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.

Pre Fashion Week Predictions

With Lakme Fashion Week beginning tomorrow it is only befitting that we publish this story that appeared in the DNA earlier this month on my trend predictions for this Autumn Festive showcase.

FASHION FORWARD

Want a sneak peak of the styles, fabrics and hues in store at the upcoming Winter/Festive 2013 Fashion Week? Radhika Dhawan predicts the trends from ramp to road.

The big four—Paris, Milan, New York and London—may have moved beyond the excitement of the Autumn-Winter 13/14 collections, but in India things are just heating up. Key themes that are likely to translate to the Indian catwalks include: 
Punk
The New York Metropolitian Museum of Art’s annual costume exhibition is always scrutinized and reinterpreted by designers. This year it celebrated punk with a ‘Chaos to Couture’ theme. The runways saw zips, chains, PVC, leather, tartan and studs. However, these were polished and not as scary as they could have been. Urban punk-chic was illustrated in collections by Versace, Fendi, Jean Paul Gaultier, Saint Laurent, Chanel and Moschino.

Punk interpreted by Versace 'Vunk'

Punk interpreted by Versace ‘Vunk’

Designer Nikhil Thampi is looking forward to seeing “Indian designers’ perception of punk”. With our diverse climatic conditions, going all out with fabrics like leather may not be optimal. However, it may be seen in tops, skirts or trims. “I’m mixing hard and soft, sheer with leather appliqués,” reveals Anushka Khanna.

Punk goes softer with a dark romance that’s both mystifying and lavish—think capes, high necks and toe-grazing hems, in opulent textures and grand silhouettes. Feminine, yet rocker-inspired, it dilutes tough elements like leather and hardware with flowing fabrics.

Sonam Kapoor in Shehla Khan

Sonam Kapoor in Shehla Khan

Think Meadham Kirchhoff, Christopher Kane, Givenchy. Key fabrics include lace and velvet. Gothic undertones are seen in prints and embroidery. Elements include studs, brocade and dark colours. “Opulent fabrics like ribbed satin, tulle, shimmer net, silk and organza offset edgy detailing (chainmail, crystals, leather applique) even as embroidered flowers and satin cords lend a romantic note,” says Ritika about her collection.

Velvet, never having fully disappeared from the Indian runways, emphasises dark romance.  Though not too appealing in large doses, designers like Manish Malhotra, Neeta Lulla and Rohit Bal often use it to signify opulence. Nishka Lulla concurs, “Velvet may translate well on the Indian catwalk, mixed with chiffon and lace.”

Retro resurfaces. Shehla Khan says, “This fall, my favourite trend is retro. I love how most of the international designer collections are based on the 60s, 70s and even the 40s!” Nipped-waist skirt suits, soft shouldered coats, sweetheart necklines–think Mad Men. Prada, Bottega Veneta, Christian Dior, Lanvin, Louis Vuitton, Oscar De La Renta exemplify this all-encompassing trend.

Louis Vuitton

Louis Vuitton

What’s His is Hers
The His for Her trend is still hot, though possibly approaching climax. Silhouettes will be less androgynous and more lady-like with sharp tailoring or drapes. Lanvin, Dries Van Noten, Haider Ackerman, and Dolce & Gabanna used traditional Savile Row plaids, hounds tooth, pinstripe and Prince of Wales checks and draped them with the ease of silk or had them embroidered. Shehla Khan says, “Internationally, structure is a common trend. Be it for outerwear such as jackets and coats or even blouses and dresses, every silhouette makes a statement. This trend can transfer to Indian wear in terms of separates, such as a sari with a jacket!”

Skirt Suits—a trend that emerged from the streets— are easier to wear than dress or trouser suits and can easily transition from work or daywear to the evening, by switching up accessories. Pencil skirts and belted jackets are essentials as seen at Prada, Marc Jacobs or skater skirts like Stella Mccartney. The new skirt, is longer at mid-calf length, with a slight flare at the knee, as shown by Hermes, Prada, Jil Sander and Celine. Nishka finds “the midi length very flattering on the Indian body type”. Mullet skirts like those of Jean Paul Gaultier are also expected to transition to Indian runways.
Monochrome continues to reign. You may spot these colours individually too. Black is black, so a liberal use of it would not be uncommon, especially in the Winter/Festive season. Be prepared to see a lot of white and not just as a day colour. On the Big 4 runways, head-to-toe winter white made strong impressions on Derek Lam and Proenza Schouler. My personal favourite was Celine’s use of all white for their ensembles. Shehla who loves white said, “This season my palette consists of deeper and bolder colours along with off white, which for me is always ethereal.” While monochrome might still rule, the palette on international runways encapsulated much of the spectrum from red to blue. Ritika agrees, “The colour palette ranges from dusky pink to a purple haze (a blue-tinted purple), crimson and black.”

