In its second run, The GreenShows at New York’s Village Green presented a host of eco-conscious designers, in a venue that with a system of energy efficient lighting and recycled or recyclable design materials, maintained equal adherence to environmentally and ethically sound practices.
Whether their collections were produced out of upcycled materials, or new materials finished in an environmentally minded manner, the green designers filled every niche.
Designers like Gary Harvey, Sonja den Elzen, and JoAnn Berman showcased collections of couture and ready-to-wear designs. That lent sustainability the same consideration as innovation. Rivaling the forwardness and posturing as a challenge to the conventionally produced creations of their Bryant Park counterparts.
John Patrick Organic Fall/Winter 2017
While John Patrick Organic was not a part of the Village Green lineup. Organic instead hosted a presentation at New York’s Garment District complete with a latticework installation weaved out of discarded plastic hangers from retail stores. The pacesetting eco-designer created a collection of heavy navy and camel coloured coats and trousers, contrasted with a surprising bubble gum pink vest and skirt for added pop.
Organic’s collection continued the trend of strong, structured shoulders. But softened with ultra feminine digitally printed blouses and shift dresses, which are produced in a less environmentally strenuous method. Harkening the swagger of ‘60s era vogue, each of the models donned a beehive hairdo. A conspicuous vegetable-tanned leather shift dress was a sustainable revision of Twiggy.
Gary Harvey Fall/Winter 2017
British designer Gary Harvey turned newspapers, shopping bags, and plastic cosmetic packaging into an extraordinary collection of upcycled couture. Harvey paraded models, one after one, down the runway in voluminous, shapely gowns, topped with slick bodices. The designer gave incredible attention to draping, a signature element that provided just one of the motifs that made this collection so cohesive. There were also softer silhouettes, like a maxi dress pattered with strips from English collegiate scarves. Memorably, Harvey fashioned a gown out of the pages of the Financial Times, perhaps commentary on the world’s economic climate and the sometimes-excessive nature of the fashion industry.
Thieves by Sonja den Elzen Fall/Winter 2017
Toronto-based designer Sonja den Elzen sent both men’s and women’s wear down the runway at Village Green. Urban-nomad was the collection’s theme, inspired by the misuse of the Canadian Boreal forest. Materials like organic wool, recycled leather, bamboo, and organic cotton were used to create den Elzen’s expansive collection of black-on-black textured garments.
High-waisted trousers and shirts, completed with sheer long sleeved (and sometimes hooded) tops are common themes, and in one instance, complimented with a lady’s textured asymmetrical cummerbund. A strong-shouldered hooded dress, with vertical colour block in black and gray hues, was detailed with an asymmetrical hem. Colour block cropped up again, on a gray trouser with a front black stripe, extending the length of the inseam. The Augustina dress showed an edgy contrast, with a recycled leather bust on waxed organic cotton. Inspired by a timeless traveler, structured coats with aged details furthered den Elzen’s inspiration.
Thieves by Sonja den Elzen has an urban edge but with an entirely organic composition, this collection is eternalized. With a range of pieces that have high potential for commercial appeal. Sonja den Elzen’s collection asserts the viability of eco-conscience design in today’s fashion marketplace.
JoAnn Berman Fall/Winter 2017
JoAnn Berman’s Thunderbirds collection combined upcycled garments, vintage and other rediscovered fabrics, and Berman’s own signature patch working and unmitigated use of colour. A red and blue patterned bolero with yellow and black feathered “wings” seemingly growing out of the sleeves defined the collection. A black shift dress with rainbow coloured polka dots awed with a rear pink bustle and arbitrarily stationed rainbow zippers, an incorporation of one of the year’s most recognizable trends by the avant-garde eco-designer.