Redress Raleigh's Fashion Show: An Eco-Fashion Do

June 1, 2015 9:15 AM

FRIDAY, May 29, 2015 – Raleigh’s premiere eco-fashion show took place this weekend at the Lincoln Theatre in Downtown Raleigh. The event featured seven environmentally friendly designers showcasing their works in the vibrant, fashion week-esque show. With loud music pulsing, bright purple lights casting a violet glow on the models, and designer-picked backgrounds on the screen at the top of the stage, the show captured the edgy, fashion forward vibes of the designers’ collections.

Allison Bowles, founder of Artemis Clothing Co. started the show with her collection of women’s easy-to-wear dresses. Each dress is manufactured in the US, locally sourced, and locally sold in order to provide sustainably made clothes for the independent, eco-conscious Raleigh woman. Her collection, inspired by the movie Amelie, captured the effortlessness and whimsy of Parisian life. One of our personal favorites from the collection, a colorful, striped sundress highlighted the wearability of the collection. With each dress being a complete outfit, ready to stand alone, choosing what to wear becomes that much easier in the morning.

Following the Artemis collection, Elizabeth Strugatz displayed her jewelry collection from the company Wired Twisted and Stoned. Although this was her first fashion show, her recycled jewelry popped against the neutral clothing worn by the models. The pieces ranged from subtle, silver bangles to accent an outfit to dramatic statement necklaces, becoming the focal point of the outfit themselves. With the wide variety of earrings, bracelets, and necklaces, Strugatz’s collection included something for everyone, and for every outfit.

Chad Graves of Press Ink used his collection to redefine the way T-shirts are worn. His collection, entirely created from T-shirt material, ranged from the traditional shirts to skirts and dresses. As an added bonus, each model had been decked out with glittery accents, from their eyebrows to their beards, proving that Graves’s T-shirt collection could easily go from day to night.

The second half of the show started off boldly with Rock Kershaw’s jewelry collection. In contrast to Strugatz’s collection with many minimalist pieces and a much more laidback presentation, Kershaw’s collection consisted of impossible-to-miss statement necklaces, ranging from large metal collars to an actual necklace made of animal bones. According to Kershaw, “everything I do, I do it in a big way.” He was not lying.

Manjri Lall’s India-inspired collection consisted of beautifully hand-painted shawls, each one a work of art in itself. This art was accented by the intricate body art painted on each of the models, intending to show off who the women used to be, according to Lall. The collection’s subtly beautiful scarves allowed the models to express themselves, each model seeming incredibly comfortable on stage. If any company truly embodied its name, Lall’s Let Art Drape Your Soul, would be the one. Bonus: We adored Lall’s daughter’s modeling stint in the collection.

Kim Kirchstein of Leopold Designs showed off her hand-dyed Batik and Shibori silk fabric resort collection. Each piece conjured up the image of relaxing on the beach, drink in hand, while the silk pieces popped against the black bathing suit-wearing models. Dramatic makeup and identical hair styles added to the traditional fashion-show feeling of the collection. One of our favorite pieces was a silk robe dyed bright orange, red and yellow, capturing Kirchstein’s love of natural patterns that others might not notice.

Redress Raleigh’s Fashion Show ended with Stephanie Trippe’s hemp collection from her company Pretty Birdie Co. Highlighting the environmental theme of the show, each model was clothed almost entirely in hemp fabrics, which you might not even guess. Trippe’s goal was to raise awareness about the versatility of the sustainable fabric, which she did through all kinds of clothing, from skirts to blazers. The intricacy of the outfits was evident in the variety of outfits and the lack of too many additional accessories, allowing the hemp to stand on its own.

Redress Raleigh’s 2015 Fashion show was an overwhelming success, evident by the 50 extra seats that had to be added last minute in response to the high demand. Lincoln Theatre proved to be the perfect venue, with its edgy feel and varied seating and standing seats. One can only hope that as the show continues to rise in popularity and attendance, it will lead to increases awareness about the importance of sustainability in our every day lives. Once we are making conscious decisions to choose the environment in our clothing, it is only a small step to making the right choices in all other aspects of our lives.

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