Eco Style West Vol. 29

Sustainable style news from EcoSalon’s West Coast Fashion Editor.

Beauty Does – Defining beauty, or rather redefining it from its traditionally narrow confines, is a charge that eco-fashion editors hold dear. Please join EcoSalon and Groundwork Opportunities, a San Francisco-based non-profit organization that supports projects to reduce poverty in the developing world, for Define: Beauty the first annual fashion show that will fund a clean water well for 4,000 people in Moshi, Tanzania. Held this Thursday, September 29th, the show will feature original pieces created by San Francisco designers Cari Borja, Ken Chen, Dallas Coulter, Sarah Liller, MENK, Kajan Padraig, Retrofit Republic and Daniel Sudar that are designed to show the intrinsic beauty within us all. Beginning at 6:30 pm, the event includes a reception that will feature expertly crafted bites from Mission Cheese and Beast and the Hare. Want two tickets to the event? Just leave a comment below and you’ll be automatically entered to win.

Equinox Fever – The best thing about it being officially fall? We can get serious about picking a piece, or two, from Pendleton Woolen Mill’s magnificently modern and fashion smart Portland Collection.  Created by the newly signed on design team of Nathaniel Crissman and Rachel Turk, co-founders of the vintage inspired label, Church & State and John Blasioli, who designs an eponoymous menswear line, the designers reported in this Month’s ELLE having “their minds blown” by a visit to the company’s archives of hundred year old garments that had been “frozen and thawed to preserve against moths” in downtown Portland. Although the collection’s Native American-inspired motif is this season’s surface pattern touchstone, the unisex line of sweaters, coats and knitwear (prices $68 to $650) are designed “to make it something people would still want to wear 10 or 20 years from now.”

Posing Questions – The salient “Posing Beauty in African American Culture” show currently at USC’s Fisher museum in Los Angeles examines a wide range of media, including photography, film, video, fashion, advertising and internet that, according to the program notes, hopes to “challenge idealized forms of beauty in art by examining their portrayal and exploring a variety of attitudes about race, class, gender, popular culture and politics.” The exhibition includes images of women clad in frilly white dresses and sun hats in 1938 Louisiana, Lyle Ashton Harris’ 1987 photograph, “Miss America,” which shows an African American woman with white face makeup and an American flag draped across her bare upper body, and a striking photo of Michelle Obama taken in 2006, engendering a stirring discussion about what is considered beautiful, both within African American culture and beyond. Don’t miss the panel discussion, “Posing Beauty Posing Questions,” on Oct. 4.




Rowena Ritchie

Rowena is EcoSalon’s West Coast Fashion Editor and currently resides in San Francisco, CA.