Spring eco-conscious styles shown at Vert Couture fashion show

Green initiatives and environment friendly products are a growing trend. No surprise that fashion has become a big part of the movement with designers producing eco-conscious and sustainable clothes. Some of these latest styles have been presented at the Vert Couture fashion show.

The 3rd annual Vert Couture show is all about eco-friendly fashion. Presented by Conscious Living TV, it is the first eco-conscious show featuring collections by Chicago’s sustainable fashion designers to be part of Fashion Focus week.

Fashion Focus Chicago is week long celebration of fashion with events happening throughout the city. The main focus of the week are the headlining runway shows that are held in the big white tent in the Millennium Park.

Fashion show executive producers Michael and Bianca Alexander, also founders of Conscious Planet Media and hosts of Conscious Living TV, created Vert Couture 3 years ago to highlight the continuum of Chicago’s sustainable, fair trade fashion movement.

The participating designers, ranging from rising to established, are producing sustainable and eco-conscious clothes. A short video was played before each collection presentation giving an insider glimpse on the garment creation process and the various techniques the designers used.

Brenda Abdullah is an eco-conscious designer that creates wearable art from gently used garments and vintage textiles. Through the process of cleaning, deconstruction, cutting, shrinking, piecing and stitching truly one of a kind designs are created. Brenda’s clothes range in style from funky urban to bohemian elegance.

Richard Dayhoff showcased performance luxury men’s underwear made from recycled polyester fibers. Richard has created the first layer of fashion for men with a new eco-friendly state-of-the-art performance underwear collection. His line represents the ultimate in innovative design, craftsmanship, performance, and sustainability. Made from recycled polyester fibers, the eco-friendly moisture management system rapidly transports perspiration to the outer surface; therefore the inner layer remains dry.

Heart is a collaboration between designer Jenny Greco, photographer Christina Noël and painter Lisa Selby. The three artists and entrepreneurs began building their company in Jan 2009, staying true to their artistic vision they produced a collection of unique garments made out of natural fabrics and eco-friendly dye techniques.

Silk Utopia created by Crystal Brooke, is a line that tries to bring color into this world. Celebrating personality and spirit of the woman and inspired by nature, Crystal creates dresses with clean flattering lines and luscious colors.

“My line is entirely hand painted on repurposed silk wedding dresses. No two pieces are the same.”

— Crystal Brooke, Silk Utopia

Victoria Larkin has a vision of sustainability and reducing waste by recycling what is being discarded and using a minimum amount of energy in production. Every item she creates is handmade, utilizing recycled knit sweaters, raw sheep’s wool, recycled felt, soap, water and human energy.

“I start by purchasing donated knit sweaters or use warn out knit sweaters (with holes or out of style) then unravel them and weave together wool roving. After I weave the fibers together I then use a felting process that binds the fibers. During the felting process the only elements used is hot water, soap and human energy to bond the fibers to create a new fabric. When I make the patterns for my garments I use minimal seams or hand sewing to cut down on electricity.”

— Victoria Larkin

Lauren Lein is a custom couture designer based in Chicago with over 20 years under her belt. At the Vert Couture this year Lauren debuted her premier eco-collection of avant-garde suits and dresses made from repurposed high-end fabrics.

Rosina~Mae is a contemporary womenswear line for the young, eco-conscious fashionista. Founded by Rose Mae Turner, who creates one-of-a–kind garments using recycled odds and ends, the line is made of pieces that are functional and do not wrinkle.

“My line is eco-friendly because I use bits of recycled fabric in the swimsuits and dresses. I incorporate new material with old. Specifically, the straps of the swimsuits were made from recycled lycra. The great part is that I am still able to remake each outfit. My inspiration comes from the street. I love the energy of the city and the shapes in the buildings. Architecture is inspiring. I also get inspired by people. Usually I’ll be daydreaming and a story about the person wearing my clothes (or a muse) will form. This story will then shape my collection for that season… and everything else, the hair, makeup and whole aura.”

— Rose Mae Turner, Rosina~Mae

Media crew:
Reporter – Raven Mai
Event Photography – Julian Favela

Brenda Abdullah

Richard Dayhoff



Silk Utopia

Victoria Larkin

Lauren Lein


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