RE:Gift 2014

ReGiftIt is a few days after the Sustainable Fashion Collaborative’s Post-Holiday Clothing Swap and I find myself at yet another event where still-serviceable cast-offs are desired, though this time it is in order to donate them to the needy.  RE:GIFT 2014 was sponsored by Bacardi and Society on High, a restaurant and bar in the Financial District.  This time the request was specifically for items that keep you warm.

In exchange for the cozy donations that we brought, myself and a friend received two drink tickets each which were good for choices from a cocktail menu of drinks made with Bacardi.

This event, like the swap, suffered from the good-idea-poor-execution problem.  We may have been the only two who showed up!  I’m not entirely sure how the marketing went but I only saw it as I happened to be registering for something else on Eventbrite.  Too bad.

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Festive (But Office Appropriate) Party Outfit

What to wear to my conservative office holiday party that is still fun and seasonal?  I searched around a variety of eco-oriented shopping sites for something but just didn’t find anything that fit the bill.  I wish I didn’t admire the mass-produced clothing at J Crew so much, but as I have previously noted, there is no shortage of castoffs on Ebay.  There I found the Phoebe dress in black watch plaid which garnered many compliments at my office party at the Union Bar & Grille.

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While looking for navy tights to add some warmth – a color that is not that easy to come by – I discovered the brand commando at Neiman Marcus.  These are made in the USA and work just like Spanx.

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I have a pair of navy patent leather Cole Haan heels that I love and have worn so much the heel was ground down to a pulp with the nail poking out the bottom.  I thought they would complete the outfit really well but they were unwearable.  I brought them to Alton Place Shoe Repair in my effort to fix rather than buy new.  For $25 they did quite a good job which I would not have though possible considering the state they were in.  The shop is located a few blocks from Coolidge Corner and but is only open Monday-Friday 9am-5pm.

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Boston Fashion Week: ICA First Fridays – Fall Fashion

As Boston Fashion Week starts to wrap up, I brought two of my colleagues to the Institute of Contemporary Art’s First Friday Event – a monthly event included in my membership – which was fashion-themed this month.  The lobby turns into a lounge where guests can turn in a drink ticket for a beer or cocktail from a sponsoring brand – this time it was Boston-based Harpoon – and mingle while checking out the changing lobby exhibition which is usually gargantuan in size.

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The galleries, café and gift shop are open during the entire event (no food or drink up in the galleries though).  After a quick tour of the new temporary exhibits (my friends were not impressed), we headed to the Barbara Lee Family Foundation Theater for the main event.  First there was a clip from the Artist Talk series with Proenza Schouler, which had taken place the week before, talking about how they got started in fashion.  Next, Boston Globe style columnist Christopher Muther gave a talk accompanied by a PowerPoint presentation about fall fashion trends.  Eh.

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After this was the “alternative” fashion show from Louis Boston.  The shades on the windows of the theater (which I didn’t even know were there) were raised opening up a 270˚ view of the harbor which was fantastic.  Out came seeming non-models to EDM who one-by-one walked aggressively/weirdly down the catwalk showing some edgy streetwear-type clothing.  I suppose the “alternative” part truly came when they all reappeared and broke into dance – and then we realized they were dancers rather than models and the way they had been previously walking now made sense with that context.

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It was alright but each segment of this presentation seemed unrelated so the audience was left looking at each other quizzically at the breaks.  Last year’s was better when they showed outfits with an MC who gave commentary.

My ensemble for the evening consisted of 3 used Ebay purchases and a recycled-materials hand bag. I paired DKNY camo skinny jeans with a raw-edged tweed Banana Republic blazer.

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For accessories, I wore the Cole Haan Sawyer short boots previously mentioned and the Francisca Pop Top Evening Bag by Escama Studios handmade from recycled aluminum can pull tabs by an artist cooperative in Brazil.

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Boston Fashion Week: Saelvage – Sustainably Fashioned

On Sunday evening I attended the launch event of the Sustainable Fashion Collaborative (SFC) at the Urbano Project in Jamaica Plain.  The organization plans to provide a platform for discussions about sustainability in the fashion industry and connect the various players – designers, sellers, buyers – with each other.  Called Saelvage: Sustainably Fashioned, the event showed examples of sustainable fashion from a few local designers alongside exhibits with environmental and ethical messages about the garment industry.  The purpose of the exhibit was described as follows:

“The Sustainable Fashion Collaborative of Boston launches with this exhibition of eco-fashion and offers a deeper look at what it means to be sustainable.  Featuring the creations of Boston-based designers GeorgAnnette Chatterly, Lallitara, MULXIPLY, Amy Plante, Ellen Shea, Avni Trivedi and Carlos Villamil.  Highlighted alongside each piece is the sustainably-conscious message of each designer.
The garments represented showcase a variety of methods used for addressing sustainability, such as zero-waste pattern making, upcycled materials, the use of organic and other eco-friendly fabrics, multi-functional design, fair and ethically sound labor conditions, as well as natural dying, and “slow fashion” methods.  The exhibit looks through two lenses at sustainability: “how” designers choose to work with materials, as well as “why” it is relevant to both the consumer and designer alike.”

There was a great selection of mostly-vegetarian appetizers to munch on as well as Peak Organic beers.  Some of the reclaimed designs look a bit hodge-podge but I did really like Lallitara’s upcycled sari dresses and accessories.  The side exhibits about things like waste and how bottles become fleece were woven well into the fashion displays and had good information.  I was happy to come away with some local names to check out for my next shopping trip!

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