Tag Archives: Milan

The Fashion String: Eugene Fashion Week 2012

-Tamara Feingold

You’re sitting in the front row and you could practically reach out and touch the models walking past. The designer is following her models for the final walk and the line features strappy outfits of deep blue velvet next to Springy floral dresses. The crowd applauds the designer and the massive black pit of media at the end of the red carpet runway snap photos.

You’re not in New York. You’re not in Milan. You’re not in Paris. You’re at Fashion Week 2012…in Eugene, Oregon.

I’ll be candid here. When I decided to attend Eugene Fashion Week, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Local styles that come to mind are tie-dye, Birkenstocks, flannel shirts, and biking messenger bags. Eugene may be a mecca of art when it comes to music, visuals, and crafts (a.k.a. things you would find at downtown’s Saturday Market), but let’s be honest- it’s no fashion metropolis.

However, this year’s Fashion Week may have changed my mind. The event took place over three days with the “Lingerie and Bathing Suit show” on Wednesday at the Oak Street Speakeasy, the “Ready to Wear and Evening Wear show” on Friday at the Broadway Commerce Building, and the “All Ages, Avant Garde and Costume Show” on Saturday, also at the Commerce Building.

I chose Friday’s show and was unexpectedly very impressed. Revivall Clothing by designer and co-producer of Eugene Fashion Week Laura Lee Laroux was especially original, with detailed and sometimes fringed leather belts topping full floral skirts with multiple layers and patterns. Paired with either heels or cowboy boots and lavish feathered hair accessories, Laroux’s designs manage to ride the often difficult line between voguish invention and wearably realistic. Laroux herself is flighty and adorable, and she even stopped to talk to me for a few minutes in between shows despite her waiting models backstage. “Each year, Eugene Fashion Week gets bigger,” she said. “We realized we were doing three hour shows last year, so we decided to start splitting it up.”

Deluxe by designer and co-producer of Eugene Fashion Week, Mitra Chester was charmingly Candyman-esque with high-waisted double button shorts, vintage red striped bow tops, and white gloves. The line, entitled “Postmodern Pinups,” was refreshingly preppy, and therefore almost anti-Eugene. The designs also stood apart from much of the “repurposed clothes” to appear thoroughly well crafted. Fortunately, it’s easy to find Chester’s designs locally as she co-owns both Deluxe and Kitsch.

Amanda Prussak also presented her new line, “Orphan No More,” and her use of color was perfect for Spring 2012. With bold combinations of cobalt blue, tangerine orange, hot pink, and sage green, Prussak’s designs are sure to bring us out of our rainy Eugene slumps.

With a wide range of innovative designers and talented performers like Mood Area 52, I almost forgot I was in Eugene. Worry not, though. Our city still has, and always will have, its beatnik roots. After all, the hipster sitting in front of me at the show was sipping green yerba maté out of a mason jar. Classic.

The City Meets the Forest

-Laura Lundberg

Sustainability and “Going Green” are trends that have become popular in the past few years all around the world.  It seems that everyone wants to be a part of the green trend, and businesses, cities, and countries are working hard to bring to the people new ways of travelling, eating, dressing, and living that will have their products cut down on carbon emissions, and provide their clients with a more comfortable way of living. Milan, Italy, is no exception to this idea, as it is currently building one of the greenest and most creative projects ever – an apartment building that will be the world’s first ever vertical forest.

The Bosco Verticale is being designed by the architecture firm known as Stefano Boeri Architetti, and it will be erected in the center of Milan, close to the Isola neighborhood. Both residential towers that are undergoing construction currently will measure 33 stories (110 meters) and 23 stories (76 meters) respectively and each building will hold about 900 trees of different species and height that will “surround” the building in green foliage. These two residential towers will have over 10,000 square meters of trees (if all the trees were planted on flat land), and will keep the CO2 emissions down for this urban area.

According to an article published by Inhabit.com, an architectural weblog that is devoted to the future of design while keeping the environment in mind, “The diversity of the plants and their characteristics produce humidity, absorb CO2 and dust particles, producing oxygen and protect the building from radiation and acoustic pollution. This not only improves the quality of living spaces, but gives way to dramatic energy savings year round” (Diane Pham, Inhabit.com). This will allow for residents who wish to live in the buildings to feel comforted by the fact that their apartment’s energy will be clean, safe, and sustainable.

Another interesting feature of these two eco-friendly residential buildings is that all of the grey water from the apartments will be filtered and recycled throughout the building, which will dramatically cut down on costs of water for tenants. The trees will also help the residents save on money, as they will provide shade during the summer and more sunlight to be captured during the winter once the trees have lost their leaves.

The Bosco Verticale is only the first step in the architect’s vision of a greener Milan. He has an overall project entitled BioMilano, which will aim to create a ‘green belt’ around the city of Milan by incorporating over 60 abandoned farms that exist on the outskirts of the city and  repurposing them for community use. The Bosco Verticale began its construction in 2007, and hopes to be finished constructing within a few years.

While the architects of Stefano Boeri Architetti seem to envision plenty for the city of Milan, the architect firm hopes that their green ideas will spark a wave of the implementation of more sustainable buildings and polices in other countries, so that everyone can start becoming more sustainable than they are today.

If you want to learn more about the Bosco Verticale idea, check out this news report done by an Australian media called “The Age”.

Renderings taken from Boeri Studio