Happy Earth Day! To get back on the theme of sustainable fashion, today I’m writing about an eco-friendly shoe brand I encountered while walking down Montana Avenue in LA. The company? El Naturalista — a manufacturer that “develops footwear to walk through life with respect and care,” according to its website. Setting aside the thought of the carbon emissions resulting from importing shoes from Spain, one can feel good about the comfort, beauty, and fabrication of El Naturalista’s products. These sandals in particular caught my eye.
El Naturalista Cork Oak Sandal N403 from Amazon Germany
Ecologically friendly features include natural rubber outsoles, a recycled footbed, and the use of cork in the heel. Hand stitching also adds to their appeal. All together the look feels like a cross between gladiator sandals and clogs, like the ones used in the Chanel Spring 2010 ready-to-wear collection.
Chanel Spring Ready-to-Wear 2010 Outfit via Style.com
From time to time I’m inspired by fashion photography to paint quick little watercolor figurinos, which is how we referred to “fashion figures” at school in Florence. Here’s one I did from last week which shows the figurino wearing a yellow T-shirt and white jeans.
Figurino (Fashion Figure) in Yellow and White
While in Los Angeles this weekend, I went to the city’s fashion district. Painted signs like the one below greet one and all, along with all the hustle and bustle that this colorful neighborhood, located in downtown Los Angeles, has to offer.
Fashion District Sign
The highlight of my visit was a trip to Michael Levine’s, an incredible fabric store with the largest selection of ecological materials I’ve ever seen. From lyocell and knit bamboo to organic cotton and terry cloth, the fabrics on display provide endless possibilities for the creation of sustainable fashion.
Inside Michael Levine 1
Inside Michael Levine 2
Inside Michael Levine 3
I tried my hand at eco-styling tonight. You can see the result on my Polyvore set below. Using the site’s import feature, I added environmentally friendly items handpicked from the web. I had a lot of fun putting together the look. Kudos to the folks at Polyvore for making such a powerful creative tool!
I spent part of the weekend making a “My Twin Dressform” with help from a dear friend. (No, that’s not us below!) Tackling this project meant I had to stand for an hour in a plastic bag while my friend wrapped me in wet plaster bandages. Once the bandages hardened, she cut the plaster cast off of me, and I was left with two halves, which I sewed together today. Then I had to cover the seams, arm holes, and neck hole with more plaster bandages.
Photo from the My Twin Dressform Website
After the cast is completely dry, the next step is to fill the dress form with a liquid mixture that turns into a dense foam as it hardens. Once the foam is complete dry, it’s time to peel off the plaster and shave off the remaining bandages. The last steps are to sew a casing on top of the dress form and glue it to a base. Wish me luck!
Spring was AWOL this past week in San Francisco. So I found myself more often reaching for a scarf and jacket rather than sandals and a skirt. Here is a round up of sustainable scarves.
Azuri Organic Cotton Scarf from Nimli.com
Organic Cotton Spring Scarf by Margiwarg from Etsy.com
Squid Scarf by Gaiaconceptions from Etsy.com