Saturday, February 13, 2010

Eco Fashion - DC Fashion Week 2010

If you are getting cabin fever from being stuck indoors for the last week, then come out on Presidents day to the launch of DC Fashion Week featuring an Eco Fashion Show presented by Avani Ribbon

Avani Ribbon’s main objective is to promote sustainable development in the fashion industry. It achieves this through education and marketing services to small businesses (retailers) and designers.

The show will feature six jewelry and accessories designers.

Winner of the NYC Design Competition for "Most Socially Responsible Handbag," Blumpari designs handbags inspired by Thai culture and traditions. Blumpari, pronounced as bloom-pari, means the "eternal heavenly blossoming flower." Designer Cherry Kwunyeun studied at Parsons where she received a Fulbright grant to study and consult on microfinanced handicrafts/textile groups in Thailand.

Ceci G for CG Originals
Since 2003, Cecilia Guerra is creating chic and fun pieces of jewelry, her collection includes pieces made from materials such as sterling silver .950, turquoise, spondilus and avalon In 2005 she combined her lifelong interest in the handcrafted arts with her niece Patricia Real forming CG originals. The pieces are designed for women of all ages to make them feel sophisticated and stylish.

In February 2009 CG originals introduced a ready to wear clothing line Ceci G. The designer Cecilia Guerra get her inspiration from the late 60's, as well as the different colors and textures of the fabrics.

Traditional Art Reinterpreted was founded in 2009 by Catalina Lemaitre in Washington DC. Calamarie works with artists across Colombia to preserve traditional art forms by purchasing and developing products that use traditional materials and techniques but are reinterpreted for the contemporary woman. At DC Fashion Week 2010, Calamarie will showcase the recently arrived winter collection, including virgin wool and hand woven hammock cloth bags, iraca palm clutches, ground coffee, seed and orange peel necklaces and many more hand-made and earth-friendly accessories.

Melissa Lew
Melissa Lew is an award winning DC Metro area artist and designer whose work is strongly influenced by her Chinese heritage, especially the culture’s deep respect and esteem for nature. She uses various green and sustainable materials, including recycled silver (precious metal clays) and bamboo, to create unique eco-friendly, sculptural jewelry to wear and/or display. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Art and Visual Technology from George Mason University in 2005; her work has received numerous awards and has been exhibited throughout the D.C. Metro area, including at the Bead Museum of Washington D.C.

Peruvian Trend
Peruvian Trend Co. represents the fine art and crafts of Peruvian indigenous women artisans. Using ancestral techniques, PT Co. showcases clothing, accessories and home accents using 100% natural fibers as Baby Alpaca wool, Pima organic cotton among natural elements as semi-precious stones from the Andean region of Peru.

PT Co supports the artwork of women artisans from the Andean and Northern region in a NGO called Myta Kipu, where 90% of the money goes to them and 5% is used to organize preventative and public health campaigns in their communities. This partnership provides these women with income and needed health services.

Rupalee presents figure flattering, contemporary women's apparel conceived to make its wearer look fabulous, feminine and graceful at all times. Rupalee's sustainable and fair-trade clothing is eco-friendly, made from hand-woven and hand-block printed fabrics, earth friendly dyes and hand embroidered. Fabrics are 100% cotton, cotton silk blend and 100% silk is used. Rupalee is a member of Fair Trade Federation.

The event is free but reservations are highly recommended (space is limited). Doors open at 6 p.m. for networking and show begins at 7 p.m. RSVP at

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Broken Record?

I have recently being doing some soul searching, partly as I start to wind down from time in Washington and the States and I figure out my next steps. Looking back at the last 4 years since the birth of Fashion4Development I am extremely proud of all out achievements, which include introducing the concept of development in Fashion at the World Bank and solidifying eco as must have in DC Fashion Week.

However, with another Eco Runway show as part of DC Fashion Week coming up on February 15th, I wonder how the message has changed. When I started F4D, we were at the height of cheap, throw away fashion - 3 years and an economic recession later are we just back to where we started? I can't help but wonder. In addition with DC being so transient, I wonder whether I am just preaching the same message to different groups of people who come and go, and each year. In short am I in danger of sounding like a broken record?

Readers - I would love to hear your thoughts.