Anyone who’s been overcome by the rosy splendor of a setting sun or the serene majesty of mist-capped mountains can agree: Ma Earth is one helluva stylist. So who better than the prima designer herself to shows us how to step out in high style with cues from her own repertoire? From moss-topped knuckle rings to couture heels layered in cowberry leaves, here are seven eco-accessories that put the “green” in green fashion.
Tara Baoth Mooney’s ersatz fur stole won’t draw the ire of PETA—it’s made from a thatch of living moss. A finalist in the 2009 Fashioning the Future international student competition, Mooney conceived of her moss collar as a way for people to engage directly with their environments through “symbiotic biomimicry.”
Part purse, part houseplant, the Vagabond by Woolly Pocket keeps your beloved botanical close at hand wherever you may roam. The bag itself is handmade in the United States from reclaimed leather and felt derived from recycled plastic bottles. On days you need to leave the vegetation behind, you can purchase the optional hanging system for stringing the bag up on your ceiling.
Tuscany-based designer Carmel Walsh enlisted the aid of a local wood restorer to carve pairs of mid-heel soles from walnut wood, which she then plied with succulent-sprouting “barnacles” made from vegetable-tanned leather, organic cotton, linen, hemp, and cork. For shoe lovers who like novelty in their wardrobes, Walsh has an inspired solution: Change the plants, not the shoes, from one season to the next.
TAKE IT OR LEAF IT
Bulgarian artist Ceca Georgieva experimented with fresh leaves, grasses, and pods gathered from Sofia’s Mount Vitosha to create her stunning wearable designs. Dubbed a “Bulgarian national treasure” by our textiles editor, Georgieva uses art to communicate our relationship with the environment in ways that are subtle and surprising.
Who needs gemstones when you can have genuine Icelandic moss sprouting from your digits? Icelandic designer Hafsteinn Juliusson encases live vegetation in silver in an attempt to draw nature closer to urban dwellers. Like any plant, Juliusson’s Growing Jewelry requires care, although you only need to water it once every five weeks to keep everything healthy and verdant for up to a year.
ONE TO GROW ON
Swiss engineering takes a vegetal turn with Cbijoux’s mini greenhouse-to-go, a tiny live plant sheltered within a glass-domed ring. Who needs a diamond sparkler when you can pledge your troth with a Lilliputian ecosystem of your own?
Cobbled together from the leaves of the cowberry plant (Vaccinium vitis idaea), a small evergreen shrub, these stylish heels by Finnish artist Anni Rapinoja Taidekoulutu are part of her “Wardrobe of Nature” series. (We’d imagine this is what a post-millennial personification of Mother Nature would stash in her closet.) Layered onto a mold made from tissue paper that was hardened with rye porridge, Taidekoulutu’s pieces are a statement on our estrangement with our environment. “People have drifted far away from their ‘home’, from nature,” she says. “Seeing forms of one’s own world combined with nature awakens a subconscious need to get close to it, to get inside.”