Los Angeles based eco-designer Linda Loudermilk showed here in NYC on Thursday just before the official start of Fashion Week. The designer presented forty-three looks that seemed to leave no manifestation of eco-fiber unexplored. The collection included bamboo wool, wood pulp, Ingeo, hemp, organic cotton fur, Sea Cell, reclaimed textiles, silk and Oeko-Tex fabrications. Loudermilk even used human hair as trim, which we don’t know whether to classify as an innovative or odd interpretation of sustainability.

While there were strong pieces, the collection felt somewhat unfocused at times. There was an iceberg influence evident that resulted in several interesting jackets with sculptural, cubed sleeves. Standouts in the show were the floor length train coat in rice paper wool that had pleating at the natural waist and hip, the iceberg dress in hemp satin and silk tulle and her more accessible one shoulder, ruffled silk chiffon pieces. She also carried over some shapes from her Spring collection, such as the wrap dress with obie belt in organic cotton denim. The butterfly medicine blanket in reclaimed cotton could be the perfect accessory for curling up by the fire and is reminiscent of Derek Lam’s blanket wraps from his “Winter in Carmel” collection of Fall 2005. The designer should be lauded for the ambitious size of her collection and the array of ecological textiles she works with. It is good to see her return to the runway as she is an important success story for sustainability in fashion.

+Linda Loudermilk