Event: Sustainability Panel in NYC

uluru-right

Panel Discussion
The Sustainability Equation: Ethics and Aesthetics in Contemporary Fashion
Tuesday, January 26, 6 p.m.
Pratt Manhattan Gallery
144 West 14th Street, 2nd Floor
Gallery Hours: Tuesday – Saturday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Exhibition and panel are free, no reservations required

Confirmed panelists include Julie Gilhart, senior vice president, fashion director of Barneys New York; Mary Ping, designer and founder of Slow and Steady Wins the Race; Caroline Priebe, designer and founder of Uluru. The panel will be moderated by “Ethics + Aesthetics” guest curators Francesca Granata and Sarah Scaturro.

“The Sustainability Equation: Ethics and Aesthetics,” will examine what constitutes sustainability within the American fashion system and will explore the sustainable fashion practices of American fashion designers including “Ethics + Aesthetics” designers Ping and Priebe. “Ethics + Aesthetics = Sustainable Fashion” is on view now through February 20, 2010 and features work by companies, clothing lines and artists including Alabama Chanin, Bodkin, Loomstate, SANS, Slow and Steady Wins the Race, SUNO, and ULURU, and by designers and artists such as Susan Cianciolo, Kelly Cobb, Zoë Sheehan Saldaña, and Andrea Zittel and Tiprin Follet, smockshop.

Francesca Granata is a fashion theorist and independent curator completing her Ph.D. in fashion history and theory at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in London. She also lectures at Parsons The New School for Design. Sarah Scaturro is a textile conservator at the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum and adjunct instructor at the Fashion Institute of Technology.

Julie Gilhart is senior vice president, fashion director of Barneys New York, a high-end luxury specialty store based in the United States. In spring 2007, she spearheaded the development of an all-organic collection of casual, sexy clothes that are available in every Barneys New York store in the country. She has inspired many designers to develop “sustainable” products and was instrumental in the creation of Barneys’ 2007 holiday campaign titled “Have a Green Holiday,” which focused on environmentally-conscious fashion products. Gilhart believes there is an essential need to increase awareness of the development of sustainable products and how the customer makes buying decisions. She works to instill changes in the fashion business that leave a lighter footprint on the earth and promote more conscious consumerism.

Mary Ping’s Slow and Steady Wins the Race is an experimental “laboratory” line that stemmed from a desire to dissect the fashion vocabulary and led to an exploration of patterns of consumption and brand identities. The label’s mission is to “promote and produce interesting and significant pieces from the simplest fabrics and materials.” Following a product design model, the company is intent on slowing down the fashion cycle by creating non-seasonal pieces focused on specific and fundamental characteristics of clothing design. In addition, the designs are produced in limited numbers and sold at a contained price.

The garments of Uluru’s Caroline Priebe are tightly focused for maximum ecological impact and emphasize a “less is more” philosophy. For example, Priebe’s Westlake dress has only two seams, creating a sophisticated, simple look that is reversible and has pockets. The Kathleen coat, a classic design based on her grandmother’s coat, highlights the longevity of design and its relation to personal and historical memories. The recycled cashmere sweater, adorned with appliqués hand-sewn by the workshop of Alabama Chanin, underscores the collaborative nature common to sustainable fashion.

For more information, please call 212-647-7778 or email exhibits@pratt.edu or click here.

Photos, left to right: Ethics + Aesthetics, Pratt Manhattan Gallery; Slow and Steady Wins the Race section of exhibition; ULURU stitched by Alabama Chanin, recycled appliquéd sweater, cashmere and organic cotton jersey.

Photography credits: Installation views, Harry Zernike Photography; ULURU photo, Kate & Camilla

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