Sunday, December 14, 2008

The Elite of the Eco-Chic Come Together for Gorgeous & Green

San Francisco’s pristine Bently Reserve Building was lit up with high-fashion and good intentions at Global Green USA’s 4th Annual Gorgeous & Green gala on Tuesday, December 2nd. Event Chairs Zem Joaquin, Nadine Weil and Global Green President & CEO Matt Petersen, with Vice-Chairs Christopher & Amber Marie Bently, created a dazzling evening filled with everything luxurious about green – a high-end eco-fashion show featuring well-known eco-designers like Linda Loudermilk and Edun mixed with local rising stars Sara Shepherd, Cari Borja, Lily Achatz and Thomas-Ray Eccles. Organic cocktails, wines and hors d’oeuvres were also in abundance, and if you were lucky enough to go away with the VIP gift bag - a treat of natural beauty products by the likes of Jurlique and Juice Beauty, gift certificates for Epi Center Med Spa and more.

And did I mention the celebrity quotient? The “official” Celebrity Host for the evening was Kate Bosworth, wearing a slip of a 3.1 philip lim black zipper dress from his Spring 2009 collection made of all-natural fibers and zippers recycled from remnants. Also in attendance were Daphne Zuniga, Sebastian Siegel, and giving a pre-party performance for patrons, Elliot Yamin. Gavin and Jennifer Siebel Newsom also stopped by the press conference given earlier to show their support for the group’s work in the Bay Area.

Los Angeles based Global Green USA (the American affiliate of Green Cross International) has consistently received support from the celebrity community. Their biggest endeavor, the Holy Cross Project is in partnership with Brad Pitt, and through it they are committed to rebuilding green and affordable housing in New Orleans. They are also working to advance the Green Schools Initiative in California, completing SOLARA (the first apartment community in California 100% powered by the sun), helping to green schools in New Orleans and surrounding Gulf Coast communities, and publishing the Blueprint for Greening Affordable Housing.

While access to the $5,000 a ticket VIP Patron Pre-Reception was restricted, we had a chance to mingle with Bosworth, Petersen and crew in the VIP Lounge before the main event fashion show and also chat with other notable supporters of the cause – we briefly spoke to Vice-Chair Amber Marie Bently whose new line of sustainable couture jewelry was featured in the show, View from the Bay’s Janelle Wang, and Splendora’s Gina Pell (also a media partner for the event). Once the crowd assembled themselves for the runway show, Kate Bosworth jumped on stage to introduce Petersen, who spoke briefly about the opportunity we now have as a country to continue our call to action for environmental change and awareness. He then played a short video of the progress Global Green USA has achieved in rebuilding sustainable housing for New Orleans. Event Chair and founder of Ecofabulous Zem Joaquin gave thanks to the sponsors and especially to the Bentlys for their dedication to the sustainability and their leadership in the transformation of the Bently Reserve to a LEED certified events and conference center.

The runway show kicked off in high style with women’s fashions by Mika Machida, Loyale, Platinum Dirt, Edun, Larsen Gray, Lara Miller, John Patrick Organic and more. Designer Jenny Hwa of New York-based Loyale showed a luxurious vegan faux-fur jacket – Hwa has incidentally received a lot of good press lately à la Oprah, for winning a spot in her White House Leadership Project which coaches top women leaders in the country. Men’s looks were dominated by Same Underneath with preppier looks including an argyle sweater vest and a sharp blazer out of organic cotton. Thomas-Ray Eccles - recent Academy of Art University graduate and noted by San Francisco Chronicle’s Sylvia Rubin as “one to watch” showed a refined collection which included vests out of reclaimed wool, a coat out of reclaimed shearling and a dress shirt/hoodie for when the occasion allows flexibility. Womenswear took the stage again with a silk dress by Linda Loudermilk (seen also on Jennifer Siebel Newsom), a series of Victorian-inspired sustainable silk dresses and waistcoats by British transplant and San Francisco designer Sara Shepherd, and a standout wrap dress, halter gown and Poiret inspired coat/gown by Berkeley designer Cari Borja. Event co-producer and local designer Lily Achatz closed the show with a wedding gown designed especially for the eco-forward bride made in an organic silk and hemp blend satin and reclaimed chiffon. Paired with every look where appropriate was Bently’s glittering line of eco-jewelry of which we’ll have a larger spotlight on in coming weeks.

If you’re interested in discovering more eco-friendly and chic designers, the full line-up featured at the show and hand-picked by savvy eco-fashionistas included: Bahar Shahpar, Cari Borja, Del Forte Denim, Eco Citizen Boutique, Edun, John Patrick Organic, Juleselin, Lara Miller, Larsen Gray, Linda Loudermilk, Loomstate, Loyale, Mika Machida, Platinum Dirt, Rain Tees by Andira, Same Underneath, Sara Shepherd, Stewart + Brown, Thomas-Ray Eccles and footwear by Charmone Shoes, Cri de Coeur, and Olsen Haus.

The night closed with a musical performance by Bag of Toys with the crowd going strong for a Tuesday night. One thing about the evening that really struck was that with the right people on board, there is no reason that an eco-friendly event or cause has to make any sacrifice to luxury, beauty, or just being fabulous. We already look forward to next year’s celebration and uncovering how San Francisco can stay engaged in Global Green’s initiatives.

And to get another glimpse at some of the designs shown at Gorgeous & Green, Eco Citizen are hosting a very special "Glamour & Green" trunk show this Wednesday, December 17th from 5-8PM featuring designs by Amber Marie Bently and Sara Shepherd, who will preview her 2009 Spring collection. 10% of all sale proceeds will go to Global Green USA and the rebuilding of New Orleans. Cocktails and hors d'oeuvres will be served. The event is also hosted by Zem Joaquin, Ecofabulous, Thread Communications, Nadine Weil, Clarissa Nicosia, Lily Achatz, Joslin Van Arsdale, CRPR, Heidi Petit and Deidre Holbrook. RSVP to Eco Citizen is at 1488 Vallejo Street in San Francisco.

For more pictures of the runway show, please visit the IFCSF on Facebook.


Meghan said...

The show features several clothing designers, but only one sustainable jewelry designer. Though still few, there are other jewelry designers creating gorgeous pieces from recycled metals and ethically sourced gems. A few are featured at the C5 boutique ( and include Jennifer Dawes and Alberto Parada.

Anderburf said...

Wow, these looks are great. I would have never guessed they are eco-friendly! I have been trying to buy more green products while still staying fashionable. I have found some unique pieces of wearable art at All Wired Up. They use rare gem stones many people are not familiar with, but guaranteed to get noticed. I love that they are a green business but still in fashion. You can check them out at I hope more and more designers keep up with this eco-friendly trend!

ed said...