It’s not unusual for folks to flock to the American Museum of Natural History here in New York for planetarium stargazing or dinosaur spotting, but it is only once in a blue moon that eco fashionistas and scientists might congregate under the museum’s model of a big blue whale in the Millstein Hall of Oceans. Such was the case last Thursday night for the NY Fashion Week opener, Be Eco Chic. Hosted by model Angela Lindvall of Discovery Planet’s Alter Eco, the night’s lineup pushed the edge of eco chic style with the smart presentation of sustainable fabrics on the runway, and lifestyle products and designs in the event’s Aveeno ‘Project Greenhouse’ VIP lounge. ‘Being’ eco chic is obviously a path of personal choices, but it is impressive that fashion week is finally becoming a bit more about how rather than who when it comes to the process behind the label.

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Be Eco Chic was created as a showcase for luxurious eco fashion designs conceived by celebrated contemporary designers – Carmen Marc Valvo, Chado Ralph Rucci, Vena Cava, and Edun – to name a few. The event was a fast-paced multimedia spin on the current evolution of green fashion coupled with some exotic celebrity spotting. Where else might you see a menagerie of designs crafted out of seaweed à la Linda Loudermilk, recycled crêpe de chine with found hardware by Vena Cava, and recycled raffia by Ralph Rucci? Talk about biodiversity in today’s fashion! Highlights also included the very gorgeous Lauren Hutton sporting that fantastic, gap-toothed smile, Patti Hansen in Nicole Miller, and supermodel Alek Wek with her new eco bag collection, wek1933. One of my favorites was Carmen Marc Valvo’s 100% silk chiffon evening dress printed with low impact dyes – crafted out of sustainable fabrics provided by CLASS showroom.

The Be Eco Chic fashion show was a national awareness campaign supported by Johnson & Johnson Beauty Care and its brands AVEENO®, Neutrogena® and Neutrogena® Cosmetics, Mercedes Benz, Continental Airlines, Lycra, PJ Madison’s, and the event’s Advisory Board which included Carl Pope from the Sierra Club, Fern Mallis of IMG Fashion, and Kimberly Pinkson of Eco Mom Alliance.

A special thanks to our eco fashionista friend Starre Vartan of Eco Chick for providing us with runway shots from the event. For eco-fabulous tips of living the green, sustainable lifestyle, check out Starre’s new book, The Eco Chick Guide to Life: How to Be Fabulously Green available at

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