Brighton Fashion Week 2014 – Review
Brighton Fashion Week 2014 has come and gone in a flash and as we longingly remember all of the wonderful clothes we wish we could own we take a look back at the three main events over the Fashion Week Weekend.
The Brighton Fashion Week Sustain Debate, sponsored by Brighton and Hove Fair Trade, saw a mix of incredibly successful panellists step up and debate the issue of sustainability within the fashion industry, both environmentally and socially speaking. The panel included, Caroline Lucas MP, Purna Sen, Carry Somers– founder of Fashion Revolution and Pachacuti, Ben Ramsden– Founder of Pants to Poverty and Creator of 3D P&L and Tasmin Lejeune– CEO of the Ethical Fashion Forum.
The Sustain Debate raised the hard fitting questions of, at what point does the cost of looking good become too much? What are the impacts environmentally and socially on the production of our clothes?
The collaboration of a fair trade legislation and the fashion industry was discussed heavily. The urgent need to redefine how we purchase our clothes and the push for more companies to adopt the same concept as, ‘Pants for Poverty’. We need more companies which will enable a mutually beneficial and sustainable situation for the consumer, a charity (in Pants for Poverty’s case, each pair of pants you purchase a struggling farmer in an undeveloped country will receive a pair of pants) the environmental impact of the production of clothes and finally an ethical process of production from a human rights perspective, knowing that the person who made the product was efficiently paid and working in an good environment.
The real question is how can we help to put the steps in place for a more sustainable fashion industry? Firstly we live in a ‘throw any’ culture. We all have numerous amounts of clothes that we simply don’t wear. We need to consume less: if you don’t need it, don’t buy it. Also, go through your wardrobe and have any clothes you don’t wear recycled. NEVER throw your old clothes out in the trash, all clothing materials can be recycled into rugs, curtains, other clothes etc. While it’s easy to say “stop buying so much” it’s certainly hard to do. Particularly when we are bombarded with advertising everywhere we go, we merely to change our attitude and break our habits. Change how you consume. Utilise social media and chat to yours friends about redefining yourself not as a consumer, but as a citizen who recognises something has to change. Imagine how good you would feel wearing something that you can say, I know this outfit is made from organic cotton or recycled materials and I’m doing my bit for the environment, I also know the person who made this was treated fairly and paid the correct amount, therefore I’m doing my bit for humanity and putting a stop to the abuse of numerous workers throughout the world in ‘sweat shops’. Start questioning where your clothes came from.
See, not only will The Brighton Fashion Week exhibit some innovate fashion, it will make you think. Having the opportunity to have discussions such as the Sustain Debate right here in Brighton is a privilege.
Check out Pants for Poverty, Revoltion.org and Meet your Maker Blog. Most importantly do your own research. Do you know where the clothes you’re wearing right this second came from?
After the issues of how, where and under what circumstance our clothes are made were raised at the Sustain Debate I was excited to see what the Sustain Catwalk would have on offer.
Paganini Ballroom was transformed into the Sustain Catwalk and had a vibrant yet sophisticated atmosphere. The whole show started with a material story from Izzie Roffe-Silvester. This monologue was about the journey our clothes take from the initial process of production right up to being purchased and worn and this set the overall tone for the show. After her performance a single model wearing an elaborate Veolia dress out of recycled goods took to the catwalk. The attention and stillness of the crowd made it obvious that people were really involved in beginning to think about fashion sustainability.
I very much enjoyed Victoria George’s ‘Knitty Gritty’ line which I would describe as an urban jungle. A very young, energetic and colourful jungle indeed. I hope to see more from Victoria George in the future as her designs are thought provoking and I think that my generation can relate to them.
Another line I absolutely loved was Re-Cycle-Style, an ethical project and fashion brand from Kumiko Tani, another up and coming young designer passionate about eco-fashion. This line saw a range of very extravagant dresses with huge skirts made mostly from plastic shopping bags or plastic bottles. My favourite dress was ‘the Tesco’ made entirely from Tesco shopping bags. You could feel how the dress moved as the model came down the catwalk, the noise of the plastic bags and the way the whole crowd was in awe of it. Another impressive recycled design was a dress made out of ripped and folded newspaper.
After that I very much enjoyed the men-line Ethical Wares by Catherine Hudson. It featured a range of truly unique formal wear for men. The patterns took on the form of watercolours teamed with heavy blacks and solid shoes.
Everyone sees ‘sustainable fashion’ in a different way and this show was bursting with a creativity and diversity that gave everyone a chance to immerse themselves into their own ideas of sustainability.
The Zeitgeist Emerging Talent Catwalk was the fashion show that was set to define Brighton’s Fashion Week. The creativity and innovation of the designs on the catwalk teamed with top quality production and attention to detail made it obvious why Zeitgeist was deemed as the ‘game changer’.
The show saw, Lousie O’Mahony with her vibrant pom pom filled designs reel out significantly different designs from one to the next. She incorporated subtle floral patterns and used bright pinks and greens. My favourite piece was an amazing long pelted green skirt.
Milica Vukadinovic had a bold and unique men’s line. The use of black, grey and silver with never seen before mesh face pieces set the tone. The use of leather and hard hitting angles gave the line a grungy feel that was complimented by the male models.
Elise Flippula’s timeless designs were a big stand out. The use of flattering shapes made the clothes fall in all the right places. The designs were elegant and sophisticated while still managing to maintain an aspect that made them wearable to anyone.
The Zeitgeist Emerging Talent Catwalk showcased true innovation and provided an exciting look into the creations that are yet to come.