SUSTAINABLE STYLE: Alabama Chanin Fall/Winter 2009
New York Fashion Week has come and gone but the slow fashion Alabama Chanin caravan just keeps on rolling between ‘The Factory’ in Florence, Alabama to Birmingham, Nashville, and back to NYC again this April. Listen up folks, as we can think of no better designer and do-it-yourself enterprise to help you combat the current recession blues. From folksy embroidered skirts to hand-stitched, organic cotton tees and true indigo denim, Alabama Chanin’s Fall/Winter 2009 Collection inspires you to pick yourself up by your very own boot straps and deal, sustainably, with the bumpy road ahead. Natalie Chanin and her talented team of artisans are all about homespun values and banding together to share the beauty of small town roots when lasting solutions are imperative. Future-forward fashion has never looked so attainable and fresh now that we have true sustainability sprouting up in our own backyards.
I missed out on Alabama Chanin’s New York Fashion Week presentation at the Firehouse in late February, but all of NY’s fashion birds were tweeting in unison that this was one of the loveliest and most refreshing events of the week. Chanin’s Fall/Winter 2009 Collection was inspired by what the designer and her team referred to as “The Songbirds,” aka amazing women singing about real life issues to help soothe the scratches and bumps that life often throws our way – Emmlyou Harris, Patty Griffin, Allison Moorer, Abigail Washburn, Allison Krauss, The Be Good Tanyas, Elizabeth Cook, Shonna Tucker of The Drive-By Truckers and many, many others. The Songbirds fashion week presentation was totally unpretentious, and a sign perhaps, of just how much we have to learn about persistence and good honest sweat during hard times.
Natalie Chanin has yet again orchestrated the most rhythmic and sumptuous feast of fiber get-up that is not only totally wearable, but also devoid of hippy-dippiness. These are not just seasonal must-haves but genuine collectors items and inspired objets d’arts that make you want to get out your own darn needle-and-thread and start stitchin’!
The upcoming collection features new spins on the 100% organic cotton hand-stitched tees that have become true signature Alabama Chanin pieces. We also loved the field-length flouncy skirts and indigo ‘grewn-to-be-sewn’ Alabama denim designs. The designer explains the beauty of this new denim as the following,
“While most of indigo dying today is accomplished with synthetic materials, Alabama Denim is dyed with the true indigo plant in the basement of a church in the Bronx. Each piece is a limited-edition labor of love that comes to you through collaboration with the best of intention.”
It seems as if everyone loves to love Alabama Chanin, and we are just so genuinely happy when good folks win out in the end. Even Inhabitots mascot Petey adores Natalie Chanin, and demonstrated so by giving her a big old-fashioned smack-a-roo at February’s fashion week fete. Congratulations to Natalie and her team for making us feel good about keepsake fashion and the heirloom finds in our families and homes. Sustainable style has finally found a true champion for the long road ahead.
(Alabama Chanin Fall/Winter 2009 Collection photos by Nick Wolf)
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