We’ve been fans of trailblazing eco fashion designer John Patrick Organic for years, and were thrilled to get a sneak peek at his latest collection at New York Fashion Week last Thursday. Summed up in two words, JPO SS 2010 is classic Americana. These are clothes that would have looked oh so right on Faye Dunaway in Bonnie and Clyde – flowy and flattering organic cotton and silk dresses cinched with structured recycled polyester trenchcoats and organic cotton twill seersucker blazers. Read on to see pics of our favorite pieces and a special celebrity guest!
There is something about John Patrick’s unorthodox presentations of his collections that tend to be like little treats, and his smoky showcase last week was no exception. We have to say we were a bit :O about the location at first. Keens, the quintessencial New York steak house, known for its flavorful mutton and largest collection of churchwarden smoking pipes in the world did not seem like the quite the ideal space for a line that has the word “Organic” embedded in its name. But we have to admit when we’re wrong – the drapey lines of the high-waisted trousers, the tailored look of the printed frocks, the pearls and drooping stockings (trend alert for a style you can buy into without having to actually buy anything new), all came to life inside the moody, leathery interior of Keens in a way they would not have anywhere else.
But enough about the venue, let’s talk clothes! Blending haute with wearability is what JPO does best, and the soft lines of SS 2010 follow that model. The contrast between the flowery lavender and arty “Acid Rain” prints and the traditional solids and stripes keeps the collection interesting. There is a timelessness about the mix and match separates that screams “Wear me forever!” with perhaps the exception of the highwaisted trousers that may not be flattering on every body shape. Every item is simple enough that you could easily transform it with the addition of a poppy accessory or favorite cardigan, which really lends itself to the frugalista climes we’re living in.
As if the dreamy feeling of being transported to a bygone era by these luxurious clothes wasn’t enough, John Patrick had still more goodies to share with us. With an enthusiasm that made me want to take it for a spin, he pointed out his shiny red Globe bike, which he actually rode to Keens that morning! It fit in perfectly with the decor, and is a testament to the fact that he doesn’t just talk the green talk, he bikes the bike too! John Patrick was also quick to introduce his guests to his models, allowing us to feel the sumptuous organic fabrics they were wearing, which is one reason that I preferred this showcase to a traditional runway show. The lovely Yulia and Odelia were on hand to let us snap some shots of them, but the real icing on the cake was supermodel Shalom Harlow, dressed to the nines in a sharp JPO organic cotton twill suit with striped bow tie!
While indulging in all the wonders of John Patrick’s creativity, one thing became very apparent to me. Although other eco-fashion designers may have chosen to show at venues that are more in line with the “organic” aspect of their collections, John Patrick did not feel the need to. He chose a swank location that may have surprised and even offended some of his green fans, because it really made sense with his clothing. I realized then that John Patrick is not an eco-designer – he is a master designer who chooses to make clothing that is responsible and environmentally sound. Therefore the draw of his garments is not in the fact that they are organic, but that they are beautiful. It is exciting to see and I hope more designers in the green scene adopt this philosophy as eco-fashion evolves.