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Fibershed Fashion Gala 2013

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Fibershed is a project that is very close to my heart.

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I have been documenting Fibershed since Rebecca Burgess first started her personal challenge in 2010.

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I clearly remember the conversation Rebecca and I had in 2009 while we were sitting in the airport waiting to board a plane to one of our Harvesting Color adventures.

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She told me she wanted to do so much more than teach people about natural dyes.

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She was so deeply concerned about what the fashion industry was doing to the environment and to the people working in the factories that she needed to do something more.

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So she decided she wanted to challenge herself for a year to only wear clothes that were created, start to finish, within 150 miles from her home… within her Fibershed.

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But she told me how one of our mutual advisers had completely dismissed her idea saying that it would never be of interest to anyone outside of her small community… so Rebecca was feeling very discouraged.

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I told Rebecca that she had to do it… at the height of the local and organic food movement, now was the perfect time to bring attention to the fashion industry.

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But, I said, she had to make the clothes fashion-forward… otherwise she would be dismissed as just another hippie from Fairfax wearing strange brown clothes.

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So we agreed it could be cool… but I don’t think either of us had any idea how cool it would become.

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Four years later, Rebecca’s personal challenge has become a full fashion movement that is spreading across the country and internationally.

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Rebecca’s vision has evolved in to a non-profit, a Fibershed Marketplace, and most importantly lifelong friendships between farmers and designers.

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And at the Fibershed Fashion Gala, on Saturday December 14th, 2013 at Jacuzzi Winery, the “coolness” was unstoppable.

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Originally I was supposed to be out-of-town on the 14th… and I was supposed to miss this event.

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But my schedule changed at the last-minute allowing me to go… and the moment I walked in to the event space, I knew that there was nowhere else I was supposed to be.

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It is so inspiring to see what the passion and determination of one person can lead to.

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Rebecca Burgess, I am so incredibly proud of you, and I can not wait to see where Fibershed goes next.

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Congratulations to all of the talented designers, the hardworking farmers, the beautiful models and the event planners. It was a fantastic event and I hope I get to work with all of you again in the future.

Local Wisdom…

Local Wisdom is a research project by Dr Kate Fletcher that aims to gather examples of clothes that are used in ways that save resources and give us satisfaction.

The Local Wisdom process involves documenting the stories of clothes, through image and word. Photo shoots are advertised in local press, community notice boards and within established local networks.

 

Volunteers are asked to bring along something that fits into one of the following categories:

  • Garments that are shared between people
  • Garments that are regularly worn and have never been washed (and aren’t leather!)
  • Garments that show or tell the story of how they have been used
  • Garments that are made up of interchangeable pieces that can be worn in different ways
  • Garments that are worn the same in different situations
  • Garments or elements of garments that make for easy repair
  • Garments enjoying a third, fourth or fifth life
  • Garments that catch your attention each time you wear them
  • Garments worn in ways that reinforce or defy the producer’s values
  • Garments that connect us to others and/or remind us of our potential
  • Garments worn in response to changing economic and environmental concerns
  • Garments that are adapted over and again to meet changing needs
  • Garments that are perfect for you

To learn more and to see more images from the day, please visit the Local Wisdom website.

Thank you to Rebecca for introducing me to Lynda. Thank you to Lynda for introducing me to Kate. Thank you to Kate for giving me the opportunity to document your project. Thank you to all the volunteers who became fabulous models, whether they wanted to or not. And thank you to Bridget for staying by my side all day and for helping make the photos even better.

A Day in Point Reyes with Susan Hayes…

I spent the whole day playing in Point Reyes today with three amazing women, and one very helpful man. The purpose of our playing was to create a new collection of photos for Susan Hayes to use to promote her store in Point Reyes Station.

Conditions were perfect.

We had the dream team of talent with: Mariah the gorgeous model, Aimée the fabulous stylist, Susan the director and artist extraordinaire, and Jack the debonair car-moving paparazzi. The locations were so fantastically diverse. And the fog came and went exactly on schedule.

We had so much fun that it made me think that maybe, just maybe, I could get used to a little more fashion photography in my life.

Do not take stylists for granted…

With our fingers crossed, I think I can say that Rebecca Burgess and I are finished with photo shoots for her book… seven months, six blog posts, four states, and at least twelve photo shoots later.

Our last and final task was to photograph the beautiful knit pieces that Heidi Iverson designed and knit to represent spring and winter.

Seemingly not a hard task, but for some reason we didn’t quite get it right. With our focus on other aspects of the photo shoots (like: logistics, lighting, timing) and no budget for a stylist, we forgot to think about styling, and we left that job up to the models…

Which is not always the best idea, especially when the models have no idea what they are supposed to be styling their clothes to match, having not seen the knit pieces.

So when the models showed up with clothes that didn’t quite fit the look we were going for, we dressed them in my clothes, which also didn’t quite fit the look we were going for (and made me depressed about my wardrobe,) and as a result we got photos that didn’t quite fit the look we were going for.

We needed hip but not hippie, natural but definitely not synthetic, and style…. so we had to take-two. And for that we called in the professionals… like Genevieve who was born with style and knew exactly what to bring when I showed her the photo of the scarf.

And as you can see, it makes a big difference…

Notice beautiful Shugri’s over-sized and synthetic sweater?

Not her fault. Shugri did a fantastic job and she was so gracious to volunteer her time on her birthday. But unfortunately the goofy gray sweater from Ross Dress for Less (embarrassingly mine) doesn’t quite do it… in either of the photo shoots…

Both Sarah and Elizabeth also did a fantastic job being beautiful in the woods with the hats… but I can’t get over the sweater, the stupid sweater, which is also mine. This just proves that I need a stylist to come have an intervention in my closet.

So we tried again with the hats too. And having gone through the first failed attempt with us, this time the very stylish Sarah knew just what to bring to match the hats, including her cute son, River.

So, as my friend’s toddler says, “Ta-dah!” I think we did it.

I want to send out a huge thank you to everyone who very generously contributed their time and energy to make this such a fun and eventually successful project.

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