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London Fashion Week may have won plenty of headlines over the last week, but the boldest and most innovative designs in town were in fact to be found just a stone’s throw away, at the alternative fashion showcase, EcoLuxe London. They promised 'high quality, luxury and exclusive brands with a conscience' and they did not disappoint.
Staking their territory opposite LFW’s Somerset House base, this group of ethical designers took over the glitzy No1 Aldwych Hotel on 20th/21st February and proceeded to push forward the all important three R's: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.
First up, guests were greeted with By Stamo dresses which make use of second-hand, locally sourced fabrics. Think eye-popping colour, playful silhouettes, and delicate draping. With S/S 11's palate consisting of rainbow colours and lots of them, I was quickly pining for the warmer months.
Mario Tripoli's label ‘Clear’, meanwhile, introduced experimental designs crafted from discarded advertising hoardings. Amongst the many rescuees, a former ‘Cash for Gold’ poster found its true calling: as a striking handbag that opted for style over bling.
Elsewhere, ReLuxe's collection included plastic fantastic tribal-style necklaces made by reusing the ever-unpopular supermarket carrier bag. And, ever wondered what happened to all those old duvet covers and overstretched t-shirts after you've packed them off to the recycling centre? Well, with any luck they've been ReLuxed and have started life over as one of their reconstructed dresses or wow! miniskirts.
And Tim Burton might have found an entire supporting cast in amongst Elena Garcia's eco couture range. Her organic silk, mostly black creations are surely bound for gothic meets bohemian types. Garcia’s experimentation with eco-friendly dying techniques is key to her dream-like collections.
Having half expected beautiful-but-bonkers creations, wearability was the main highlight. I left with my eco-credentials in place and a must-have list the length of my arm.
Reviewed by Sara Grant.