Last Fashion Week season, we reported on activism happening all over the main Fashion Week cities – from feminist prints to anti-fascism and bold protests to protect animals, fashion seemed to get more political than ever. This season, activism isn’t going anywhere, and some of the most innovative things we’ve seen during the international catwalk shows and events are, in fact, sustainable and vegan. We take a look at the animal-friendly developments on the fashion month that just ended.
London Fashion Week: Attendees are asked not to wear fur
By Vilda Founding Editor Sascha Camilli, based in the UK
During the week before the start of London Fashion Week, the British Fashion Council asked attendees to refrain from wearing fur – real or faux – as to avoid clashing with protesters that would be present during the event. As much as this was a measure taken to protect show-goers (despite there are no incidents of protesters being violent or aggressive), the results were clear: the streetstyle shoots from this London Fashion Week had many fewer people wearing fur. And let’s be honest: the streetstyle, not the shows, are the real reason why we’re excited about Fashion Week.
The protests did very well follow: vegan group Surge held a protest of hundreds of people encouraging London Fashion Week to say no to fur, as well as open people’s eyes to the ways that animals are suffering and dying in the fur industry. It’s not brand-new information, and it’s definitely time for London Fashion Week – and all international fashion weeks – to take note.
Next steps for London Fashion Week should be banning fur entirely – a step that Amsterdam Fashion Week, Melbourne Fashion Week and Perth Fashion Week have already taken.
New York Fashion Week – Pelush, faux fur reigns on the catwalks
By Vilda Fashion Editor Djuna Da Silva, based in New York
What make something beautiful, what makes something cool? How does that emotional connection to fashion happen? I find myself thinking about that a lot between shows this New York Fashion Week. A great collection, doesn’t just present the next season’s line to you, it comes alive, it transports and seduces you. What gets lost in that seduction? What gets lost behind the beautiful presentation and design? The reality. The reality of what each piece is, and the reality of what and who suffered for that skirt or coat to be created.
Seeing the Pelush show was a highlight for me, for all those reasons.
The staging was mindful and it was powerful, the starkness of starting the show with a collection of black t-shirts with phrases like “Coyotes are dogs” and “A lamb is a cow, is a pig, is a boy” straight into a beautiful ethereal world of color and luxurious fabrics. The show underlined not just the beauty and luxury of the Pelush furs, it simultaneously reminded you of what lies beneath the “beauty” of animal fur. It was wonderful to be able to adore and appreciate the true beauty of a creation without thinking about the animal that suffered on the other side. Every piece that came down the runway, was glamorous, fun and my new favourite until the next piece came out.
Pelush is the fur of the future and I was thrilled to be able to witness it!
Milan Fashion Week: Vegan shoes at new frontiers of innovation
By Vilda Innovation Officer Giulia Panna, based in Milan
The Nemanti Milano launch event took place in one of the most iconic Milan districts, Brera, also called “the Milanese Montmartre’. The location was bright and authentic, split into two floors and featuring unique details such as eye-catching artwork.
What stroke me as particularly worthy of attention was the story of the brand, initially created in 2013 under the name of Opificio V and now relaunched during Milan Fashion week to leverage the increased international interest towards luxury vegan fashion.
“Italian”, “Vegan”, and “Luxury” were indeed the keywords of the whole event. The responsibility of the brand doesn’t limit itself to animal welfare through the choice of cruelty-free materials – but also to environmental factors by use of recycled materials and a locally sourced supply chain, as well as to workers’ rights and attention to maintaining tradition.
Talking to the brand’s founder Paola Caracciolo, what immediately emerges is that the idea – as often happens – was born from a need. As a matter of facts, Paola, at the time marketing director in a completely different industry, was struggling to find vegan shoes that suited her style as well as her standards.
Material innovation is at the heart of the brand – some of their shoes are in fact made of cereals (from no food plantations), apple cores and cellulose – these materials come from the food industry and are thus a fantastic measure to limit food waste by turning it into fashion. Scrupulous research, thorough attention to detail and a love for style is how this brand is putting slow fashion at the forefront of fashion week.
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