I first wrote about Laura Siegel 2011 during Toronto Fashion Week. She works closely with artisans from both India and Bolivia. This month, I was fortunate enough to be invited to a private viewing of her collection for New York Fashion Week 2012.
Laura has a sweet welcoming disposition; she took the time to talk to me through all her pieces, she also openly discussed her past and future aspirations. When asked where she sees herself in 10 years Laura said she wants to work with more artisans from more countries all over the world and also mentioned she is venturing into home decor and other streams of design, which is something to watch out for.
Her creations use raw materials such as bamboo, raw silks, jersey, and handcrafted knits in delicate merino, baby alpaca, and eco-cotton. The result is a beautiful collection of intricate designs, incorporating both delicate soft pieces and strong bold pieces that can be easily combined and layered, making her collection quite versatile for the every-day woman. One thing that struck me about Laura was that she emphasizes her collection is a true collaboration between her and the artisans she works with. The artisan’s talent is apparent in her designs. She places great effort in representing the people she works with, as well as her own vision, which come together harmoniously in her designs. These pieces carry great ancient traditions from the eastern tribal women of India and meets a modern sophisticated look that is adaptable for a woman who seeks comfort, strength, femininity.
“The aesthetic reflects Siegel’s commitment to give back to the communities that inspire her. She believes strongly in empowering the artisans, not just by providing social and financial support, but also by actively including them in the design process. “The process of working with the artisans really shapes the collection,” Siegel explained. “They created their own interpretation for this season’s themes. The result is a collaboration of the past dreams, future dreams, and cultural values of everyone who worked on it.”
I feel that ethical fashion is more than just eco-friendly clothing, it’s a shift of attitude in the fashion world. Laura Siegel represents this shift, rather than being the typical stuck up fashion designer, she is extremely down to earth, open and very connected to the people she works with. Her attitude is fresh, and her values are represented transparently in her clothing. She is definitely someone to watch for in her future endeavours.
British fashion designer and animal rights activist, Stella McCartney, has joined forces with PETA to launch an anti-leather campaign just in the eve of fashion week in both New York and London. McCartney’s views are featured in a short clip by the designer herself, hoping to educate the public of the cruelty and suffering that takes place behind the fashion industry. McCartney state’s “As a designer, I like to work with fabrics that don’t bleed; that’s why I avoid all animal skins. Please join me in exploring the huge variety of fashionable shoes, belts, purses, and wallets that aren’t the product of a cow’s violent death.” The graphic video has been posted on PETA’s website. It’s an in-depth video demonstrating the cruelty cows endure both in North America and over-seas simply to obtain leather. The graphic images definitely make you think twice before buying those cute black leather boots you were dying to have. This video will hopefully open the eyes of those who are uninformed of the cruelty that takes place behind close doors. Fashion is a statement that expresses your inner self but it should not come at the cost of another’s suffering. Stella Mc Cartney is a true inspiration to the ethical fashion world because she stay’s true to her values. We hope other designers will follow in Mc Cartney’s foot steps and make more ethical decisions when designing their new fashion lines.
Gretchen debuted her collection at NYFW. I was a huge fan of hers during Project Runway season 8, and am still impressed by her. She always uses natural elements, and beautiful rich pops of colour blended into easy to wear clothing. I wish the best for her and am happy to see that she is aligned with the New York based organization Save The Garment Centre.
EDUN receives applauding reviews on the 3rd day of New York Fashion Week from the Fashion Telegraph (UK), Chronicle Herald, and New York Times. A great achievement for ethical fashion !!