NYFW: Gretchen Jones Channels the Literature of Joan Didion

Gretchen Jones channels Haight Ashbury and pom pom flower power for a stunning Spring/Summer 13 collection.

It’s no secret we’re Gretchen Jones fans here at EcoSalon so catching up with her post GenArt Fresh Faces show this past Sunday was like sitting down with an old friend. Known on Project Runway Season 8 as one of the few designers to tout her love of sustainable fashion and design, Jones’ approach has since changed some.

We got her to sit still for a minute to answer some questions about her Spring/Summer 13 collection called “Any Day Now.”

Here’s what she had to say.

Your collections always have a meaningful name. What’s this one all about?

My collections are inspired by a piece of literature and the album I listen to most/what’s connected to the literature. Joan Didion’s essay “Where the Kissing Never Stops,” about Joan Baez’s early years organically found me and was meant to be. I started listening to Joan Baez’s album Any Day Now [which is the collection’s name] which was recorded around the time of Didion’s essay…its seemed like the Universe found my inspiration for me this year.

Though you’re not promoting it this time around, rumor has it this collection is your most sustainable to date.

Around 70% of the collection is made from ethical materials. I’ve incorporated organic cottons, worked with an amazing company called Indigo Handloom who works with off the grid weavers in India for my batik and The shiny boucle and and a few other hand woven silks, My custom prints are still digitally printed to reduce water waste and I continue to support domestic/local production.

What have you learned as a designer about promoting sustainability?
I’m a fashion designer, not an ethically focused designer and I think there is a difference. My ethical choices are honestly for me and my chosen path in supporting my personal need to be thoughtful about how I source and where I create my work. But I don’t think my customer is only a sustainable shopper…and to be quite frank, I believe the real way to continue to move ethical choices into the way we all live is to create strong enough work that stands on its own and can compete in a very competitive industry because it’s just good.

Your favorite piece?
The Short Suit and the Pant Suit for sure.

What’s the deal/inspiration for the cool headpieces?
AMAZING Ban.Do Black Label collaboration! I have been a fan of theirs for years and wanted to create some custom pompom headpieces with them for spring. It just seemed like the perfect collection to pair Ban.do with. They created these custom pieces by incorporating most of my fabrics from the collection. I really adore these pieces and totally feel like they quite literally “topped” off my looks!

I also used Shoes of Prey and created my first custom GJNYC shoes for the season and painted custom belts and jewelry.

Amy DuFault

Amy DuFault is a conscious lifestyle writer, consultant and fashion instigator. She resides in Cape Cod, Massachusetts.