The theme was reminicent of the first days of class, but Tara St. James’ Autumn 2011 collection for her label, Study, was as far from schoolgirl as one can get and still include shiny red apples in the presentation.
Yes, apples! The full-on sensory experience included models walking out among school chairs and a desk, on which they each placed a fruit, before taking up positions on the stage so we could all take a closer look. Moody music and a room scent by A Perfume Organic wafted through the very crowded space. (Turns out the fantastic blend of Cumin, Cedar, Anise, Styrax, SeaBuckthorn Berry, Myrrh, Black Pepper, Clary Sage, Basil and more will be available as the “Study perfume” in September).
St. James used a variety of fabrics in her collection, including organic cottons and alpacas, but also tried out some less-known materials, including a recycled ultrasuede and an ethereal fabric made from wild silkworm cocoons from Madagascar (the material was introduced to the designer by Summer Rayne Oakes, through her eco fabrics resource, Source4Style).
St. James also utilized some vintage and overstock wools, and a hemp/silk mix to round out the textures. Manufacturing almost the entire collection in NYC, the designer also practiced zero-waste pattern-making (and where there was extra fabric, a collaborating Parson’s student, Hannah Learner, used the scraps to make slouchy patchwork jackets that were also shown).
This diaphanous skirt is made from 4,000 wild silkworm cocoons. The light moved through the gauzy browns and golds, which were richly hued and totally unique.
A zero-waste patterned dress was made with vintage double-knit fabric and a saucy row of buttons down the front.
See more images from the collection at Ecouterre.
All Photos by Starre Vartan.