Kudos to the city of West Hollywood for banning the sale of fur. Honestly, in this day and age there is no reason to wear it, especially when the faux versions are pretty close to the real deal as was witnessed at the Fur Free Fashion Show held at Wonderland in Hollywood.
A project of Born Free USA, fffashion L.A. was formed as a way to introduce the public to cutting-edge fashions that are animal and environmentally friendly, in addition to supporting designers who share this vision. Before the show started we were treated to a special acoustic performance by 8 MM and after that DJ LC took over.
In between 8 MM’s set I ran into NY based singer Emii. I remembered her from the Grammy’s Friends and Family event. Emi always wears some type of elaborate outfit so she’s easy to spot in a crowd. She currently has an EP out, titled Magic. The songs are in the pop rock vein and you may have seen her video for “Mr. Romeo,” which features Snoop Dogg. If not you can check it out on YouTube. It’s quite a catchy tune
The runway show began with a presentation by KissinCussin. The Australian based line is the brainchild of Jess Brown and Hayley Maynard – two cousins whose luxurious bohemian style was inspired by a small Sri Lankan village. The company is dedicated to ethical manufacturing and the empowerment of women in remote communities.
Stephanie Teague was the 1st place winner of Born Free’s Fur Free Fashion competition for her Pretty Birdie line, which is hand-made and eco-friendly. Stephanie specializes in fashionably comfortable clothing made from hemp and soy. She also makes accessories that are crafted from recycled wood and scrap metals.
Ashley Cook had the honor of being the Green Award and Student Award winner of the Fur Free Fashion Competition. Her clothing uses natural materials and sources that are harmless to animals and the environment. She also specializes in reconstructed and recycled garments.
The 3rd place winner of the competition was Soreyda Benedit Begley. Originally from Honduras, Soreyda now resides in Kentucky where she is the director of the Lexington Fashion Collaborative and a member of the Make Lexington a Fair Trade Town Coalition. She likes to use unconventional materials—such as hemp, bamboo, and soy—to create her designs. Her floral printed silk ball gown was just lovely. It had a mermaid silhouette that was very flattering.
René Geneva takes pride in producing fashion-forward, organic clothing for women that is chic, sustainable and also helps take care of people and the planet. Her company specializes in creating eco- friendly corsets that are made from hemp silk fabric, hemp twill, and sustainable biodegradable products. René’s looks were fun and flirty and fit perfectly with the venue’s Alice In Wonderland theme.
Hong Kong based designer Yan Fong won 2nd place in the Fur Free competition for her Yane Mode collection, which supports animal welfare and Earth awareness. Yan is known for her delicate draping techniques and her classy, yet affordable high-end line of dresses can easily make the transition from day to night. I love how she paired the Donna Salyer Plum Mongolian Jacket with her black cut-out dress.
Dalia MacPhee specializes in elegant evening gowns that are made from luxe fabrics and come in an array of vibrant colors. 95% of her line is vegan friendly and her dresses are often seen on the red carpet, at award shows, and on Dancing With The Stars.
Sherri Hill closed the show with a few looks from her prom and evening wear collection. Her bedazzled dresses are often used in pageants and on the red carpet. Kendall Jenner recently modeled one of Sherri’s dresses at NY’s Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week.
The models all wore eco-friendly vegan shoes from Cri deCoeur and jewelry by Tea Tree Designs. Erika Backberg creates her organic one-of-a-kind couture jewelry high-quality local and sustainable materials. The faux furs were courtesy of Donna Salyer’s Fabulous Furs and handbags were provided by Imoshin. The stylish bags are made from vegan leather and cruelty-free materials.
On the way out guests received a gift bag that contained a gift card to Billy Lowe’s hair studio. (Billy and his team did the models hair and make-up for the evening.) There was also a bottle of perfume from The BodyShop (that was not tested on animals), a fur free blush brush from Urban Decay, an eco pen from Born Free USA, and lip balm from My Lip Stuff.
For a list of US retailers that have committed to selling fur-free goods visit: www.furfreeshopping.com and for international shops visit www.furfreeretailer.com. You can also own one of the items from the show by going to www.biddingforgood.com/bornfreeusa. The auction runs from Nov 7th to Nov 12th and the beautiful Plum Mongolian Jacket is up for grabs.
Narrative and photos by Nikki Neil Photo of Emii by Josh Miller