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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Students strike a pose in eco-fashion

Published: November 16, 2007
Section: Arts, Etc.

In the days of blas haute couture, little room was left for environmental concerns to be voiced on the runway. All that has changed as eco-fashion broke onto the scene, changing perspectives on production techniques and environmentally sensitive materials. Brandeiss Students for Environmental Action (SEA) aided the eco-fashion movement by hosting WILD: Eco-Fashion Show 2007 last Saturday evening.

Levin Ballroom was transformed into a fashion domain as Brandeis models strutted down the runway sporting the latest in eco-friendly threads. The event, held with the support of the Brandeis Labor Coalition, Student Events, the Brandeis Pluralism Alliance, and the International Center for Ethics, Justice and Public Life, was at times professional enough to be mistaken for Olympus Fashion Week.

Prior to the event, attendees participated in the Brandeis Labor Coalitions interactive map entitled, Where Your Clothes Come From and were able to purchase bags and purses handmade from gum wrappers.

Belting out a cover of Madonnas Like a Virgin, Jenn Sheehan, 09, with the aid of two male models, opened the packed show with a fierce runway performance. The show carried on as the sustainable designs were paraded down the runway. The eco-friendly creations, made from hemp, organic cotton, and bamboo, varied from everyday jeans and outerwear to dresses for a night out on the town.

Featured designers in WILD included Del Forte Denim, Loomstate, The Hempest, moreTrees, Boll Organic and Doie Designs, as well as Shaun Deller, a hat designer. Laetitia Hosberger and Huyen Le Thanh, independent designers from abroad, submitted dresses to grace the eco-fashion runway.

Runway walks were separated with a memorable performance from the Adagio Dance Company. The striking routine filled with the fluid movements of Adagios finest was a refreshing break from the strong strides of the shows models.

The show also featured the WILD Student Challenge, which asked students to design and create an outfit from sustainable materials. Four Brandeis undergrads and one Tufts University student answered the call with creative and usable ensembles. Some of the innovative designs would have put Project Runway challenges to shame.

The renewable apparel included a skirt created from an umbrellas fabric and a dress created from a yearbook;

the latter was accessorized with a matching purse. Aimy Tsao, 09 won the challenge and went home with a prize of $100. Using Einstein Bros. Bagels coffee cup sleeves to create a dress, Tsaos concept was well developed and carried out. As the votes determined, her creation was the most wearable and, more importantly, eco-friendly.