Welcome to the March issue of Calendar. While the world may feel uncertain right now, we hope our curation of ways to consume more thoughtfully and make a positive impact will serve to inspire and uplift in dark times. From our edit of the best Bodycon (or Bodycon 2.0 as we are calling it) looks out there with a conscious spin, to our pick of some of our favourite brands with a sustainable focus at the heart of their creative mission. And talking of creativity, our Fashion Features Director, Emma Sells talks to New York based designer, Nicole McLaughlin whose groundbreaking and thought provoking creations (think volleyballs transformed into slippers and camera bags re-imagined as bralettes) show us the breadth of what upcycled fashion can be.
And we’ll also be bringing you news on an app that helps you find your dream archive pieces at the touch of a button as well as other stories and people that are inspiring us right now. Meanwhile on the travel front, Susan Ward Davies talks through the best eco friendly short haul trips for some early spring sun, and we’ll be bringing you an edit of some of the best beauty and wellness products out there with a focus on sleep and rest – which we all need more than ever right now. We hope you enjoy the issue and here’s to fashioning the future together.
Thanks to the current Y2K revival and the emerging mood of ‘sex-as-power’ in fashion, along with a collective desire to flaunt your curves post the pandemic-induced loungewear boom, bodycon is everywhere right now. The difference between 2022’s styles and their Y2K counterparts? Today’s approach to sexy dressing is wholly more positive and empowering. Bodycon 2.0 is all about approaching the trend with positivity and size inclusive messaging – and we couldn’t be happier to see this new take on a familiar silhouette.
In this Calendar edit, we’ve curated our pick of the sustainably focused bodycon pieces out there including rental and preloved options – whether you’re after a long-sleeved midi dress or an all-out strappy style. We’re currently swooning over the hot pink Alaia number from @mywardrobe_hq, but one thing’s for sure: you are going to feel on point whichever one you choose.
Be In The Now
We’re taking a moment of calm to reflect on this beautiful video by @yassine_cavalier. A true representation of the freedom, strength and beauty that serve to unite us all in challenging times.
Travelling for pleasure and living a sustainable lifestyle might sound mutually exclusive: on the face of it, any travel could be seen as damaging to the planet. But you have to weigh it up against the benefits that tourism brings: boosting the local economy, creating jobs, even improving conditions for local people, when, for example, the installation of water pipes, electricity and internet for a new hotel means supplying nearby villages, too. And in some countries, tourism might increase awareness of political injustice, or even reduce it.
If you choose your destination wisely, your tourist pound could help fund environmental projects, conservation, reforestation or education, and by always questioning a hotel’s sustainability policies, you are encouraging them to switch to greener energy, adopt a zero KM food policy, or protect indigenous plants and wildlife.
As covid restrictions ease to more and more destinations, travel is more accessible again, so we have rounded up some sustainable spring sun spots that you don’t need to fly halfway round the world for, and where your holiday does good as well as feels good…
Nicole McLaughlin is not your average upcycler. For one thing, there’s the materials that she uses: tennis balls, Lego, vegetable peelers and croissants, all whipped up into her functional, one-off art pieces. She’s transformed Hermès bags into utility waistcoats, Nike baseball caps into folding chairs, and seeded bagels – complete with cream cheese – into a bra coined the ‘Bragel’. Then there’s the fact that she rarely sells her pieces, instead photographing them for her ever-growing Instagram following before breaking them down and reusing the parts for the next project – or eating them…
International Women's Day
Happy International Women’s Day From Calendar. And we’re celebrating some of the amazing women we’ve featured in Calendar over the past year. Here’s to fashioning the futuring together and helping making the world a better and more equitable place for all.
Paris Fashion Week
During Paris Fashion Week, three very different female designers, namely Stella McCartney, Marine Serre and Gabriela Hearst for Chloe presented three equally different approaches to sustainability. Stella McCartney’s show – a collaboration with the artist Frank Stella – was an explosion of colour, print and graphic lines. From plissé draped dresses and oversized suiting, to cargo jumpsuits; 67% of the collection was made from conscious materials including forest-friendly viscose, recycled nylon and regenerative wool, as well as a limited edition handbags crafted from Mylo ™ mycelium from mushrooms. The collection was underpinned with Stella’s always playful spirit and an instinctive sense of what women want to wear.
Meanwhile, Marine Serre adopted a more immersive approach. Part of her show space was transformed into an atelier with behind-the-scenes demonstrations of how her pieces are made. The collection, a mesmerising mix of sharp monochromatic tailoring made from recycled wool, patchwork upcycled knits and a series of standout pieces crafted from deadstock Toile de Jouy and camouflage fabric, was a masterclass in haute recycling and a unique and singular vision.
Gabriela Hearst at Chloe took a more pragmatic approach, offering minimalistic, responsibly-sourced leather pieces softened up with recycled cashmere knitwear and a collaboration with an African-American Alabama-based quilting collective Gee’s Bend, who transformed Chloe deadstock into blankets to be worn or snuggled under. The juxtaposition of tough and soft feeling is very much like a reflection of how we want to dress now.
Brand We Love
Founded in 2011 by British-Iraqi designer Walid Damirji, By Walid proves that ‘zero-waste luxury’ is certainly not an oxymoron. Made using antique textiles – everything from 19th century silk embroidery to 1920s linens – his one-of-a-kind collections fuse age-old aesthetics with modern shapes. As for Damirji’s process, everything starts with the textile. After countless creations, orders of his one-off pieces, sourcing and restoring vintage material is second nature. Then, Damirji’s innovative eye gets to work. Everything from quilted jackets to button-clad trousers emerge from his studio – simultaneously brand new and full of fascinating history. If you’re on the hunt for colourful sustainability with oodles of personality, you need look no further…
Be In The Now
Friday feeling ✨ The Hayward Gallery’s exhibition, ‘Louise Bourgeois: The Woven Child’, on now until the 22nd of May, focuses exclusively on her work using fabric and textiles. With autobiography and emotion threaded through these magnificent pieces, it’s not to be missed.