Project Earth Day Fashion Show, 2009: Designer's Runway

Starre Vartan at Project Earth Day Fashion Show

2009 is the third anniversary of the Project Earth Day Fashion Show; I’ve been lucky enough to attend all three and it’s one of those events I really look forward to every year. It’s really a showcase of the most innovative talent (both student and designer) in ecofashion for that year.

Some of the most creative work in fashion design right now is going on in the world of ecofashion, which includes but is not limited to sustainable textiles, upcycling, animal-friendly fabrics and nontoxic dyes. The designers included in Project Earth Day (and others, too) are constantly pushing the boundaries; finding original materials (hemp silk was everywhere this year, there is less bamboo); uncovering new and traditional dye sources (cochineal beetles and Indigo) and making reuse truly beautiful. They are setting the standard for the next incarnation of American fashion which will become more planet- and people-friendly every year because of the forward-thinking work of these designers.

This year the designer’s show (which followed the student show ) featured Bahar Shapar, Lara Miller, Sublet, Melissa Kirgan, Mika Organic, Bodkin, Covet, Fearless Dreamer by Meiling Chen, Larsen Gray, Xing-Zhen Chung-Hilyard (AKA: XZ), Loyale, Mociun, Mottainai, and also shoes by Cri de Coeur, Charmone, OlsenHaus, and Neuaura. Jewlery by Alkemie.

The theme of the show was “Through the Looking Glass” and makeup and hair (adorned with huge bows) reflected the Alice in Wonderland on a Lovely LSD Trip background and accompanying hanging bug sculptures. Held at the Openhouse Gallery, the event was superpacked and everyone was excited to be there.

Bahar Shapar and Molly Garretson organized the event.

Designers Meiling Chen, Melissa Kirgan and Xing-Zhen Chung-Hilyard from the EKO-lab

Melissa Kirgan’s sustainably-dyed dress (I talked to Melissa about this dress at fashion week, check the vid here)

Back detail of Kirgan’s deep waters gown. For a close-up, see Inhabitat’s shot here

Yellow Cutout Kaftan (100% hemp; low-impact ink) by Xing-Zhen Chung Hilyard

Loyale‘s Alviso jumpsuit

Cynthia bloomers and print Alma tank by Lara Miller

Cocoon poncho by Xing-Zhen Chung-Hilyard

Lara Miller’s Madison dress (love the epaulet-like shoulder detail!)

Mika Organic Horse Dress

Mika Organic Horse Evening Dress

Meteor Dress by Mociun

Donovan Jacket, Dorothy Top, Dancey Shorts by Sublet

Silk Twill Dress by Covet

Space Print River Blouse, Stones Print Jeans by Mociun

Bahar Shahpar shorts jumper with fab suspenders

Speckled Layered Tank Dress by Bahar Shahpar

Speckled Cube Sleeve Dress by Bahar Shahpar

Moonshake Tee and Compressor Skirt by Bodkin

Refraction Dress by Bodkin

Andromeda Minidress by Bodkin

Deborah Dress by Sublet

See coverage of the student competition for pix and details about the preceding runway event to the designer’s show. See my Flickr stream for more pix of the show.

All images by Starre Vartan

Starre Vartan is founder and editor-in-chief of Eco-Chick.com and the author of the Eco-Chick Guide to Life. She's also a freelance science and environment writer who has published in National Geographic, CNN, Scientific American, Mental Floss, Pacific Standard, the NRDC, and many more. She lives on an island in Puget Sound with her partner and black cat. She was a geologist in her first career, and still picks up rocks wherever she goes.