Redress Raleigh Recap: An Insider Perspective
Recently, when asked what my favorite part of the Redress Eco-Fashion & Textiles Conference was, I found myself replying, “Meeting really interesting people who are doing amazing things.” These people weren’t just talking about doing something, they were actually making a change.
What kind of people & change? For instance, projects like Aly Khalifa of Lyf Shoes, where a shoe is made of stackable components, without glue, so that it can be recycled or up fitted when one part is worn out. Companies like Cotton of the Carolinas and TS Designs where organic cotton farming is coming back to NC, tees are made in a fully sustainable fashion, and are trackable from field to final product with a mere 700 mile footprint.
People like author Elizabeth Cline, of Overdressed, who is not only well spoken and passionate about reversing the fast fashion trend but is also funny and down to earth. Author Susie Breuer, of Blue is the New Black, is extremely knowledgeable and again funny and very personable. Tim Williams, designer and instructor at the London College of Fashion, another example of a talented, witty, and humorous man, with whom I shared fantastic conversation.
Of course I also met and chatted with countless students, recent grads, emerging as well as established designers, and fashion/textile design educators. You see, this is what I do best, better than designing or dressmaking - I make connections. For me, it’s not about networking, for that is too superficial and often one sided. No, it’s about having a conversation with someone…..finding a common ground and then exploring an uncommon ground. (Now if only someone can tell me how to make a career out of this. Ha!)
And yes….there was also a fashion show! Another highlight of the weekend and where I made several of my new connections. The show ranged from children’s dresses to jewelry to menswear to casual wear and ended with a bridal and evening collection. (Funny, didn’t I end the show with a similar collection last year?)
The loveliest of the fashion show, for me, was the hand dyed silk resort wear line from Leopold Designs. They were fluid, sensual, colorful and gave me an intense craving for a tropical drink. (Unfortunately no tiki drinks were available that evening)
Here’s a photo of the piece I bought! Yes, you read that correct. I am now the proud owner of this gorgeous silk sarong. I can’t wait for it to stop raining and warm up so that I can wear it!