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By Chere Di Boscio
I must admit I had a shock at the Collette Dinnigan show this Paris Fashion Week.
While I was familiar with the delicacy of the Australian born designer’s stitch-work, the fantasy behind her bridal gowns and the femininity of her cuts, especially her famed slip-cut dresses, I had no idea she was eco friendly. But to my delight, her press kit informed me that apart from the most delicate of silks, Dinnigan uses Woolmark’s Cool Wool, a completely natural and biodegradable material. There is, according to the designer, ‘an endless scope of what can be done with this natural fibre,’ which is proven by the fact that she has used it in her SS14 collection, her 18th in Paris Fashion Week.
Called ‘Both Sides Now,’ the collection was about emotional contrasts–the cheerfulness of colour, the fragility of lace, the boldness of scarlet details. A parade of top models showed off lingerie inspired pieces to an international audience of editors, fashionistas and media professionals, including Poppy Delevigne, Martha Ward, and Ellen Von Unwerth.
Unlike, say, Vivienne Westwood, whose polyester, nylon and chemically dyed collections are in fact anything but eco friendly anyway, Dinnigan doesn’t boast about being ‘green’. Using sustainable materials is just something that seems natural and logical to her, and rather than relying on this aspect as a marketing tool, Dinnigan prefers that her sustainable credentials are merely a wonderful surprise for her clients and admirers. I know it was for me.