For a guy who normally wears jeans, a button down and second-hand sport coat, stepping into the LEED Gold Bently Reserve in San Francisco last night for the 8th Annual Gorgeous & Green fashion show event gave me a sense of being a fish out of water. I, like most people, like to look at tall, shapely and stunning people. I’m not just talking about the runway models either; the crowd offered many striking examples of the human race in their vintage (re-used) dresses and suits.
The crowd and participants, good looking or otherwise, attended the event to support and raise money to benefit Global Green USA’s initiatives to green schools and urban environments in California and nationwide.
The night centered on all things green and sustainable, which included the culinary miracles of Joseph Humphrey (Dixie Restaurant) and Michael Mina (Michael Mina) and Bill Corbett (Absinthe). All of the courses featured locally-grown and sustainable ingredients. Anyone for Black Truffle Stuffed Mary’s Chicken?
Enough with the fancy food, and on to the fancy models and clothes. The runway show featured stunning, eco-conscious creations from top designers. For someone who knocks around in jeans, knowing the different nuances in the clothes proved challenging. For me, I approached the viewing the clothes similarly to how many of my friends choose wine: they might not know the subtle differences but they know what they like.
With my wine in hand, I found myself behind stage before the models sauntered onto the runway. I’m 6’ 4” and I felt short. The models walked around in the designer duds created by Mina & Olya, Amour Vert, PACT, Prophetik, Cari Borja and Oliver Tolentino. All of the designers use some combination of organic and sustainable fabrics while some re-use classic designs and materials.
Native Filipino designer Tolentino uses native fabrics derived from pineapple fibers (piña), abaca plant fibers, water-lily leaves, jute and raw silk cocoon. Sounds good enough to eat. Although I didn’t have the audacity to taste (or even touch) the clothes, I did scurry back to the front of the stage to watch the models strut, walk, and saunter down the catwalk. I, like most of the crowd, loved the outrageous designs but my little voice kept thinking “Who buys these clothes?” Apparently, people do, because these designs either have reached top-ties status or appear very close to hitting it big.
With an organic cocktail in my hand, I could only dream of an affordable pair of sustainably-created and designed jeans.
Keith Rockmael blogs at greenerati.
Photos courtesy of Keith Rockmael.