Livia Firth taking green to the red carpet

Colin Firth might be our favourite eye candy (that accent is like buttered scone to our ears), but who we admire even more is his arm candy, his wife Livia Firth. She is stunning, she is Italian, and she promotes eco-fashion. One of the most high profile faces of sustainable style, she has made it her mission to make ethical fashion the most stylish fashion proposition around. She started out by commissioning “eco-fashion designers” to create garments for her while she accompanied her husband on the red carpet. And it does take a lot conviction to pass big fashion houses in favour of smaller eco-designers and sometimes even wearing pre-owned clothes! Yes, for the Paris premiere of The King’s Speech, starring her husband Colin Firth, she famously wore an outfit made from one of his old (moth eaten) suits. Redesigned by the edgy, London based recycling brand Junky Styling, she made green look cool.

At the Paris premiere of The King's Speech in an outfit recycled from Colin Firth's old suit

At the Paris premiere of The King’s Speech in an outfit recycled from Colin Firth’s old suit

Later she started to team up with big designers for her Green Carpet Challenge (GCC). When her husband hosted the Met Ball in New York in 2011 – one of US fashion’s biggest nights – she wore a Stella McCartney jumpsuit made with organic silk and covered in reclaimed vintage beads, with a detachable skirt made of hemp. From being an ambassador for eco-fashion to starting a consultancy called Eco Age that works with brands that have sustainable and ethical practices, she also owns a store of the same name in Chiswick, west London. Here she sells everything including candles, cashmere cardigans and Italian leather handbags ‘tanned using a traditional technique based on the bark of the native chestnut tree and the mimosa flower’.

Livia Firth at the Met ball 2011, in a Stella McCartney

Livia Firth at the Met ball 2011, in a Stella McCartney

As part of GCC she also recently teamed up with Net-a-Porter. For this collaboration, Christopher Bailey, Victoria Beckham, Erdem, Christopher Kane and Roland Mouret created special pieces that conform to the GCC’s sustainability criteria, which cover social justice implications and environmental impact throughout production. And for every piece sold, Net-a-Porter will donate a percentage to (RED), which aims to eradicate the transition of HIV from mother to child.

In a reworked wedding dress with a slim black belt, at the Golden Globes 2010

In a reworked wedding dress with a slim black belt, at the Golden Globes 2010

Shopping for clothes that she intends to wear again and again, and recycling pre-owned clothes while styling them reflect herself are some of her sustainability mantras. These is also the essence of Fuffabulous, which is why we love Livia Firth and are always looking forward to what she is up to in the world of sustainable style.

A dress without a dinner date

Interview with Hemali Jain, founder of luxury shopping website Shopclusive.com

An addiction to shopping online and a love of fashion and designer wear is what inspired Hemali Jain to found her own e-commerce set-up in India.

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Karen Millen one shouldered pleated dress

The tags in Hemali’s personal wardrobe read like the designer list of any top luxury e-commerce website. It’s not a surprise then that Net-A-Porter is an online favourite. And as someone who is able to jet off to fashion capitals every two months, most of her shopping is done in London, Milan and New York. To make up for the frequency with which she shops, ‘spring cleaning’ in not just an annual chore. “I like to get rid of my old clothes every month so I can make space for the new ones,” she says.

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Number of times worn: 1

The stunning one-shouldered pleated dress by Karen Millen (also one of my favourite British brands!) was worn for a dinner out with friends, once. After that it found no other occasion to see candle-light or table-cloth. “I still love the dress, but bought other stuff that I wear and so this one just gets ignored,” she says.

Most of the unwanted garments are passed on to friends. “I segregate the clothes depending on the taste of my friends. I know which friend of mine will like a particular outfit from my wardrobe,” she says.  At current count, she owns 60 handbags by some of the best labels available. As generous as she is with her clothes, bags are an obsession and never to be parted with.

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The knee length dress is as-good-as-new and fits a UK size 8. Perfect for a special evening out, it can be paired with high heeled booties and a statement cuff. 

PHOTO CREDITS

Model friend: Kadambari Sadekar; Location courtesy: Le 15 Pattisserie, Bandra; Styling: Rachana Nakra; Accessories: Stylist’s own; Photographs: Morvarid K. She is a French/Iranian artist photographer who has a solo exhibition in New Delhi starting April 10. More info at http://www.wonderwall.co.in