UC Botanical Garden’s Green Gala Celebrates Biodiversity in Fashion

UC Berkeley, UC Botanical Garden, eco-fashion, sustainable fashion, green fashion, ethical fashion, sustainable style, biodiversity in fashion, California

LIVE AND LET DYE

While all designs showcased organic, recycled, or refashioned materials, the emphasis was definitely on the dyes, all of which can be found in the garden. The colors that resulted—bright lavender and yellow from pounded cabbage and nasturtiums (in Spikit designer Ariel Bishop’s case) and deep reds and browns from madder, osage, and logwood (Angelina DeAntonis of Ocelot)—took us by surprise.

While all designs showcased organic, recycled, or refashioned materials, the emphasis was definitely on the dyes, all of which can be found in the garden.

The party began in the lush redwood grove, where guests sipped on bubbly champagne. From an amphitheater, set in the tall redwoods with sunlight filtering through the treetops, the fashion show began with a single model appearing through the trees in a creamy, flowing silk gown. The natural beauty and the large scale of the redwood trees made the connection between our clothing and the earth especially clear.

The first two gowns to emerge, designed by Sara Burrusa of Stars and Ravens, were made of silk printed in a white paper-birch motif with oak gall ink.The silk was soft and “buttery” to the touch as one model described it. The concept of the gowns was embodied in the titles of both pieces, “From the earth to the Earth.”

Adie + George, the combination of two Bay Area favorites, Sasha Duerr and Casey Larkin, was delightful, with knitwear standing out in particular. Especially beautiful were the delicately knit alpaca “Darby” skirt (dyed with avocado pits) and an exquisite green ombre sweater (fennel, ferns, and equisetum.)

Other designer included Moriah Carleson and Alice Wu of Feral Childe; Molly de Vries of Ambatalia, Nicole Markoff of Nicacelly; Amber Ella Elandt,, Cory Gunther Brown and Cassidy Wright of The Moon; and Skye Schuchman of SkyeDesign. Makeup and hair stylist Shawn Burke wove flowers and other greenery into the models’ hair and made faces glow and pop with bright lipstick and metallic eyeliner.

Aside from the fashion show, guests enjoyed live music, local and organic food and beverages, and both live and silent auctions (one lucky bidder won a private party atop UC Berkeley’s historic Camanile). We look forward to next year’s event!

+ Green Gala

+ University of California Botanical Garden at Berkeley

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