has been wrestling with for years. “I wanted it to be an all-day modern silhouette,” she explains of the Pollock ankle boot with a silver-plated heel. “It fits like a little black jacket.” Other standouts: the Meraux knotted heel in cracked silver foil (“the bonus is that the texture camouflages wear,” she noted) and the Roseland “almost-wedge” with a gold printed heel. “I was experimenting with printing on metallic leathers, and what came out was totally not the original idea,” she admitted. “But I liked it anyway, so I kept it.”
Priced between $515 and $754, Zoe Lee footwear is available at Anthropologie, avenue32.com, zoelee.co.uk, and the designer’s Paris boutique located at 19 Rue du Parc Royal in the third arrondissement.
For more than ten years now, California-based designer Melissa Joy Manning has been crafting ethically sourced, delicately sculptural eco-jewelry. Tonight, she opens her first New York flagship store with a private party, which her pal, model and actress Amber Valletta, will cohost. The two share a passion for sustainable design—they work together on the CFDA’s Sustainability Committee, and Valletta recently launched her own eco-conscious e-commerce site, Master & Muse, which offers sustainable wares from labels like Vivienne Westwood and M.Patmos. Now they’re pushing for sustainable consciousness throughout the industry, and Manning’s almost entirely green new store is a testament to her dedication to the cause. Located at 12 Wooster Street, the 4,500-square-foot boutique boasts details crafted almost entirely from relics found in the 1880s manufacturing space-turned-loft. Manning’s centerpieces, for instance, were made from repurposed display cases, and a wall of jewelry boxes was born out of the building’s old wooden doors. “I really wanted to almost become the caretaker of the space—elevate it, stabilize it, and reuse everything that we found,” said Manning, who will carry eco-conscious pieces from designers like Pamela Love and Mark Davis. “Aside from half a dozen pieces, everything was reused.”
Ahead of the store’s opening, we caught up with Manning and Valletta to discuss their friendship, how to further the sustainable fashion dialogue, and why big brands need to “come out of the [eco] closet.”
You’ve been working to promote sustainability in fashion for quite some time. What is the main priority right now? What should the fashion industry be focusing on as a whole?
Melissa Joy Manning: We’re in an education phase. There are certain people who are doing really great sustainability work already, but in the luxury sector, we have consumers who are able to pay a little bit more or who can become educated and drive trends. Our efforts in the CFDA are about asking designers to make thoughtful choices, then providing them with the information that allows them to do so. In a consumer market where it’s supply versus demand, if we’re demanding the right products, we’re eventually going to switch the supply and all fashion will have to be sustainable, right? The fashion industry is the world’s second-largest gross consumer—and gross polluter—and if we don’t make changes now, there are going to be some really dire consequences.
Amber Valletta: It’s really about education and awareness. We’re seeing more and more articles about all these things that are happening in the world and in our country. Sustainability is about workers’ rights, too. A few people were killed in Jakarta a week ago over protesting for their wages. We’re seeing an upswing in the consciousness of making things sustainably—not just on the environmental level but on the human level. Because of that, consumers are asking, “What’s really happening? I thought we fixed this problem with child labor.” But it’s not a done deal. There are serious problems that we’re facing throughout the fashion industry, from the beginnings of making textiles to the finished products. Consumers aren’t completely aware of how begging for new products every two weeks is hurting the planet and workers. And I don’t mean that in a hippie or granola way. I love luxury items and beautiful things and great design, but I do believe that sustainability can go hand in hand with great design.
What designers or brands are getting it right at the moment?
AV: There are a lot. Natalie Chanin won the CFDA Eco-Fashion Challenge for her company called Alabama Chanin. She’s pretty incredible. On a community level, she’s getting people back to work and getting them employed, and she’s helping to bring back the textile business in the South, which was on its way out. Daniel Silverstein is great; Isabell de Hillerin is great. We could give you lists and lists! And I think it’s just a matter of time before these names pop and become bigger brands. I don’t think any of these guys are trying to be household names. But I think these brands have weight and staying power.
MJM: To Amber’s point, I think small businesses or small companies can take more risks and make choices that are based on responsibility as opposed to profit. There are also a lot of brands that are making sustainable efforts but are afraid to say what they’re doing until they’re one hundred percent. Adidas, for instance, won’t publish all of its sustainable accomplishments. In order to create momentum within the industry, we need to build brands up, rather than knocking them down by saying, “Oh, you’re eighty percent sustainable, but it’s not enough.” My hope [is that] through our committee and through working with people like Amber and her website, we will be able to bolster them and create more proactive, positive change.
AV: I totally agree with Melissa. These bigger companies that are actually household names are doing so much—more than what we know. They [need to] come out of the closet basically and start joining in on the conversation. It’s not a black-and-white subject. We need more transparency from everybody. Continue Reading “Melissa Joy Manning and Amber Valletta Bring Sustainability to Soho” »
The Fall ’14 menswear collections move on to Milan tomorrow, and will be followed by the shows in Paris. Before the new clothes hit the runway, we’ve asked some of the most anticipated names to offer a sneak peek. Per usual, it’s a busy time for all—designers and fashion followers alike—so we’re continuing our split-second previews: tweet-length at 140 characters or less. Our entire collection of Fall ’14 previews is available here.
WHO: Vivienne Westwood
WHEN: Sunday, January 12
WHAT: “For this collection we started looking at the Earth from space, studying different times and civilizations through anthropological eyes.” —The Vivienne Westwood design team. Have a peek at their mood board, above.
Céline’s Phoebe Philo is wrapping up the year on a definitive high note. Today, it was announced that the British designer is on the Queen’s New Year’s Honors list, and has been awarded an OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) for her services to fashion. Philo joins the likes of Alexander McQueen’s Sarah Burton, Stella McCartney, and Dame Vivienne Westwood in the esteemed OBE club. Makeup artist Pat McGrath, too, got a nod today, receiving an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire). No doubt, these ladies have earned an extra glass of champagne at midnight.