Gold rules. As Thampi says about his upcoming collection, “Gold being a festive favourite, will definitely be a large part of the collection, but there would be a burst of different colours as well.”

IN THE KNOW – WEEKLY NEWS DIGEST VOL. 5

So what’s going on folks? Fashion weeks all over the place, top management playing musical chairs in the global fashion and luxury world and Autumn Winter collections in stores. Very soon we will be running up our credit card bills, once we are done clearing out our wallets at the ongoing sales. Oh well, in other words, same old same old.

Amidst the chaotic, yet monotonous (oxymoron much? But you get what I mean, right?!) existence that we call life, I love new collaborations and announcements. Which is what this week seems to be all about. A breath of fresh air – ah!

CFDA/ Vogue Fashion Fund finalists announced

The 10 up-and-coming designers who will compete for the 2013 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund, which includes instant exposure along with a 300,000 US dollar cash prize, has been revealed. Selected by a panel including US Vogue’s editor-in-chief Anna Wintour, Diane von Furstenberg and J. Crew’s Jenna Lyons, the winner will be announced on Nov. 11, 2013 at a dinner in New York.

CFDA/ Vogue Fashion Fund Finalists

CFDA/ Vogue Fashion Fund Finalists

The winner will receive a 300,000 US dollar cash prize to help boost their brand and a collaboration with J. Crew, while the two runners-up will be awarded 100,000 US dollars and each will receive business mentor-ship. With previous winners like Proenza Schouler, Alexander Wang, Rodarte, and Joseph Altuzarra, I cannot wait to see who is going to be the new Wang on the block!

Read more (and view list): http://runway.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/07/11/cfdavogue-fashion-fund-chooses-10-finalists/

L’Wren Scott Teams Up With Banana Republic

Ladies, you needn’t worry about what to wear to that Christmas party this year!! Yes, I did say, Christmas. L’Wren Scott and Banana Republic have collaborated to release a glamorous collection in December, so, consider your festive wardrobe all taken care of. First time for Scott joining forces with a global retailer, she explains, the collection “beautifully combines the ultra-feminine with wearable polish and will bring a sexy confidence to our consumers.”

L'Wren Scott for Banana Republic

L’Wren Scott for Banana Republic

The 50-piece edit spanning clothing, jewellery, and accessories will make use of three original motifs — one with romantic peonies, another in violet candy stripes, and the last in a lipstick-red lip print perfect for puckering up in under the mistletoe. From the glamorous girlfriend of Mick Jagger, we should expect nothing short of rock-‘n’-roll magic.

 

Read more: http://www.elle.com/news/fashion-style/lwren-scott-banana-republic-collaboration

Harrods launches ‘The Handbag Narrative’

Oh yay, it’s a bag attack! Twenty of the world’s leading elite handbag makers have come under Harrods’ roof to mark the expansion of the store’s luxury accessories department. Harrods is hosting the Handbag Narratives exhibition which showcases bags which are exclusively designed for them. With exclusive installations by Mulberry, Prada, Stella McCartney, Burberry, Victoria Beckham, Loewe (my personal favourite installation) and more, this is like nothing you’ve seen before.

Loewe Installation formed with miniature versions of the tools used to make the brand's cult Amazona bag dipped in gold

Loewe Installation formed with miniature versions of the tools used to make the brand’s cult Amazona bag dipped in gold

This collection of stylish designer bags has been unveiled in specially designed windows at the pop up shop. Each window features an over-sized interpretation of one of their most celebrated handbag designs, from optical illusions to sculpture, the handbag will never be the same again. Spreading over 40,000-square-foot space the new department is one of the world’s largest luxury accessories halls.

Stella McCartney Gold Falabella

Stella McCartney Gold Falabella

The event will be on till August 24.

