Dark Beauty of the Stephen Jones Nature Project:
Eco-Fashion Goes High Art

The Stephen Jones Nature Project, featured in the latest issue of Coco Eco Magazine, is a provocative and gorgeous creative endeavour, whether you consider yourself an environmentalist, a fashionista, both, or neither. Iconic British milliner Stephen Jones, made a style statement with found natural (and some human-made) materials which went on to become some of the most incredible headdresses. Beautiful, dark and disturbing Stephen Jones' work take Eco-consciousness to levels of high art.

AJNA Chic: High Style Made Effortless,Ethical, Elegant, and Ecological

Ethical, beautiful, modern and subtly romantic - is the best way to describe the inspired Eco-friendly fashion line AJNA.

Beryl Man is the visionary behind the line. The Hong Kong native is a graduate in fashion and knitwear from Royal College of Art in London. Man has worked with the best names in fashion, from Tse Cashmere to Donna Karen and Calvin Klein before launching AJNA. The line delivers high end sensibility and stylings with an uncompromising commitment to Eco-Friendly production practices and the use of organic, sustainable and indigenous materials.

To see the line in its entirety and to order online, go to www.ajnacollection.com

(Originally published on The Lohasian)

Duro Olowa Turns Ethnic Chic Sustainable, and Himself Into the Fashion World Darling

Duro Olowu is adding a whole lot of excitement and joy to Eco-Fashion, thanks to his explosive fusion of color, dazzling mix of ethnic prints and the beautiful flowing lines in his 70's influenced designs.

Olowa hails from Nigeria and has been blazing through the fashion world, getting rave reviews from industry insiders including a nod from the internationally renowned British Fashion Awards. The designer combines recycled and custom designed fabrics, that play artfully against ethnic jewelry. The result is nothing short of a visceral extravaganza.

"I think fashion should be joyful – it shouldn't dictate to women but it should invite them into the fantasy of the designer who is making them," he says.

It's clear, Oluwa's high style clientele and the fashion world, have fallen "heart and soul" for the joyous fantasy of Duro's Oluwa's world .

Oluwa's pieces can be found at Barney's New York or through his London Boutique at 020 8960 7570

For more information go to www.duroolowu.com

Originally posted on The LOHASIAN at www.thelohasian.com

Vintage Chic - Eco Style: Stunning Fashion From Another Era For The Conscious Set

Pink chiffon flowered 1950's party dress with tucked details (Item: 5S452)

White satin 1930's era lingerie gown with lace details. (Item: LG062)

Black silk chiffon and lace B. Altman dress from the 1950's (Item:5S534)

Early 1960's blue crinkle chiffon cocktail dress with beaded designs. (Item: SD013)

Vintage clothing has always been "in" with trend setters, but the green movement and thinking sustainably about all our resources, has brought recycling into the fashion world, and Vintage into the realms of high style.

Vintage might be fabulous, but finding pieces that transcend time and maintain integrity over the decades is not always easy. One company, Hemlock Vintage, does an extraordinary job of discovering incredible pieces spanning the last century that bring out the best of every era.

The company is based in Maryland and was founded in 1999, by the owner who sold pieces from her own vintage collection to start the business. Everything on the site is handpicked, inspected, refurbished and cleaned. The selection is inspired and clearly curated with a meticulous and knowledgeable eye.

Go to Hemlock Vintage.com to see the entire collection.

*Originally Posted on The Lohasian

The Leading Eco Fashion and Beauty Trends

The last decade has seen a rapidly growing transition between mindless consumerism to mindful consumerism. Industry has quickly responded by rolling out more "awareness driven" products that address the market changes. The "boom" that is driven by the expanding "LOHAS" market (all stuff as it relates to a lifestyle of health and sustainability), seem to be in the midst of a renaissance rather than a peak of a "bubble." All industry experts are expecting continued growth in areas such as green, organic, and alternative health and healing spending. Below is a list of several trends that are part of the expanding marketplace.

