Thursday, April 16, 2009

Meet Our Designers

In order of appearance in the Queens is Green Fashion Show on April 18th from 6-8 pm.

ASTRID BRUCKER: astridland is an innovative and edgy eco-friendly line for the modern woman. Astrid chose to work with organic materials to lessen the adverse effects of traditional manufacturing. All her clothing is handmade in New York City.

GINA FABIANO: Our Go Baby Apparel line is made of 100% Organic Egyptian cotton. There are no chemicals used! Traditionally-grown cotton requires approximately 25% of total insecticides used and more than 10% of the pesticides. Organically grown cotton is not treated with pesticides, herbicides or petroleum based fertilizers, nor does it use genetically-engineered seed. Better for the environment, safer for your child's skin and better for the world!

TARA CAMPBELL: smartalecky is about fresh new ideas and personality. Using vintage tees and making them into handbags is a concept that embraces the forward movement towards recycling and using eco friendly materials. All of the handbags are made from a selection of vintage t-shirts purchased from all over the world. The fabrics used for the lining are hand selected and are chosen to complement the spirit of the vintage t-shirt. The handbags are reversible, so you can choose to wear them print side out, and they are handwash friendly just like your old tee used to be. Please look for more bags, scarves, pillows, and quilts to be incorporated into the collection.

STEPHANIE HUFFAKER: I love using recycled/repurposed materials and they always play an integral role in my designs. I feel it's very important for designers to take into account the impact their designs will have on the earth. Good design is about making life better for people and in order to do that we need to make things in a way that doesn't destroy our own habitat. I also love working with recycled materials because it gives you the freedom of designing with a material without having preconceived notions of how it's "supposed" to be used. My company, Garbage of Eden Design, is a natural result of these passions. All of the recycled plastics I use have been given to me by friends, family, members of the local community who respond to my posts on Freecycle and the Park Slope Food Coop.

SASHA VETROV: I am a designer and producer of clothes, music and independent movies and I am positively sure that every human on this planet must be green-minded. It's important for all evolution. The idea of recycling is in a map of this project. With a focus on color and design, these dresses are comfortable and easy to wash. But they are also pop art - Andy Warhol of fashion. Every dress is an image and contains pieces of the most recognizable type of clothes: t-shirts.

KIRI THOMPSON: kirstinflo grew organically from my love of second-hand things. I've been making clothing and accessories from repurposed and vintage fabrics for just over a year and love working with fabrics that have some history behind them. Menswear shirtings were so appealing that I had to make something from them. I love shopping the thrift stores for unwitting men's shirts to turn them into cute little dresses. I'm mixing them with vintage fabric and trims, and even pillowcases and sheets. A craftsperson at heart, I love trying to utilize the workmanship that has already gone into the shirt, and I can't wait to start on a project to use up all my scraps! Stay tuned...

CIARA ELEND: My American made graphic tees fuse unique modern graphics with old-school block printing techniques. Each design is carved into a linoleum block to produce a distinct vintage style print. No two shirts are exactly the same. I currently offer two graphic tshirt collections: My Couture Line offers a collection of ultra soft, ultra comfy vintage style tees and limited edition handmade totes. Colors vary with each shirt since they are printed and dyed by hand. Tshirts are individually printed when an order is placed. These super sexy luxury tees have the perfect fit for the modern women. My Queensbound Line offers Queens, NYC inspired tees for men and women. The designs reflect the spirit, culture and tonality of Queens. I also offer a selection of Queens-centric accessories and products. Portion of the proceeds go towards community art class, Queens organizations that support the arts, and artists working in Queens.

ROBYN HILLMAN-HARRIGAN: My line Inkblot Kelly can be found online at and purchased custom made directly from the designer. Inkblot Kelly is made in NYC, exclusively out of organic and pre-loved materials. Robyn's design philosophy fuses free-spirited fashion and creativity with a conscious mindset to create bespoke attire with a unique and personal aesthetic. Inkblot Kelly is featuring selections from the Summer Garden line on the runway.

JUSTIN ZIMMER: First Floor, Down. Productions is a Full Service Design Studio operating in Astoria specializing in print, apparel and web design. We also offer a small clothing line in addition to these services. We try to be eco-friendly in all aspects of our business from encouraging clients to use recycled papers and non-toxic inks, to using organic garments. We use 100% organic cotton T-shirts made in the USA for the soft feel, snug fit and the way that it ages with washing and wearing.

NAEMEH SHIRAZI: The Cameo Collection recycles translucent milk containers to create limited edition stylized portraits born from her sketches of women riding the New York City subway. Each black and white hand-drawn image, protected by a sealant and paired with sterling silver findings, is meant to honor the metropolis’ diversity. These Green designs may be aptly described as modern interpretations of the traditional cameo pin—a jewelry piece intended to depict dignitaries.

JENNIFER KIRSCHMAN: Most of my work is costume design for small theatrical and film projects, but I also design and sew ready-to-wear when inspiration strikes. For the Queens is Green fashion show, I took used men’s wear, mostly dress shirts, and a couple of pairs of pants and recycled them into feminine, spring- and summer-ready styles. There are so many beautiful men’s shirts out there and are often discarded when still in great shape. The fabrics are strong, easy to coordinate between stripes, solids and checks and a rainbow of colors. I had a lot of fun designing these pieces, and I hope you enjoy them!

Be on the lookout for guest appearances by Christine Haber’s “It’s Easy Being Green” tote bag and "I Love Astoria" t-shirts. Karen Overton’s jewelry made from recycled bicycle parts will be accessorizing several outfits as well.


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