Read more: http://fashion.telegraph.co.uk/article/TMG10166861/Harrodss-huge-handbag-invasion.html  (PS:  Fendi has made five of its 2Jours bags (as seen in the video on the link) in green crocodile, which retail at 17,500 pounds each – just saying)

Rihanna for River Island Autumn ’13

Are you ready for Rihanna Take Two? Well, ready or not, here she comes. Post the raging success of her collaboration for the British high street store, River Island, Rihanna has collaborated with River Island for a second time for Autumn/Winter ’13. In a video released by the brand, you can get a glimpse of what to expect from the upcoming collection slated to be in store by September 12, 2013.

First look: Isabel Marant for H&M

The little blue birdie comes as news bearer once again. This time around the news is a lot more exciting. The Swedish retail giant shared the first preview of its highly anticipated collaboration with French fashion designer Isabel Marant with its Twitter followers.

H&M tweeted a picture of Marant modelling a loose-fitted printed dress and slouchy tasseled ankle boots with the tweet: “You’re the first ever to see @isabelmarant wearing the #HMIsabelMarant collection! What do you think?”

Isabel Marant

Isabel Marant

You may remember from our earlier post when the collection was announced last month, Marant said that the aim of the collaboration was to “create something real, that women want to wear in their everyday lives”, adding that the collection would be infused with Parisian attitude where “you dress up, but do not pay too much attention and still look sexy”.

In the know – weekly news digest

This Friday onward, fashion entrepreneur Radhika Dhawan will update the blog and our readers as a regular contributor. She will scour the media, so you don’t have to, and bring all the exciting fashion happenings from around the world to Fuffabulous every week. Stay in the know and say hello to Radhika.

Oh and did I mention the blog has received over 5000 hits in the 3 months since it started? Thank you so much for he support!!

Keep reading!

Coming up, Isabel Marant for H&M

Isabel Marant is the latest designer to team up with H&M.  Just when we were hitting total designer collab fatigue, H&M pulls this little trick and aren’t we’re glad? After several successful collaborations with Stella McCartney, Jimmy Choo, Comme des Garçons, Matthew Williamson, Lanvin, Versace, Marni and more recently, Maison Martin Margiela, which appealed to a very in-the-know avant garde kind of shopper, this should be a more accessible collaboration.

Isabel Marant

Designer Isabel Marant

The Swedish high-street giant announced that the collection will hit 250 stores as well as the brand’s website on November 14. Isabel Marant’s  take on her collection is, “I am creating something real, that women want to wear in their everyday lives, with a certain carelessness, which I think is very Parisian: you dress up, but do not pay too much attention and still look sexy.”  The project will also see the designer create her first menswear line, alongside womenswear, accessories and teen lines.

Read more: http://fashion.telegraph.co.uk/news-features/TMG10112208/Isabel-Marant-for-HandM.html

Have you been kissed yet? Burberry Kisses powered by Google

This newly-launched cute idea is a way to spread some love across the globe in a more personalized way. People get to send their own kiss imprint to a loved one – no more sending generic kiss emoticons!

Burberry Kisses

Burberry Kisses

It’s as simple as visiting  Burberry Kisses. Using a webcam and “unique kiss-detection technology” the outline of your lips gets imprinted. Then write a short message and send it on via email or Google+. The envelope containing your message and kiss then flies across to the receiver’s destination across a 3D landscape. You can then share this publicly across other social media platforms such as on Google+, Facebook or Twitter.

A lovely idea which will no doubt be a social media and marketing strategy to drive sales for Christopher Bailey‘s 1960s-inspired, fall-winter 2013-2013 collection, Trench Kisses. No wonder Burberry is known as the luxury brand that embraced digital media like no other. 

Read more: http://en.vogue.fr/fashion/fashion-news/diaporama/send-all-your-kisses-to-me-with-burberry/13832#!send-all-your-kisses-to-me-with-burberry

Sarah Jessica Parker to launch shoe collection

Sex and the City star Sarah Jessica Parker is (finally!) launching her own footwear collection, simply titled SJP, which will be exclusive to US department store Nordstrom.

The actress has partnered with Manolo Blahnik USA’s Chief Executive and Operating Officer George Malkemus, and has taken inspiration from great old-school labels like Charles Jourdan and Maud Frizon for her accessories line, which will also include a few bags and  trench coats and will launch in 2014.

