‘Ecolooks’ by Maria Papadimitriou aka Slowly The Eggs
I was hugely excited that during this London Fashion Week I had the opportunity not only to go and see but also exhibit at the EcoLuxe London exhibition that took place in a beautiful space on the ground floor of the Kingsway Hall Hotel almost next to the Vauxhall Fashion Scout’s Freemasons’ Hall. Ecoluxe London takes place twice a year during London Fashion Week and is a non-profit platform that promotes fashion related ecoluxury brands and aims to raise awareness of ecological issues with the public. Its organisers, information pills Stamo and Elena Garcia, who are sustainable womenswear designers themselves, featured over 40 brands this year and EcoLuxe London is growing every year – here’s only a few examples that took my fancy!
Upon entering the exhibition visitors were greeted by superbly talented stylist Lucy Harvey and her assistant Charlie Divall, who offered to upstyle them with various pieces from the exhibitors’ tables and then photograph them and tweet about it. I thought in this way Lucy offered a really fun, interactive introduction to the exhibition and a great way of promoting both the designers’ and the visitors’ work.
Walking further into the exhibition the first thing to catch my eye was a series of gloriously colourful raincoats by Maria Ampatielou’s new brand Supported by Rain – seen above. Made of recycled umbrellas and end-of-roll waterproof fabrics, these raincoats are not only beautiful but also cleverly fold into their own pockets or hoods, whose insides have remained dry, so that you can put them back into your bag without any soaked diary dramas!
By Stamo S/S 2012 by Celine Elliott
By Stamo, which featured in Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration, is another brand I enjoyed especially because of the theatricality in the designs and the extensive use of found and recycled materials whose original form is often retained – as seen in this bullet belt.
INALA London S/S 2012 by Claire Kearns
My neighbour exhibitor Alani Gibbon of INALA London showed some designs which were a natural hit with me becuase of their bright colours, but they further impressed me with their cleverness and versatility. For example a hooded short dress could be turned around and worn as an all-in-one playsuit! Not to mention the use of pulped eucalyptus fabric which felt amazing to touch.
Outsider Fashion S/S 2012 by Maria Papadimitriou aka Slowly The Eggs
I was thrilled to see the brand Outsider winning the JP Selects womenwear award at the end of the show as they stongly promote the notion that ‘ethical’ fashion should just look like very good fashion with their range of classic but very stylish designs.
Hemyca S/S 2012 by Celine Elliott
Hemyca is a multi award winning brand and I was most attracted by this beautifully tailored matching dress and coat.
Agnes Valentine S/S 2012 by Maria Papadimitriou aka Slowly The Eggs
Along with Hemyca above, whom I was not aware of, it was great to discover my dream swimsuit designer Agnes Valentine! The brand sources fine italian eco fabrics and their designs are minimal and classic but with bold colours and very feminine indeed.
It was an honour to meet another ACOFI designer Hetty Rose whose fun bespoke shoes are made using vintage Japanese kimono fabrics, Alice Wilby from Futurefrock modelled this pair and did not want to take them off!
Next to Hetty Rose I found the friendly couple behind the Golden Grass Company who design jewellery and accessories for native artisans in Brazil to make out of a naturally golden, light and durable fibre, which is grown without chemicals or pesticides, under fair trade standards – LOVED this clutch!
Sharing a table with me was Monique Luttin who makes intriguing headpieces using offcuts or vintage fabrics and found objects – I particularly liked this bird scull one which has a tribal, ritualistic element to it.
And finally a piece from the Plastic Seconds recycled jewellery collection I exhibited made out of the plastic, colourful bits one finds when unpacking a new printer…
As Hannah Bullivant pointed out in a previous post on EcoLuxe London, hopefully sustainable practices in fashion design will become mainstream and the brands that are still termed ‘ethical’ will no longer have to exhibit in separate showrooms and sections such as EcoLuxe or Estethica. Hopefully soon.
All photography by Maria Papadimitriou unless otherwise stated.
- Half Japanese and The Lovely Eggs at Scala, Kings Cross: An illustrated review by Slowly the Eggs
- By Stamo: a taster interview with ethical fashion designer Elisabeth Stamo
- London Fashion Week A/W 2011 Showroom Review: EcoLuxe
- Find Your Feet’s We Are What We Wear Ethical Fashion Show
- The Secret Emporium at The Secret Garden Party Festival 2012