Big Brands Go Green

The Organic Exchange, a non-profit advocacy group, recently determined that the demand for organic cotton on the part of clothing makers is increasing at an annual rate of 93%. The organization projects that sales of organic cotton apparel will reach $2.6 billion by the close of 2007. Organic cotton apparel is now being offered by large labels and retailers such as American Apparel, Wal-Mart and Zara. Household brand names such as Nike have announced plans to determine exactly how to remove greenhouse gas from its sneakers, and Levi Strauss introduces an organic jeans line. Such shifts/investments in the market by big players point to a longer term play in the sustainable fashion market.

New Materials for the New Fashion Set

New materials are being integrated into fashion by the new "green" fashion set, as well as established labels. Use of fibers from wood pulp, bamboo, seaweed, soy and corn blends with organic silks and cashmere's are becoming increasingly common place.

Beauty Biz Gets Earth Conscious

Beauty industry is transforming with the steady market growth of 15% - 20% in annual sales over the past nine years in quality, natural, chemically-free and organically produced products. This natural organic trend represents a major lifestyle shift as is evidenced by Wal-Mart's interest in natural and organic personal care.

Health and Wellness Redefine Day Wear

The idea of what is day wear is changing as two-thirds of American women dedicate at least half of their closet space to active-wear. Women are increasingly not saving their workout clothes solely for the gym. Instead, they're trading traditional sportswear for active-wear as their casual apparel of choice. As a result active-wear manufacturers are taking a fashion forward approach and signing partnerships with high end designers. Examples of this include the recent deal between Stella McCartney and Adidas, and Alexander McQueen and Puma. This trend is also seen in the retail sector as retailers are shifting in the direction of "lifestyle" centered stores. American Eagle's new retail concept, Martin + Osa is dedicated to the concept of fusing high-tech sport and casual sportswear, creating a new lifestyle approach for the buyer. L.L. Bean, the grandfather of active-wear, is creating "bricks and mortar" shopping emporiums dedicated to celebrating the wearing of active-wear in the Great Indoors. Even the celebrity sector is getting in on the game; Scarlett Johansson will launch a line of urban active-wear next year in partnership with Reebok.

Spa Experience For The Masses

Style, beauty and pampering have always gone hand in hand. As style and beauty trends are shifting, so is the spa industry. The trend toward a more health and wellness centered lifestyle has transformed the idea of spa to something available to all consumers and not just the select few. Increasingly consumers are purchasing into product lines (body scrubs, wraps, masks etc) that they would typically get in a brick and mortar spa experience. People are clamoring to "Spa" on their own. Spa's are also getting in on the game, by selling the spa experience to the consumer in their home. An example of this is the Viceroy Palm Springs Resort & Estrella Spa, Palm Springs , CA, which now offers an "Ice House Treatment" where guests are provided with all of the necessary supplies and expected to perform the protocol themselves.

Overall the cultural shifts seem to point to a shift in the overall value put on health, wellness and a greater sense of consciousness that is not only transforming the lives of people, but also how they define and ultimately influence the culture of style worldwide.

*This article was in part based on an article by Alf Nucifora for "Fibre to Fashion" and originally published on The Lohasian

Linda Loudermilk and the Reinvention of Sustainable High Fashion

Linda Loudermilk is the queen of high style Eco-fashion. She has been setting trends in the fashion world using fabrics made of sasawashi, bamboo, sea cell, soya and other exotic self-sustaining plants. Her powerful designs with strong lines and fluid forms, seem to shout "this is not your ordinary sentimental hemp line."

The clothes are perfectly polished and confident and as her site says are "clothes that pack an iconoclastic punch, from noirish suits to sculpturally sexy shift dresses to jeans cut deadly on the hip." Voted by W Magazine as one of styles most influential people of the year, she has shown the fashion design world the endless possibility of sustainable chic.

The Spring 08' collection adds mud-dyed linen, vegan silk and milk cashmere to her stable of fabrics and takes on a theme of "wind turbines." The theme is manifested through unexpected seams, fluid lines, and missing collars. At Los Angeles Fashion week where the collection debuted, Loudermilk's show was attended by the likes of music sensation Prince and Pink. Loudermilk has paved the way for high fashion in Eco Fashion and continues to create inspiring collections that draw buyers from in and outside the green camp.

For more information Loudermilk vist her site at Loudermilk.com.

Video Feature: Loudermilk on Conscious Planet