Sarah Jessica Parker

Sarah Jessica Parker

The shoes will be inspired by the “New York woman” and will have grosgrain ribbons as a signature element. Also, the shoes will mostly be in suede. Well, the collection doesn’t sound as vibrant as Carrie Bradshaw but we guess we’ll just have to wait and see, right?

Read more: http://fashionista.com/2013/06/what-to-expect-from-sarah-jessica-parkers-new-shoe-line/

Going green with love

It has been almost three weeks since the Bangladesh tragedy, where more than 1000 workers in a garment factory were killed. This is the not first horrific incident of this kind to have happened in a garment manufacturing unit in the country, but it is the deadliest disaster to hit the garment industry in Bangladesh that is worth $20 billion annually and supplies global retailers.

The cost of cheap fashion is getting unbearably high and this probably might work as the final trigger for the fashion industry to take the measures necessary to avoid any such tragedies in the future. In fact, as this story reports, H&M, C&A, Primark and Inditex, owner of the Zara chain, said they would sign a five-year contract that requires companies to conduct safety inspections, make factory conditions public and cover the costs for repairs. It also calls for them to stop doing business with any factory that refuses to make safety upgrades.

As the debate about ethics in the industry gains further momentum, it would also be the right time to discuss international brands that have adopted ethical and sustainable practices as a core philosophy for their brands. These are brands and designers that are trying to make a positive difference through fashion, and without any compromise on quality or style. Here are our 5 picks:

1. Stella Mc Cartney: “I design clothes that are meant to last. I believe in creating pieces that aren’t going to get burned, that aren’t going to landfills, that aren’t going to damage the environment,” says Stella Mc Cartney. One of the first designers to adopt the ethical and eco-friendly approach to manufacturing fashion, she made sustainable fashion a serious business. And she made it chic. Mc Cartney’s animal-friendly (no leather, no fur) designs and healthy-living attitude extends into her offices and studios in the UK that are powered by wind energy and abroad, they use renewable energy to power their stores and offices and a large part of their operations are run on 100% renewable, green energy. Read more at www.stellamccartney.com.

Fashion designer Stella Mc Cartney

Fashion designer Stella Mc Cartney

2. Edun:  Launched in 2005 by Ali Hewson and her husband, U2 singer Bono, this brand works to bring about positive change through its trading relationship with Africa. In 2009, LVMH bought a significant stake in EDUN and provides essential support, investment and infrastructure. As a 100 percent African “grow-to-sew initiative”, the brand’s sister line E Live has produced 700,000 African made T-shirts. In 2012, Diesel and Edun joined forces to further apparel trade and development in Africa and Diesel+EDUN was born. Learn more about their work at www.edun.com.

EDUN, Made in Africa

EDUN, Made in Africa

3. Toms: Toms ‘one for one’ concept is one of the most popular charitable initiatives take on by a fashion brand. When Toms sells a pair of shoes a pair of shoes is given to an impoverished child, and when Toms sells a pair of eye-wear, part of the profit is used to save or restore the eyesight for people in developing countries. Gives you a good reason to splurge on their signature espadrilles. Read more about their work at www.toms.com.

toms

4. People Tree: Designer collaborations with Thakoon and Bora Aksu are just some of the highlights, People Tree manages to achieve design excellence and embrace a green ethic with style. The company aims to use only organic and Fairtrade cotton, natural dyes, sources locally where possible and chooses recycled products. Their fairtrade initiatives span 20 developing countries. Learn more at www.peopletree.co.uk.

people tree

5. Marks and Spencer: The brand has been a pioneer in the sustainable approach when it comes to the high street. They introduced the ‘Shwopping’ initiative with Oxfam that allows shoppers to donate an unwanted item of clothing that will go on to be re-sold in Oxfam, re-used or recycled, cutting waste while raising funds for the charity. Their sustainable men’s suit uses components such as linings made from recycled PET bottle polyester from a hi-tech processing plant in Japan, recycled polyester zips, reclaimed pocket linings (surplus from their own production lines) and reclaimed stray buttons which would otherwise end up in landfill. Read more at marksandspencer.com/Shwop

A street transformed using 10,000 items of discarded clothing, during the launch of the Marks & Spencer initiative

A street transformed using 10,000 items of discarded clothing, during the launch of the Marks & Spencer initiative