Sunday was a pretty major day for ethical fashion statements: Eco Age creative director and green fashion pioneer Livia Firth (wife of Colin) struck red carpet gold when Viola Davis stepped out at the BAFTAs in a Valentino gown made from recycled soda cans as the first actress to sign on to her Green Carpet Challenge 2012. On this side of the Atlantic, Edun—the ready-to-wear line founded on a commitment to encourage trade with Africa by Ali Hewson (wife of Bono)—debuted its Fall 2012 collection.
Recently, I had the pleasure of speaking with Livia and she reminded me of Edun's motto "we carry the story of the people who make our clothes around with us," which she also takes as inspiration for her own work. So what stories is Edun telling for next season?
While we've come to expect a boho-luxe mix from Sharon Wauchob, designer for the LVMH-backed label, this time around save for the models' bare legs in the frigid Pier 57 space on the West Side Highway, her aesthetic reliance on styles of dress in Sub-Saharan countries was less literal. Wauchob termed the collection "safari punk," a hard-edged theme which allowed her to go in for futurist fabric experimentation with techno finishes like a paper nylon padded gilet and a lacquer coat.
The heart of the collection, though, was the flashbulb-ready graphic zebra, springbok, and baobab tree print silk motorcycle dresses and jumpsuits, which had an air of Cavalli but were way more whimsical. (Imagine the leaping gazelle instead of its skin.) Safari prints sustainably made in developing economies? We hope to soon see members of the glitterati take a lesson from Wauchob and Hewson on having a fashion conscience.