As opulence and luxury ruled supreme in what is surely the most glamorous city of fashion, a new side of the story was told during Milan Fashion Week by Stefania Depeppe, creator of the Ethical Code project – a destination for all things vegan and sustainable. For the second time, Stefania opened the doors to a fashion event with a conscience, one that would showcase innovative cruelty-free designers and ethical luxury brands to a curious audience.
Three sustainable designers interpreted the identity of the modern woman: for Ugo Masini, a contemporary attitude was key, while Tiziano Guardini’s woman was romantic and soft, and Francesco Romualdo Mr. Ciaccia showed a feminine fairy-tale creature.
“Le Gout Interieur” by Ugo Masini is a collection based on the upcycling and re-utilising of materials – a theme that the designer knows well from his past collaboration with ethical style maven Livia Firth, whose boutique hosted his past collections. The collection references sportswear luxe with a graphic twist, for the contemporary woman who loves to play with volumes and proportions.
“Three Days to Butterfly” is Tiziano Guardini‘s experiment into re-discovering our connection with nature and all that moves within it, drawing inspiration from butterflies emerging from their cocoons on a warm summer’s day. At the centre of this collection is peace silk, or Ahimsa silk, the material which is obtained from the discarded silk cocoons of silk moths who have had the possibility to complete their life cycles and emerge from the cocoon.The smooth fabrics are poured over the body, free from restrictions, embellished with embroidery with a fur-like texture.
“HersElf Wanderlust – The First Chapter” by Roman-born, Milanese-adopted designer Francesco Romualdo Ciaccia, seems like the perfect backdrop to a mystical fairy tale, and clearly Mr Ciaccia’s background has a lot to do with it. The designer started his career in the costume department of Roman theatre Teatro d’Avanguardia, where his creativity was given free reins and recycled materials, along with paper, fabric, metal and other “scraps” came into his life, influencing his future collections. Focusing on a no-waste philosophy, his creations are akin to theatrical masks and costumes, referencing the more mythical sides of Mother Nature.
To accompany the collections, accessories were provided by three cruelty-free luxury brands.
Opificio V, expertly blending Italian artisanal quality with vegan materials, is vegan-approved by PETA, Vegan Society and Italian animal rights organisation LAV. The carbon-neutral brand works with high-quality cottons, wood and sustainable vegan leathers from renewable sources to create high-end cruelty-free footwear.
Eco-vegan shoe label Zette hails from Australia but each pair is made with love in Italy, with attention to detail and refined materials to bring life to the sleek designs. Named after an abandoned cat who was rescued by the brand’s founder, Zette can be found at the Australian vegan shop VeganStyle.com.au.
Designer Giulia Marotta is behind the cruelty-free brand Origine, offering refined bags designed in Lombardy and Piedmont and crafted in the finest Fiorentine ateliers with a long artisanal tradition. Completely free from animal materials, Origine creates its very own idea of ethical luxury.
An ethical fashion event would never be complete without the finishing touches – and with special attention to kind living united with cutting-edge style, the flawless looks gracing the models’ faces came courtesy of Liquidflora – a brand proud of its cruelty-free, eco-friendly philosophy.
Liquidflora adopts the latest technologies to create formulas that are completely free from GMOs and incorporate the use of plant stem cells. The brand’s core values are respect for the planet, kindness to animals and human well-being and even their makeup brushes are ethical and cruelty-free.
The Special Guest
One in three women in the world is, has been or will be the victim of violence at the hands of a partner or family member. When it comes to women with disabilities, the numbers are as high as 50%. With these horrifying numbers in mind, Shop Saman was born out of a desire to give these women a chance to win their lives back, empowering them through independence. The Ethical Fashion Show hosted objects crafted by Shop Saman to promote the initiative and offer these women a second chance at a life full of dignity.
Fashion Week events are hardly famous for any culinary marvels – but, as it often happens, ethical events are different.
Nutracentis was ideated by Monia Caramma and Serenella Saetti, who aim to reinterpret whole grains and gluten-free cereals, finely blended with vegetables, for refined dishes that will represent the perfect mix of healthy and haute. The ingredients provided by Nutracentis were the perfect basis for vegan chef Lisa Bozzato’s concoctions: light and airy but still flavourful, her creations added a hint of taste to the event.
All in all, this event was an innovative and refined celebration of a new era of fashion – organiser Stefania Depeppe should be proud.
See more info at Ethical-Code.com. Photos by Dario Agrillo Photo.