Christie’s auction house sets the stage for eco fashion gone upscale.
Despite the paralyzing traffic congestion due to President Obama’s visit to NYC yesterday, key movers and shakers in the philanthropic and (green) fashion community made their way to Christie’s at Rockefeller Center last night for the star-studded Bid to Save the Earth gala auction and the Runway to Green event styled by Vogue’s Fashion Director, Tonne Goodman. Funds raised from the luxurious lot items generously exceeded the organizers’ expectations and with twenty six participating fashion designers who met the challenge of greening the runway, the message seemed clear that sustainable fashion has now made its way downtown, uptown, and all around town for women and men who are willing to redefine the cost of luxury and the role that they might play.
Vogue.com was rather clever to open this event up to a global audience by creating an online invite and then live-streaming the auction and runway presentation on their website at 8:30pm EST last night. Viewers were able to see the paddles flapping and even catch auctioneer jokes about the sartorial details of bidders’ attire. Actor and comedian, Seth Meyers of Saturday Night Live, was particularly witty and added a bit of spunk to the affair, tossing out the promise that he would bike the loop of Manhattan’s Central Park as part of one bidding lot.
Michelle Harper dons some millinery greenery for Bid to Save the Earth
Noted guests for the evening included names such as: Anna Wintour, Chevy Chase, Salma Hayek, Michelle Harper, Alexander Wang, Jason Wu, Thakoon Panichgul, Michael Kors, Rachel Roy, Coco Rocha, Karolina Kurkova, Kate Dillon, Lauren Bush, David Lauren, Angela Lindvall, and many more.
In addition to $1.26 million raised last night, the added good news is that looks from the 26 participating fashion designers are now available for purchase at Net-a-Porter, with proceeds benefiting the National Defense Resources Council, Oceana, and the Central Park Conservatory. These items and accessories are not green in terms of materials per se, but a portion of the proceeds from each exclusive Runway to Green piece will go to leading environmental organizations.
The buzz post-runway presentation is that, in addition to the lush vegetation divider that rotated as each model stepped on to the stage, attendees were totally on board with the idea that eco fashion is no longer a marginalized phenomenon. One of the show-stopping pieces was the finale, Oscar de la Renta’s one-of-a-kind 100% organic natural ivory cotton-tulle bridal gown, all hand-embroidered with 100% organic, natural ivory cotton ‘guipure’ lace flowers. Proof that sustainable textiles can transparently translate to luxurious couture and the best of what high-end fashion houses can generate.
As part of our ongoing examination of what the future of fashion genuinely looks like, it appears as if the increased dialogue with celebrated luxury and ready-to-wear designers continues to create new standards for how to design and be more environmentally-minded. With all of the recent concern about designers also burning out due to demanding fashion week schedules and the pressures of running multi-faceted global brands, perhaps it will continue to be the case that future designs are presented in contexts where consumers and supporters might be more involved in the good that can come from their purchases and fashion “needs.” This can only be a positive development as we band together to create lasting solutions on all fronts, be they environmental or social in these challenging times.