Wednesday, February 29th, 2012
Perhaps like me you were not aware that the splendid golden dress worn by Meryl Streep as she accepted her latest Best Actress Oscar (see image) was also Green — as in sustainable.
The dress, or gown if you prefer, which was custom designed and crafted for Streep by the famous fashion house Lanvin, is made from “eco-certified fabric” and its appearance on the Red Carpet (and the winners podium) is part of a movement toward sustainability that continues to grow and gain force within the fashion community.
The movement’s name is the Green Carpet Challenge (GCC), and its guiding force is Livia Firth, wife of last year’s winner of the Best Actor Oscar, Colin Firth. A few years ago, Mrs. Firth, who clearly merits the title of serious fashionista, pledged to wear only eco-friendly, responsibly sourced and/or recycled clothes to each of the many red carpet events she attends.
Proof of her commitment was the flowing red dress that she wore at the recent Oscars. Designed and crafted by the house of Valentino, here’s how she described it on her blog: “The result is a real hybrid dress, the combination of an amazing recycled PET fabric along with the Valentino’s house silk for the beautiful sheer sleeves of the gown.”
In its previous life, Mrs. Firth’s gown’s primary fabric was none other than PET plastic bottles, now sustainably, and fashionably, recycled. The silk also is sustainable. Productive though they are, silkworms consume only mulberry leaves, which are sustainable, too.
Besides Meryl Streep, four other celebrities were wearing GCC eco-friendly gowns and suits at the Oscars, and other showbiz celebrities had worn them at earlier red carpet venues, for example the actresses Viola Davis and Michelle Williams at England’s BAFTA Awards.
To no one’s real surprise, Ms. Streep took the Oscar for her performance as Margaret Thatcher in Iron Lady, and the image of her in that shimmering gold dress, giving an emotional acceptance speech while standing before a giant replica of the golden Oscar, was a big boost for the GCC movement.
Rest assured, however, that the Green Carpet Challenge already had grown legs —perhaps even rivaling those of Angelina Jolie. Besides Lanvin and Valentino, designers Tom Ford and Ermenegildo Zegna also had created eco-friendly outfits for celebrities walking Oscar’s red carpet. Livia Firth is tirelessly moving GCC forward, working with Karl Lagerfeld and other designers to bring more sustainability into the glamorous world of high fashion, and continuously reaching out to others.
Since I generally favor anything that promotes recycling plastics, I’m certainly not opposed to adding some celebrity pop to help a good cause.