Natalie Rae Richardon, a San Diego native and recent graduate of the London College of Fashion, is taking the “faux” out of faux pas with her eco-friendly debut collection. Based loosely on the anthropomorphic artwork of illustrator Ryan Berkley, Richardson’s garments feature custom embroidery techniques, casual ’80s silhouettes, and a natural color palette. Although each of the six looks invokes one of Berkley’s snappily dressed critters, no actual animals were used. The result is cruelty-free pieces—the Fox jacket, Hyena shirt, and Gazelle coat are standouts—that pay homage to the animal kingdom without plundering from it.
Richardson may have hand-dyed her fabrics to match the warm tones in Berkely’s animal portraits, but the bold, uncluttered aesthetic is wholly her own. Her respect for the natural world is also apparent in her attention to detail, from the organic, ethically sourced fabrics she used to the sustainably produced wooden clutches that accompany each outfit. Richardson also employed Hand and Lock of London to bring her embroidered designs to life at its new fair-trade facility in India.
Richardson’s animal-inspired garments pay homage to the animal kingdom without plundering from it.
With her fresh design sensibility and a devotion to principled production, Richardson is keeping the next fashion frontier in check by making sure that our sustainable future has a little bit of grrrrrr in our green.