Culture: “Fashioned From Nature”

There’s no denying the influence that the natural world has had on fashion designers and creators throughout time. From embroideries of animals and florals in the 1700’s to vibrant dyed prints from Gucci, Stella McCartney’s sustainable collections and of course Calvin Klein’s Green Challenge MET gown for Emma Watson made entirely from recycled plastic bottles, the connection between the two worlds is forever lasting. In fact, I’m sure anyone reading this can find something in their wardrobes with a color, fabric or embellishment inspired by something in nature. Debuting the day before Earth Day, Fashioned From Nature is the first UK exhibition to explore the complex relationship between fashion and nature from 1600 to the present day.

And while there has always been a relationship of beauty and inspiration between the two (as seen throughout the 300 products showcased throughout the exhibition), there’s also no debating the amount of visceral fight that has existed over whether or not the fashion industry embraces or is an enemy of this beautiful ecosystem. That is why curator, Edwina Ehrman, has put a prominent spotlight on sustainability throughout the exhibition, showcasing garments with innovative fabrics and dying processes to encourage people to think more about how and where their clothes are made. For example, a top and pant made from synthetic spider-silk by Stella McCartney x Bolt Threads, an outfit designed by Italian luxury house Ferragamo, made from an orange fiber derived from waste from the Italian citrus industry and a dress grown from plant roots by artist Diana Scherer. “I don’t want anyone to leave feeling bashed on the head. I want them to leave feeling very optimistic about the future.”

 

About the Author

Jillian Magenheim is the Editorial Director and Director of Partnerships for OliviaPalermo.com. She is also a digital media consultant for various fashion and beauty brands. You can follow her thoughts on Twitter @Magenhaz and on Instagram @jillianrose_m