First published in 2010. Words by Livia Firth
Last night’s weather may have been more conducive to bundling up in a large coat and many jumpers, but the red carpet doesn’t operate like that. So it was off to the London premiere of A Single Man at the Curzon, Mayfair, in the third of my green carpet challenge dresses.
This time I went for a Sara Shepherd cocktail dress (see me interviewing Brit designer Sara in LA in our last film). What it lacked in ‘Clo’ value – Lucy Siegle tells me this is the international unit of measuring warmth in clothing! – it more than made up for in chic elegance.
It’s becoming a bit of a cliché but several people who knew about the challenge came up and commented to the effect, “that can’t be eco, it’s too glossy/chic!” What they mean is that the dress didn’t fit their prescribed notion of eco fashion – porridge-coloured and hairy.
Well, designer Sara Shepherd doesn’t fit that old notion of eco either! She sources beautiful luxury fabrics from fashion houses that would usually be consigned to the waste bin for being slightly off colour, too last season or surplus to requirement. The ex-St Martin’s designer is a very clever girl using innovative cutting techniques, combined with expert tailoring skills so she can still turn heads with last season’s fabrics. I felt great in this teal number. I hope you liked it.
Lucy and I also got a chance to catch up with Lily Cole. Lily is really interested in the provenance of fibre and fabric, a fascinating part of ethical fashion. Last week she launched her new knitwear range, North Circular, at Eco Age (see us at the launch here). Well, last night she bought youthful cool to a film premiere in trousers that are organic leather. I’m not sure I could carry off those trousers like Lily, who appears to have the longest legs imaginable, but I’m really interested in finding out more about the production processes of “good” leather for shoes and handbags.
I found the accessory part of last night’s challenge quite easy. If you’ve been following this blog you’ll have realised that I’m a fanatical fan of Made UK. It just so happens they had a pair of very sweet earrings with a teal stone in them that went really well with the dress. By the way, tomorrow I’m going to post a preview of some of Made’s new designs as I got a sneaky look at them a few days ago.
As soon as I saw this dress I knew the Roger Vivier shoes and bag were sitting in my wardrobe and that – appropriately – they were very green! I think with the teal, there’s something very fresh and vibrant about the combination. I am a big fan of Roger Vivier accessories and next week – in Paris – I’m meeting their team to talk about ethical leather (Lily, you would be proud!).
You may recall that at the start of this challenge the brilliant Christina Marty of Cristiana Couture who repurposed a wedding dress for me to wear to the globes, also found a black ribbon for it. Well, it’s becoming a theme of this challenge, but the black ribbon was back last night on the Sara Shepherd dress. You see: it’s all in the detail.