My three-year-old daughter is obsessed with princess dresses, especially those in lurid colours. Taking them off at bedtime is a constant battle. What I would really love to ask the scientists decoding the human genome is what exactly makes girls genetically programmed to go for pink — of all the colours in nature’s palette! Now don’t get me wrong: pink can indeed be beautiful. I love blush and ‘vieux rose’, however hot pink or anything else that could potentially be worn by a Barbie doll are just not my cup of tea. Still, I sigh, say nothing and let my daughter enjoy her pink princess phase, praying that one day (hopefully, soon!) she will grow out of it.
In fact, the princess theme is having a bit of a revival on the runway this season. At its Paris Haute Couture show earlier this month, Valentino wowed the crowd with his Tudor-inspired dresses. Which means that it’s not too long before high-street retailers follow suit. So this week I am exploring eco-luxury dresses for the grown-up princesses out there. What is even more exciting, none of these brands have been featured before on this blog but would make great additions to the ever-growing Green Stilettos List.
First up is a creation by the New York based designer Daniel Silverstein. It is not actually a dress but a jumpsuit — but who would even notice? Using a unique draping technique, Daniel keeps fabric waste close to zero. An average of 10-15 percent of the fabric used to make every garment is thrown away, a sobering statistic given the millions of garments produced every year. Thanks to his ingenious designs, you will be well wrapped up for a special occasion.
Next up is Beulah London, a luxury brand established by a female duo in 2009 after their life-changing experience in Delhi slums working with women who had been victims of sex trafficking and abuse. The brand’s aesthetic reminiscent of Princess Grace’s outfits had won Beulah many fans in high places. Beulah supports women’s skills development, giving them a chance to find work, generate an income, and live a self-sufficient life, free from abuse.
LA fashion designer Annie Le loves an iconic runway dress. But annie + jade, her sustainable clothing couture brand, goes beyond what merely looks good on the runway. annie + jade commits to the creation of contemporary clothing that’s always graciously green. Annie’s organic cotton cotton bodycon dresses are a real stunner, as are her jumpsuits.
Mina + Olya is a luxury, sustainable clothing line which blends their founders’ Iranian and Russian heritage. Their stylish creations are made of organic cotton and wool, hemp/silk blends, vegan leather and milk fibers. Their classy and timeless dresses are a perfect fit for modern-day tsarinas.
Last but certainly not least, is the haute couture brand Ralph & Russo. Founded by an Australian couple Tamara Ralph and Michael Russo, the brand is the epitome of ‘slow fashion’: its custom-made gowns can take hundreds of hours and up to 30 pairs of hands to create. Their SS 2015 collection titled ‘The Awakening of Flora’ is truly majestic and – lo and behold! – shows that even grown-up princesses can wear pink and look chic.