Redress Raleigh, the premier eco-friendly fashion show of the Triangle, featured 13 outstanding designers, three lovely producers, and an inspiring charity Friday, April 20, in the Warehouse Distric at the Contemporary Art Museum. After starstuff and I arrived downtown, we were ushered into the musuem and shown front row seats right next the show’s other prestigious sponsor, “The Raleigh Downtowner.” The four of us received handmade swag bags, chocolate made right here in Raleigh, a cookie, and a handmade wallet by Aban, the featured organization for this year’s show. Aban (A Ban Against Neglect) is a charity fronted by recent college graduates Callie and Becca which looks to provide an income for girls in Ghana. A portion of the proceeds from the show will go toward the charity, providing the funds needed for the girls in Ghana to create beautiful products from recycled materials as well as instill empowerment and leadership in them.
The show started a little after 8 p.m. on an unconvential runway with a stark white backdrop that allowed for lots of posing; a perfect setup to showcase the garments and models. There was no shortage of quality, innovation, and creativity at the event. Locally-based designers drew inspiration from places as far as Costa Rica to create “no fluff” natural wedding gowns (Kenal Leonard), and edible materials, like the orange peels used by Pamor Designs & Zassdesign to create colorful jewlery. As long as designers maintained a conscious mindset when they created their collections, they had free range to take them in any direction they chose. With this in mind, some designers reinvented the norm of eco-fashion and created high fashion garments like jackets and shift dresses made from organic cotton and wool (Belindabilly). Leopold Designs focused on hand-dyed silk and colorful garments flooded the runway with silk screen, Shibori and Batik techniques. One of my favorite collections from the evening came from the final designer, Rocket Betty, who showcased retro alternative wedding apparel made with modern repurposed fabrics.
During a brief intermission, which was much needed to really absorb the fabulous fashions of the five previous designers, co-producers Mor Aframian, Jamie Powell, and Beth Stewart thanked the sponsors (us, yay!), introduced this year’s featured charity, Aban, and reiterated the goals of Redress Raleigh. Mor announced her desire for eco-fashion to be not just a trend but a lifestyle and how they wish for consumers and designers to use Redress Raleigh as a resource for anything eco-fashion related. Beth continued on how the fashion show has become an integral and exciting part of the organization. She also talked about how events throughout the year, like fundraising concerts, continue to spread awareness on our responsibility as designers and consumers to be concious of what we wear and how it impacts the earth and the people creating the clothes.
Redress Raleigh is an incredible eco-conscious movement happening right here in Raleigh and it is inspiring to see the creativity that we can accomplish with repurposed materials or goods made with little impact on the earth. As a radio station that continues to promote local artists and the good of the earth, it is exciting to be a part of this movement!