The presentation for this year's Ecco Domani Fashion Foundation winner, Study NY, was one of my favorite shows of NYFW. I tend to prefer presentations to runway shows, as it gives you the opportunity to get a prolonged look at the clothes, rather than having them whirl past you before you can properly register exactly what you're seeing. Designer Tara St. James transformed the Standard Hotel Highline Room into an old fashioned school house, complete with chalkboards, school desks, and bright red apples, although the clothes shown were anything but your average back-to-school getups. In fact, the garments gave me plenty to ponder over, or study, I should say.
The line is entirely green, and has adopted some incredibly innovative techniques for remaining eco-friendly. In addition to using standard eco-materials like organic cotton and hemp, St. James also made several gorgeous patchwork jackets out of scraps as a waste recycling project, and created multiple zero-waste garments (no scraps are left behind). Some of the most gorgeous showstoppers were a selection of wrap coats, ponchos, and capes, which were all made from overstock wool. I also loved the chunky hand-knit alpaca cardigans and skirts made by women's knitting co-op Madres & Artesanas, which specializes in handmade production processes. In my opinion, all the thoughtful processes and techniques involved in producing the clothes adds infinite appeal to the gorgeous and earthy designs, and will hopefully set an example for other designers, demonstrating they myriad ways they can make their collections more eco-friendly.