When we attended the catwalk show for US sustainable label Prophetik at London Fashion Week last year, both Laura Bailey and I fell in love with the romantic gowns we saw. Well, the true romantic behind these gowns is softly spoken Jeff Garner from Tennessee. A frequent visitor to London’s burgeoning sustainable style scene, he often wears jodhpurs, has turned up to at least one of his London shows on horseback, and his brand is all about “wearable philosophy”. He is definitely an original.
And I am delighted that he is a part of the Green Carpet Challenge – as Jeff Garner is the designer behind the dress I’ll be wearing to the Golden Globes on Sunday night.
The dress was beautiful, and I thought the romance and elegance that I’d originally spotted in Jeff’s design translated beautifully into this gown. It’s made from Tussah silk (also known as Peace Silk) – the process of making Tussah silk does not kill the silkworm in the process, unlike normal silk.
Where do you stand on silk worms? I have to say I’m not overly moved by the “cruelty” issue with conventional silk – they are just worms, or am I being heartless? But what I do love is that it is produced without the chemicals and waste inherent in normal silk production. It also gives a stunning lustre.
So add to this eco silk some hemp and we have a truly hippie fibre. And even more exciting (I think!) Jeff has revived natural indigo dyeing. He’s even grown his own Indigo Plant which takes us back to the 1800s, before someone discovered a synthetic substitute which resulted in destroying rural Indian economies – where natural indigo had sustained people for generations.