by Cindy Gilbert
on Thursday, March 1, 2012 in Features
I didn’t get to witness the Oscars doled out or watch the red carpet parade of gowns at this year’s Academy Awards (the 84th!), but I was waiting in anticipation for Oscar night for one reason and one reason only. I couldn’t wait to see the winning gown of the Red Carpet Green Dress competition
, a contest launched in 2009 for an award-winning “green” gown that would be made from entirely sustainable fabrics and materials. This global dress design contest was the brainchild of Suzy Cameron, actress and wife of Titanic
director, James Cameron, who saw the Academy Awards as the best opportunity to promote sustainable fashion. For this closet Project Runway
fan, the Oscars are now a night to anticipate.
And, the winner is…
Venezuelan born designer Valentina Delfino was crowned the winner of the Red Carpet Green Dress contest which was worn by Missi Pyle, who appeared as a silent screen starlet in this year’s Best Picture winner, The Artist. The winning design was made with organic “peace” silk (or Cruelty–Free Silk), hand-dyed with natural mineral pigments, had recycled zippers, and was lined with recycled polyester. (Cruelty–Free Silk is silk created through the process that permits the full life cycle of the silkworm pupae.)
But Missi wasn’t the only red carpet eco-fashonista this year. Meryl Streep, Demian Bichir, Kenneth Branagh, Colin Firth, and Livia Firth
joined the ranks of the greenest dressed on the red carpet at the 84th Academy Awards by wearing organic and sustainable gowns or suits. Each of these 6 celebrities
took part in the Green Carpet Challenge
(GCC), an initiative for designers to create and celebrities to dress in sustainable fashion while walking the red carpet and attending high profile award shows. Is it the dawning of a new era or just a fad? Only time will tell if moments like these will drive an industry historically dominated by excess consumerism into ethical resplendence.
What did they wear?
- Meryl Streep wore a full-length, gold number that was fit for a goddess and made completely from Eco-Certified Fabric.
- Livia Firth donned a hybrid dress that combined recycled PET fabric along with the Valentino’s house silk.
- Kenneth Branagh wore an Ermenegildo Zegna navy ‘made-to-measure’ tuxedo created with eco-friendly Merino wool.
- Demian Bichir was in another Zegna’s tuxedo designed with TROFEO 600 fabric, which is a blend of sustainably-harvested superfine wool and silk.
- Colin Firth squeaked onto the GCC list by “recycling” his Tom Ford wool tuxedo from last year. Technically, Colin, it’s considered “reuse” which would be standard for regular folks that don’t discard a tuxedo only worn once. (In fact, I think most regular folks rent tuxedos which would be the greenest of all options). But, I’ll give you points for trying!
Are you interested in reading more about eco-fashion?
Cindy Gilbert is faculty, advisor, and directs MCAD’s Sustainable Design Program. This fully online program blends theory, practice, and leadership of sustainable design and caters to the busy lives of practicing professionals.
Now accepting applications for fall 2012 for MCAD’s newly launched MA in Sustainable Design. Work with a global network of faculty and students. Learn from wherever you are in the world, it’s 100% online. Apply today!