New York Fashion Week ’09: GREEN fashion

Last Updated on June 3, 2023 by Christine Kaaloa

Designers, fashionistas, models, wannabes … and me.

Sometimes finding your GRRR in traveling simply requires finding the energy and means to attend some of the more highly-publicized (and velvet-roped) events in your city.  The second GRRR is finding a worthy cause, personal belief or positive inspiration to make it meaningful for you. Thanks to my good friend, Josh,  animal-loving rogue host of The Discerning Brute (DBTV) (& taxi cab TV’s  Fashion’s Night Out for Lord & Taylor VJ host), I got to lay my lens on the NYC Fashion Week’s Green Shows– to cover the hip new “green labels” hitting fashion runways.

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20090914 tara 22Photographer: Christine Kaaloa

In some worlds, having a camera can get you thrown out, mobbed or even shot.

…as I’ve recently been finding out in the pre-plan travel warnings for my backpacking trip to Guatemala (which now appears as though it may not happen this year…). But in other worlds, it offers you a press pass and faux celebrity status to a front row center view of the runway and dressing room access into some of the most world-talented designer shows. For me being girl-“PRESS”, entering Fashion Week holds the same thrill and tourist value of, I’d say, walking through the Louvre and feeling inspired by the fact my art textbooks just came to life. The  difference in this case a) it’s not art books but Surface, In Style and Vogue, and b) through DBTV and Josh’s reporting on eco-vegan fashion, I am able to contribute awareness to  good causes which  strive to make a positive impact on humanity.

DBTV April77 OAK2April 77’s Fashion Night Out: DIY Denim (see interview)

From Om to Moo…

From a vegetarian and meditating yogi standpoint, I’ve always admired the stance that Josh advocates in vegan lifestyle and his love for animals.  His work is informative and raises strong questions about pro-animal life awareness and the conscientious lifestyle choices we make can when we choose to support non-animal products and fashion. …Its got me giving my wardrobe a second look and eye-ing my cool black leather jacket with guilty regret! But working on these kinds of projects rubs off on my own personal practices in a good way, challenging me to make more informed choices towards the lifestyle/spiritual habits and beliefs I promote in my life.

DBTV April77 OAK

Now, to the The Green Shows:

“Going green” in fashion doesn’t always mean you’re 100% eco-friendly.
As global issues continue to warm towards green issues- eco-friendly, organic, natural fibers, recycled, free trade and cruelty-free… are closely becoming the new “IT” words of the new fashion century.   BUT did you know that labels wielding eco-friendly and organic does not always mean cruelty-free? AND if it’s not cruelty-free, then it is NOT entirely eco-friendly. While some successful designers like Tara St. James, Suki Kramer of Suki products , Bahar Shapar and Lara Miller and Tor Soderin of House of Organic and John Masters of John Masters Organics , navigate their lines towards a friendly shade of lime or even vegan, the evolution away from animal apparel (ie leather, wool, silk) are still slow to take form.

DBTV VPL 2010Sponsored in part by the Humane Society, Victoria Bartlett’s VPL: Atlas of Anatomy runway show made for promising ideas on ways fashion doesn’t have to hurt animals (*video*).

From an environmental and animal rights standpoint, the mass production farming of animals is still harmful to the environment. Second to humans, animals consume large quantities of crops for fattening, produce waste as well as, threatening CO2 emissions. *For more information on this, please watch Earthlings. (warning: it can be a violent for some but it is shockingly insightful as to the cruel treatment of farming animals  for food and fashion) * Nevertheless, the greenie designers- I applaud their effort.  Each step is always a grateful contribution to our ozone.

DBTV TARKANTarkan takes the Red Carpet at Emilie Humanitary (video)

Fashion parties and having a heart for children

The best fashion week party I attended, I enjoyed because it supported a cause that’s close to my heart. Children. On the closing night of Fashion Week, Emilie Humanitary sponsored a celebrity charity event, LIVES in the trendy meat-packing district. The young non-profit organization sheds light on dark lives in poverty-stricken areas of developing countries and strives to offer free surgery to children in Cambodia, Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Columbia, Dominican Republic, and Haiti while also educating medical teams in the locations they operate at. Sounds wonderful, huh? With guest appearances by a both, yummy and shy Turkish pop icon, Tarkan and…. models models models  and more models with BET’s reality show, Model’s Life (or Model’s World,..something like that), filming on location in the club, the charity quickly took on a hip, dark, clubby atmosphere.

The payoff of attending Fashion Week:

Whoop! Yo, that’s what I’m talking about… So what if you couldn’t afford what you saw or understand it, at least you’re walking home with your gift Schwag of goodies and probably “looking fabulous” while doing it (…unless you’re like me and carrying a tripod and camera bag around with this junk stuff inside your backpack)

IMG 0104 schwag

Tourist sights, traveler lives and making it count

I love my job. Getting past velvet ropes and shooting NYC glam events like Fashion Week appeals to the tourist in me, just as it would anyone else. But the traveler in me, is always  looking for a project that fulfills that powerful “human”-quota. I want to make  meaningful connections and a positive difference in my life, as well as others’.  While I know I can’t always choose my ideal jobs, I realize I can look for fun opportunities where lending my time/skills to a project will help empower and support the positive aims I believe in!

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