EcoSalon at NYFW: Suzanne Rae

Forging a new fashion trail with Suzanne Rae’s Fall/Winter 2012 collection.

There’s a new frontier in fashion – a glamorous harkening back to the simply beautiful and designer Suzanne Rae is the perfect pioneer. She’s personable, a true philosophizer, a family girl and constantly evolving toward what she calls a “higher consciousness.”

It’s this clear consciousness that came through her Fall/Winter 2012 collection showcased at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in collaboration with the W Hotels Fashion Next Showcase. In her fourth season showing here, she’s no stranger to hard and high fashion.  And, it shows.

The impeccable detail to pieces like her fur print bias gown with “Suzanimal,” as Rae affectionately calls it, (see below), is silk screened to look like real animal fur yet she assures, it’s entirely fur free.  The “Suzanimal,” a wolf pelt stole, follows the same silk screened printing process and is then layered on a bed of wool – all sketched out pre-production by biologist-turned-artist Sam Dakota.

For Rae it’s each little element that makes a piece, which is why we couldn’t stop staring at her cowl backs, fringe backs and cotton tails, nearly more riveting than their front-facing counterparts.

Inspired by the Internal Revolution stirred by Jim Morrison and William Blake, Rae’s collection was a melodic merging of poetry and rock-n-roll. Elegance with an edge. As Rae tells EcoSalon, “The internal revolution is really how you feel inside and how you take that out into the world and act. It begins with you – your progress, your personal responsibility. And everything begins with awareness.”

As for Rae’s responsibility, she gets that fashion can be designed and produced more consciously. Currently, she’s at the crossroads of incorporating more sustainable textiles into her collections although, these fabrics don’t pop-up too much in this collection. Still, Rae does produce everything in the New York Garment Center and creates all samples in her Brooklyn, New York studio.

“It’s incredibly important to me to support local fashion production,” Rae emphasizes. “If the garment center gets smaller and goes away, then independent designers like me wont’ be able to produce. And then, American fashion will go away.”

With The Door’s lyrics encouraging the audience to “break on through to the other side,” it seems clear that Rae’s message is all about helping to lead the new awakened fashion paradigm. And as if to enforce what we already know about her, Rae quotes Blake: “the road to excess leads to the palace of wisdom.” When we ask Rae if she’s ever lived in excess, she laughs and says, “Sometimes you just get so caught up in it all. Now, I’m growing with those experiences – through the ups and downs, the light and the dark.”

With this collection, the light prevailed. Post-show, with glistening eyes and a beaming face, Rae’s mother told us, “It just warms my heart.”  (see Rae’s post-show family photo, below)

See more of our favorite Suzanne Rae looks below:

Jennifer Barckley

Jennifer currently resides in New York City where she covers eco fashion and beauty for EcoSalon.