Tuesday, June 25, 2024

How Slow Fashion September Aced Showcase of Sustainable Style

Slow, Vintage & SustainableStyle

Just when you think you’ve seen it all before, along comes a slow fashion event about sustainable style to excite the pants off you and just about everyone else you know who cares about the planet.

This month’s Slow Fashion September Festival opened in Adelaide with a runway offering that left fashion lovers oo-ing, ah-ing and wanting more. Organised by thrifted-fashion advocate Louiza Hebhardt, owner of Naked Pony Slow Fashion, the launch presented two runways at The Mill. The first showcased slow and upcycled fashion. The second, vintage fashion.

Sustainable Style
(L): Kinza wears vintage 80s dress from Throwshoe. (R): Ashlee Yap wears vintage 70s woollen gown from her business Happy Daze

All pieces were supplied by local sustainability businesses. Hemp slow fashion label Solomon Street strutted the opening looks, presenting their newest collaboration with sustainable fashion alumni Phoebe Hunter.

The lineup consisted of:
Lauren Crago & Robyn Wood @solomonstreet
Laura Vogt @sustainableclothingco
Anne Te Kiri @annie_parker_upcycling
Georgie Barker @g.g.made
Kristyan Evele @theevolvedcollection
Gaynor Evele @whats.that.then
Samara Taylor @house_of_taylor_collective
Fiona Connell @fionaconnelltextiles
Tina Mavromatis @metanois.leather
Gaby de Blassio @booboovelvet
Liz Cahalan @liz_made_it

Sustainable Style
( L): JoAnne Bouzianis in 70s vintage dress & shoes from her business Oui Oui. (R): Liz Cahalan wearing upcycled dress with hand painted rosellas & wattle made from a damaged sheet from Buy Nothing.

Engaging the audience by outlining points of interest for each garment, host Louiza explained aspects of design, fabrics and garment origins.  A stunning to-die-for jacket actually started life as a rather bland quilt.  A men’s jumper was upcycled with a pouch made from a tea towel to eye catching effect. A bunch of scarves were sewn together into a colourful boho maxi-length dress. A ball gown included pieces of unwanted terylene curtains. 

With every outfit appearing to be more popular than the last, a continuing stream of murmurs of approval, laughter and applause accompanied both runways.  Bonus points must be handed out for the diverse model-line-up.  

Sarah Hanson-Young
Senator Sarah Hanson Young in THAT dress she wore to the annual Media Ball

The slow fashion finalé featured well-known Senator Sarah Hanson-Young modelling the gown she wore to this year’s Media Ball in Canberra. Stopping for a chat and questions from the audience, the Senator explained how she loved going to the annual ball but this year wanted to make a statement about the lack of action on climate change, coal and gas mines. Sharing personal moments about what went into the making of the dress that featured heavily in the media, Hanson-Young and the gown’s maker Liz Cahalan revealed that it had been made from an old tablecloth, curtains and a damaged faux leather handbag for painting the No Gas and Coal slogans. This was a perfect statement outfit for the Greens Senator, eco-warrior and advocate for sustainable style.

The thrilling vintage lineup of sustainable style showcased outfits by:
Louiza Hebhardt @_nakedpony_
Michelle Goody @throw_shoe
JoAnne Bouzianis @joanne_bouzibabe
Sharna Daglish @rad.est.vintage
Ash Yap @happy.daze.vintage 
Laura Vogt @sustainableclothingco

Sustainable Style
(L) Stu wears authentic 70s coat from Sustainable Clothing Co. (R): Chris wears vintage Japanese coveralls and Coogi cardigan from Naked Pony Slow Fashion

A panel discussion followed with a wide range of questions from the audience.

What started as an intriguing opening runway for Slow Fashion September turned out to be an informative, educational, entertaining and a very fun night for fashion lovers and sustainability warriors.  With lots to talk about afterwards, the crowd drifted away to continue the conversation at local bars.  One thing about which they were in firm agreement: this was a must-see event and that next year, they’re going to need a much much bigger room.

First Nations Fashion Design

All Images: Michelle Hok
Featured image: Sally models an outfit from Rad.Est Vintage

See what else is happening during Slow Fashion September.

If you like this, you’ll like to see: A Quiet Revolution: When the Sustainable Clothing Company Marched in the Mall

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