“Dress up, resource down!”
Antoinette Saxer welcomed me with a dashing smile in the entrance hall of the prestigious Good Enough College residence in Bloomsbury, London. “Thank you so much for coming! I am so glad that we have such good response to our project! By the way, I love your jacket and that’s a great shirt!” Me: “Thanks. It’s a 70ies vintage porters jacket and the shirt is H&M 10 years ago, but stripy is trendy again… so I got it out of the drawer…” Antoinette: “Sustainable but fashionable - you have my drift!”
Antoinette is not one of the general fashionistas who run up and down Oxford Street every Saturday, looking for the newest trend or item she couldn’t live without and which would make her life just perfect for another week. Just having spent a few hours with her, I wondered how she could manage to pursue a PHD in History, running the London marathon, getting the Good Fashion Show off the ground and looking as relaxed as if she just came back form a holiday in a monastery in Italy.
The GFS is a project, which will take place during the Autumn/Winter London Fashion Week next February and Antoinette and her team will transform the College campus in a life style venue in the name of ethical fashion and art and a market where fair-trade and organic products can be purchased. Further to that, there will be “thinking pieces”- short talks by various influential names like Frances Corner, Head of London College of Fashion, who will comment on Fashion and Sustainability. It is striking that involved with the GFS emerging labels from all over the world will be represented, what just underlines that ethics in fashion is a global and important trend, which is in desperate need to have more ambassadors like Livia Firth to make it a topic to talk about in the fashion world.
“I was more than the half of my life involved with fashion and modelled for Kenzo and Adidas and many other labels all over the world. Having said that, after a while you start questioning, whether fashion is just about aesthetics and whether people or nature really have to suffer for the frivolity of a small percentage of this world’s population. However, the broader public can and has to be educated and made aware that these are pressing issues and that we should rather invest in sustainable clothes and move away from “throw-away-ism” and blind consumerism! Unfortunately most people think of incense sticks and hippy clothes when they hear sustainable fashion or ethical fashion, but like NEEMIC’s first collection shows, elegance and high-end fashion doesn’t have to be contradictory to ethical parameters!
People have also picked up on organic food and want to know where it comes from. It’s doable and in my idealistic world it is going to happen in the next ten years!”
Antoinette’s entourage arrived - this afternoon they were planning to shoot a teaser video for the GFS for their website - and make-up artists, models and cameramen were in need of her attention and directions.
My last question was: “If we all start to invest in sustainable clothes of a good quality, will trends disappear?”
Antoinette’s replied, again with her winning smile: “I don’t think so… Trends come back so quickly, people will just pick their stripy t-shirts out of the drawer again in two years time and look fabulous!” and with a wink we parted.
I can’t wait to be sitting in the GFS’s front row in February - the first ever ethical fashion show in the world’s No.1 fashion capital!
Posted by David at February 14th, 2011