Vert Couture 2010: Sexy & Sustainable
With a rising crop of designers around the world creating high-end, environmentally-friendly garments, gone are the days of choosing between high fashion and sustainability. Helping to bridge the gap between both worlds, last week, green TV production company Conscious Planet Media wrapped Chicago Fashion Focus Week with its second-annual Vert Couture eco-fashion show and benefit. With a theme of “Sexy & Sustainable”, this year's show debuted some of the top up and coming eco-friendly, fair trade designers in Chicago and beyond. Profits from this charitable event benefited Chicago Gateway Green, an environmental non-profit dedicated to planting 15,000 trees by the year 2015.
Vert Couture was held at the tri-level, 80,000 square foot Mercedes Benz of Chicago, one of the largest L.E.E.D. certified buildings in the city and the presenting sponsor for this year’s event. True to its name, the event showcased the sexier side of sustainability. First, guest were treated to a vegan V.I.P. cocktail reception catered by Karyn’s on Green, and enjoyed eco-art work while sipping on gluten free organic Blueberry Rush Martinis from Organic Apple Rush and Krome Vodka, and wine by Wild Blossom Meadery &Winery and Evaton Wine & Spirits.
After introductory remarks by Conscious Planet Media co-founders Michael & Bianca Alexander and Chicago Gateway Green Executive Director Claire Woolley, the Ayodele Drum & Dance Group kicked off a glamorous runway show featuring the Spring/Summer 2011 lines of several designers, including: fair trade African print couture by Modahnik, 71 Jules’ polymorphic Multifaceted Dress made from renewable modal fabric, Crescendo Apparel’s body-tailored vegan ensembles, and colorful vintage gowns painted anew by Silkutopia. Also featured were sustainable accessories from Hard Wear, RFRM, Sophia Forero, Five Accessories, Manny B, Fanta Celah and The Earth Ring, and vegan pumps, boots and platforms by Kailia Footwear and Mohop. The show finale garnered cheers from the crowd with U.K.-based Enamore’s organic cotton and bamboo eco-lingerie and Junk Drawers’ recycled men’s undies, all sported by Factor models styled by eco-friendly Aveda Roots and Karen Marie Salons. After the show, guests jammed to the sexy sounds of DJ-stylist Niena Drake while noshing on organic vegan treats by Great Taste Cafe, Delicious Vegan Café, Soul Vegetarian, Raw Creations, Gyood Ice Cream, Doodles Cookies and Apple Rush. They also snagged discounted SS 2011 looks from the runway at the Vert Couture pop-up boutique, which also included vintage inventory from Axis of Evelyn and the You Are Loved jewelry collective.
Best known for its award-winning TV shows, Conscious Living, Triple Bottom Line, and Soul of Green (now airing on Fox), Conscious Planet Media’s mission is to inspire consumers to live more eco-friendly, sustainable lives through mainstream media and events. In order to walk its talk and make the show as sustainable as possible, Conscious Planet Media incorporated sustainable lighting, décor and programs from event sponsors PRG, Kehoe Designs, Eccentric Luxuries, Moving Pictures and Consolidated Printing, and partnered with Native Energy to offset all of the carbon emissions generated from the event. In addition, the majority of the waste generated from the show was recycled and/or composted with help from Collective Resource.
After an evening of fun, frolic and green for a great cause, guests went home with one of a kind eco-fab swag bags made by Axis of Evelyn filled with conscious goodies like earth friendly EcoTools make-up brushes, Distant Village Packaging plant-able, fair trade stationery, Bean & Body beverages, Divine Chocolate from Chicago Fair Trade, and recycled, conscious jewelry by Steampunk and Tao. Most importantly, they went home with a tangible experience of how sexy—and sustainable--conscious living can be.
For more highlights and photos from Vert Couture 2010, check out the style page of www.ConsciousLivingTV.com.
Bianca Alexander is an Emmy-nominated correspondent and producer for Conscious Living TV and Soul of Green, now airing locally in Chicago on Fox/my 50. To learn more about her and her partner Michael’s work in green TV production, visit www.ConsciousPlanetMedia.com.