Jill Danyelle

LONDON FASHION WEEK: Noir Fall 2007

by , 03/04/07

noir, ethical, eco fashion, organic, illuminati, cotton, sustainable, peter ingwersen

Noir is a relatively new label founded by Copenhagen native Peter Ingwersen and designed by Rikke Wienmann. The label has been burning up the runway with its hot looks, but Noir’s sexiness is based in sustainability. They are connected with Illuminati-II, a textile company that will launch in 2008. The company was created to brand, market and sell high-level, organic cotton fabrics and Noir is being built as the vessel. Their first collection, Spring 2006, contained 30% certified fabrics. This has been increased seasonally to 70% with their most recent collection. The certified fabrics range from silks to cottons to wools. The certification standards are either Oeko-Tex or EU Eco Label. Additionally, Illuminati II is a member of the United Nations Global Compact and supports ILO, The International Labour Organisation, ICC´s Business Charter for sustainable development and UN´s Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Finally, the Noir foundation will contribute to secure the workers in Uganda and ensure that the needs for things such as wells and medicine are met.


Peter Ingwersen recently stated, “Illuminati II is created to prove that organic and ethical fabrics can be used in luxurious and sexy designs as proven in the Noir collection.”

Season after season the label continues to illustrate just that. Their recent show during London fashion Week was no exception. They closed the show with two stunning gowns, leaving little excuse for not going green on the red carpet. What came beforehand was perhaps their most ambitious collection yet. It had plenty of their signature “darkness”, but also included crisp white shirts and soft neutrals in plenty of wearable styles that continue to adhere to their inspiration of strong tailoring that is often a feminine interpretation of the masculine armoire.

Fall 2007 images courtesy style.com
Top images are of Noir’s Fall 2006 Raven collection.

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4 Comments

  1. Ksrline September 10, 2007 at 4:25 pm

    What Noir is doing is very important. They are not greenwashing, they are the real deal. They may be new on the American market but Peter Ingwersen has been director of a very respected high end fashion label in Denmark. He is a first mover- trend setter. Noir is spreading the awareness amongst fashionistas around the world (especially in northern europe) about the story about how the clothes are made. This is helping create the demand for sustainable and fairtrade labels and items. If you work in design you know that finding sustainable materials is a challenge. We need the demand and awareness for the development of high quality products and process to happen. Fashion is an important and powerful factor. Fashion is communication. Please support Noir for being part of leading the way.

  2. Jill Danyelle Jill Danyelle April 27, 2007 at 3:04 pm

    Abe,

    I hope that you can tolerate one fashion post weekly. Conversely, nobody is forcing you to read the fashion content. Feel free to focus on what interests you. Including fashion coverage on Inhabitat hardly seems off base as there are parallels and overlaps in architecture and fashion design. Additionally, we all need to get dressed every day. This can be done in a myriad of ways. People, whether concerned with fashion or not, all have a fairly close relationship with clothing. Apparel is the product that we likely spend the most time interacting with. I would imagine people interested in sustainability might also be interested in apparel designed with the future in mind.

    Blake,

    I clearly view Noir differently. I don’t think that they are trying to get you to buy their clothes so that you won’t feel guilty about the plight of poor Africans. I think they are trying to be supportive of the people that support the cotton industry. It is difficult to start a huge agricultural project overnight. I feel Mr. Ingwersen was very open and transparent about the company’s current production and future goals. Illuminati is also one of the few companies to focus on producing quality eco-textiles for the apparel industry. We need these companies in the supply chain to support the industry.

    At this point, certified fabrics are better than nothing. Additionally, there may not be plenty of fair trade and organic cotton on the market, especially if you are talking about finished textiles for high end designs. We need eco-design in all levels of the apparel market.

    As the sustainable bubble rises, yes, we will see more greenwashing. However, I believe transparency is key. It is up to the media (and consumers) to educate themselves. As you noticed, I did ask questions about the fabric. I am not sure many other fashion journalists could even tell you what SKAL or ISO 1400 means. I don’t see Noir trying to earn points and customers as much as I see them trying to raise awareness in an industry that has been very slow to tip. One way to get a fashionista’s attention is to design a stellar collection.

    Jill Danyelle,
    fashion editor

  3. Blake April 4, 2007 at 10:26 pm

    Does anyone find it a bit repulsive that this brand is basically tying it sales to the plight of poor african farmers? Basically “Buy our clothes or they go hungry”. There is plenty of fair trade and organic cotton already on the market to choose from if serious about helping people so no need to start some new organizations at some future date as long as you keep buying.

    Noir is heavily marketed as sustainable, eco, etc. yet up to this latest season they used mostly regular cotton and alot of leather. The crazy part is that this is stated and yet they are still being highlighted everywhere as the line to save the world. Certified Oeko Tex 100 does not mean sustainable. It only means that the dyes (which are still bad) are free of heavy metals and controlled instead if dumped in the environment. Almost all dyeing in Europe is oeko tex 100 these days.

    Can anyone recognize greenwashing anymore? If someone makes a big noise about how much good they are doing in the world then this deserves to be scrutinized. No free passes just because there is the occasional exposed nipple.

  4. Abe Lincoln February 26, 2007 at 6:57 pm

    I’m really getting sick of fashion. Inhabitat you are moving way off base.

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