MOoW Spring Runway
Our MOoW Spring Runway features some favorite designers who have been steaming ahead of the fashion curve with colorful collections and wearable art. The mere shift to conscious use of fabric remnants and all manner of unlikely debris ironically opens up an explosion of playful, fresh ideas among forward-thinking designers, artists and other creative types. The fact that the clothes are most often individually assembled like works of art and skillfully hand-made guarantees that no two will be alike: each one an instant unique conscious classic.
This year, Bethany Williams became the second recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Award for British Design which she deservedly won for her visionary talent and her strong commitment to social issues and sustainability. Her meteoric rise to stardom is grounded in an ethical mission to address some of the most pressing concerns of our day. She slyly redirects the obsessions of a fashion-addicted society to a thoroughly holistic approach to designing and making. She does is by collaborating with people from food banks, rehabilitation centers, and other charity services to reinvent fabric out of waste for her successful collections. Everything about Bethany Williams is inspiring and cutting edge. (For more about Bethany Williams, see our link to a related article)
Born and raised in Oregon, Nancy Judd is recognized worldwide for her art and environmental advocacy. Her “sculpture” takes the form of glamorous fashions which seductively broach the thorny subjects of resource use as well as the social impact of fashion. Her work has been featured on the front page of the Wall Street Journal and in Delta Airlines in-flight magazine among other news outlets and periodicals. Companies and organizations such as Delta Air Lines, Toyota, Coca-Cola, and Target have sponsored her sculptures and exhibitions. Her most high profile work, “The Obamanos Coat” is in the permanent collection of the Smithsonian Museum.
Born in Himachal Pradesh, India, in 1943, internationally celebrated multimedia artist Vivan Sundaram shifted his concentration in 1990 from painting to sculpture, installations, photography and video. Since 2009, Sundaram has been making sculptural garments with materials he attests “are all sourced from the dust bin.” The work here is all from a 2011 exhibition entitled “GAGAWAKA: Making Strange.” Sundaram comments that “there is a kind of Surrealism in the work.” The fashionista viewer cannot help but be amazed and amused by the panache and flair found in these sculptural garments that transform all manner of unlikely consumer trash into haute couture.
Claudia Grau has been a creative force in Los Angeles for 30 years. In 1980, at the age of 21, she hung her shingle on Melrose Avenue in Hollywood, and became an instant success with stylists and celebrities. Grau was the first designer to use “green” reused, recycled clothing, and she continues to use it to this day. An early pioneer in deconstruction and collaged clothing, Grau still cuts up old cashmere garments, discarded men’s dress shirts, and vintage Japanese kimonos. All her designs are one-of-a-kind and handmade without the use of patterns.
London-based eco designer Gary Harvey’ is a visionary trend strategist, former Creative Director of Levi’s Europe, with a long list of prominent clients that include Adidas and Vivienne Westwood. His practice of using recycled materials began in his student days and he continues to invent new ways of manufacturing using discards of all sorts with inherent resonant associations. With humor and wit, he aims to recalibrate perceptions of all that is second-hand, overlooked and discarded, and to enlighten consumers about the social and environmental consequences of the fashion industry.
World-renowned American-born eco artist and sculptor Marina DeBris (a pseudonym) resides in Sidney, Australia. Her art and highly effective activism are devoted to raising awareness around the problem of ocean and beach pollution. Her medium is, of course, beach trash which she collects herself in situ. Besides being known for her art, curation, and fundraising, DeBris is also celebrated for her highly effective activism: working with nonprofits and involved in environmental public policy and education. She is listed with the Women Environmental Artists Directory, has been praised by EcoSalon as one of four important eco artists.