Tara St. James, former creative director of Covet, debuted her first solo collection on Tuesday at New York Fashion Week. Kicking off the two-day sustainable-fashion event, The GreenShows, “The Study” tastefully explored the relationship between rigid shapes with organic forms and materials. But St. James’ journey to the runway was no accident—it took an online fundraising push to raise the $5,000 she needed for to fete The Square Project at Fashion Week. Thanks to Internet word-of-mouth, St. James was able to achieve her goal—and then some.

Study by Tara St. James, Covet, The GreenShows, New York Fashion Week, Spring/Summer 2010

Everything in St. James’ collection is organic, with most pieces consisting of silk and cotton. The construction of this peace-silk halter is a great example of her ability to give shape and structure to even the most fluid textiles.

Tara St. James Spring/Summer 2010

Photo by Shayla Hunter

Understated and earthy, the black, brown, and off-white hues featured in this collection are refined and sophisticated. Although the details of these garments shouldn’t be undermined, it’s the simple color palette that allows the meticulous ruching, fringed necklines, and circular cord details to do most of the talking.

Below, the video St. James made to rally financial support for her Fashion Week appearance. The final tally: $6,862 from 54 backers.

Congratulations to Tara St. James and everybody at The Square Project on a job well done!

+ The Square Project

[Via Ecco * Eco]