Friday, March 28, 2008


According to her bio Caitlin Mociun, (designer/founder of eponymous clothing label, Mociun), "...continues to explore the realms of all things fantastic from her one-bedroom Brooklyn apartment". One would expect no less from a designer who consistently produces collections, centered around intriguing and mesmerizing prints, that seem to stem simply from her observation of the world around filtered, of course, by her imagination. My favourite (so far) has to be AW07's 'Judas and the Chocolate Grinder' print. Here it is on the hemp & yak unisex button-up

By the way, Judas is Caitlin's cat, and I recently met them both in the aforementioned Brooklyn abode...

CM and SV
Photographer: UCCH, aged just barely 4 yrs, harasser of (hiding) Judas
March 2008, Brooklyn, NYC

Anyway, its not just the signature Mociun prints that are cool - the designs and use of colour have much to say for themselves. Her dresses

Mesh Back Dress
hemp/organic cotton Doily print
Spring Summer 08
at devidoll from April

The cult-favourite tie-front dress
here in hemp & yak
but re-incarnated across collections...

Tulip skirt tie-front dress
hemp & tencel zigzag print

Spring Summer 08
at devidoll from April

her uni-sex tees and other versatile tops

Pocket Smock
hemp & tencel zigzag print
handmade wood buttons
hemp & tencel in navy
Spring Summer 08
at devidoll from April

Button up dress/tunic
hemp & tencel in teal menagerie print
Spring Summer 08
at devidoll from April


Jeans organic cotton denim
Spring Summer 08
at devidoll from April

Men's slim jeans
hemp & organic cotton
Sometime late 2008

and paper -bag waist shorts

Paper bag shorts
hemp & tencel zigzag print
Spring Summer 08
at devidoll from April

....all of these are original, different but also 'right-here-right-now' chic -- a rare combination.

Mociun's clothes appeal regardless of fabric but nothing like icing on the cake: hemp & yak, silk & hemp, organic cotton & hemp with silk featured heavily in AW07; in Spring/Summer 08 we'll have hemp & tencel as well as bamboo and further on, later this year, expect hemp/wool blends.

All good things to those who wait.

Sunday, March 16, 2008


Vintage and recycled are two much used terms in ethical fashion. And for good reason – waste not, want not and all that. But for some people (indeed in some cultures as a whole) wearing what others before you (especially strangers) have worn is, well, weird. And recycled…what really tends to fall under that rubric in fashion? Dresses made of used ties? Shorts from what were once jeans? Sometimes. But does that tempt you? Hmmm….sometimes…some people…maybe. But what if it doesn’t?

Well, here's a tip about something DEFINITELY tempting from the diverse world of 'recycled' fabric -- From Somewhere, the edgy fashion label whose founders, Orsola de Castro and Filippo Ricci, are to be credited with coining the quixotic term ‘virgin recycled material’. And quixotic may well be how some describe From Somewhere's flea-market and vintage shop inspired collections. From Somewhere uses pre-consumer (hence virgin) textile surplus such as production off-cuts and end of rolls to make beautiful, one-off yet reproducible contemporary clothing. This re-use (or recycling) of fabric, notably retro fabrics & rare vintage prints that are already in the ‘system’, admirably redresses the balance between consumption and disposal.

I recently met the irrepresible (and wildy inspiring) Orsola de Castro and can see why she was chosen, along with her partner Fillipo Ricci, to curate LFW's now famous Esthetica(thank you to fabulous blog 'fabulously green' for this summary and slideshow). These are pioneers of London's ethical fashion scene who remain, fundamentally, design, fashion and quality well as commercially practical. It is this exact mix that is required to propel 'ethical' fashion into the club of 'mainstream' fashion. So, ethical cred aside, From Somewhere always has a finger on the latest 'look(s)' without being slave to any fashion trend.

Conclusion: they’re very smart about our looking smart.

Monday, March 10, 2008


Late last year I met two bright and very motivated women in the midst of executing an inspired idea: to create a practical and widely relevant magazine that showcased the best in ethical fashion and lifestyle. They had thoroughly researched the idea and realized that what was missing was a publication correctly balanced between all that is glamourous about fashion and all that is ethical (or not) about glamourous fashion. It was a project that could not have come at a better time and exactly for that reason, a very daunting to take on. Well, as the new online version hits our inboxes, I can safely say Amisha Miller and Lauren Maleh have pulled their plan off and with some aplomb.

The inaugural online edition of NU -- 'fashion laid bare' -- has much to offer -- fashion everywhere -- the kind that everyone involved with this 'space' wants to broadcast and that equally, lots who are not involved should see and know about.

And its more than fashion...

NU is a welcome magazine for those who know their Kelly B from their FIN (and love both!) but (and this is the really important bit) also those who don't... it has the right look and tone to introduce ethical fashion to those who only understand the 'fashion' part. This is a key service that ethical publications - especially those focused on fashion - must provide and NU gets it right.

Their spring issue is out soon but, in the meanwhile, you can download this issue free and get started on everything NU.

Sunday, March 2, 2008


TIME magazine's current Style&Design supplement has a 1-pager called 'Going to Pieces'. It's all about the 'haute-bohemian trend..' encapsulated in '...spring's funky patchwork look...(and) shabby-chic style'. Examples are Dolce and Gabbana's '...very glamorous hippie-style patchwork chiffon gowns...' as well as '...Squint's reupholstered vintage couch (this I really like, by the way) and Etro's geometric pillows...'. Okay...fair enough, maybe.

What's not fair is the article's opinion that maybe this interest in patchwork is 'a nod to the now popular, eco-friendly movement' because, the article seems to suggest, this patchwork is the result of using cutting room floor scraps, ie, surplus. Huh? Where did they get that and how do they know this is all from surplus fabric? How credible is it that D&G's carefully constructed chiffon gowns are put together with scraps, not to mention Etro's cushions or the Louis Vuitton mother-of-pearl Tresor necklace (below) featured in the article?

Thanks to XUPINGZ for the image taken from here.

Even more galling is the inclusion, in this 'possibly' eco driven patchwork couture, of D&G's multicoloured python (yes, thats p-y-t-h-o-n, ie, animal skin) peep-toe boots

Image from teamsugar

and Miu Miu's snakeskin (there it is again) detailed leather handbag. Snake-skin put through god-knows-what sorts of chemical processing to attain multi (but certainly stylishly complementary) colours = a nod to anything chance (that's N-O).

Its irritating to read this type of journalism that uses terms like eco so wrongly and simply tries to free-ride consumer/reader interest in green living. Why not just write about this stuff for what it is -- patchwork fashion from mainstream couture designers? Why bring eco into it? Not only is it misleading but its fodder for all the cynical nay-sayers who keep telling us that eco-living and eco-fashion isn't credible/is a disguise for good old conspicuous consumption/is a savvy marketing tool etc etc. If TIME wants to write about the use of surplus fabric in fashion, then write about aGain nyc or Carol Young's Undesigned label. Current ranges from surplus fabric can be seen here and here.

Ain't no nod of the head here towards anything eco....more like a shake of the head. And while we're on the topic of shaking one's head: is it just me or is fashion od'ing on Agyness Deyn at the moment? Yes she's cool and hip but please, enough already. Someone point out to her the O-V-E-R in overexposed before its too late.


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