SF Carnaval’s Eco-Conscious Style

    When most people think of Carnaval, they envision dancers wearing near to nothing colorful sparkly, sequined costumes.  Carnaval in San Francisco is much more than that.  Carnaval is a weekend event in San Francisco, starting with a street festival on Saturday, May 29, 2010 and closing with their popular Caraval Grand Parade on Sunday, May 30, 2010.  Leading up to the Carnaval weekend, there have been promotional events including the Kick-Off Carnaval Party, King and Queen Competition, and a Carnaval Eco-Celebration.   
     The Carnaval Eco event at the Blue Macaw in the Mission featured a fashion show that was representative of the broad cultural and eco-focused emphasis of San Francisco Carnaval.  Occuring on Earth Day, April 23rd, the Carnaval event had an eco-focused theme throughout the evening.  The organizers at Carnaval wanted to communicate their commitment to sustainable environmentally-friendly production methods and material.  They had a fashion show featuring the collections from SF eco-conscous designers Tamo Hulva, Silver Lucy, Miranda Caroligne, Caley Johnson and Kayo Mitsuyama.  Each collection provided memorable items representative of their inspiration and design skill.
Tamo Hulva design.  Picture by Warren Difranco.

     Tamo Hulva‘s inspiration for her collection comes from the fact that that it was Earth Day.  The material used is a hemp/silk blend that she sourced, which makes it even more relevant toward the eco-event.  The silky material was festive and came across elegantly with a fun Carnaval feel.  The evening dresses she featured on the runway were perfectly tailored.  It’s sometimes difficult to construct with a silky material without having it pucker at dart seams.  Her dresses flowed elegantly and fitted the models perfectly. 

Silver Lucy design.
     Silver Lucy showcased her latest collection of Summer dresses.  When asked about her inspiration, she said “I’d like women to see how truly beautiful they are through my designs.  When you’re wearing a gorgeous dress, you feel gorgeous, you ARE gorgeous, you do gorgeous things that make others around you feel inspired.  With the eco-friendlly aspect, I buy my fabrics from local businesses, especially ones that rescue “sample cuts” from certain doom.  Sample cuts are the pieces that designers/manufactureres discard because they’re not “perfect.”  I dig through bins and bins of seemingly unwanted scraps to make dresses that are usually one-of-a-kind, because there usually isn’t much yardage to use for more than one or two items.  It’s the best of both worlds.  You’re getting a designer dress and helping to clean up the garment industry!”  Her flattering dresses are made from a soft stretch nylon blend material with slight ruffle edge detailing.
Miranda Caroligne design.  Photo by Warren Difranco.
     Miranda Caroligne‘s collection is infused with concepts of individual self-expression, DIY practices, realistic body image, diminishing waste, supporting local economies and sustainable living.  Her designs have sleeve and collar detailing which are unique and well constructed.  Her reconstructed designs perfectly balance knit and woven materials with the use of innovative stitch detailing to create a signature look.
Miranda Caroligne design.  Photo by Warren Difranco.
Caley Johnson headpieces.  Photo by Jeffrey Hipona.
     Caley Johnson gets the inspiration of her collection from the nature and beauty that surrounds us every day.  She is a nanny for children who are playful with vibrant energy.  She values how beautiful each woman she encounters is in their own distinct way.  She commented that “We are all so different.  So complex and so rich with color and depth.  My headpieces are a bit like that, I suppose.  No two are alike.  Each one evokes a different feeling, vibe or emotion.  There is nothing more magical to me than watching a woman place that perfect headpiece on her head and seeing her face light up!  She feels sexy…she feels beautiful…she feels like a woman!”  The fun use of mixed materials in her headpieces work together perfectly to create an elegant, festive look.
Caley Johnson headpiece.  Photo by Loren Earle-Cruickshanks.
     Kayo Mitsuyama‘s collection is based of the concept of “dream of sea dragon.”  The use of gold and brown colors are inspired by sea dragons.  Each piece is one-of-a-kind, handmade, draped and shredded.    There’s a fine line with shredded outfits that can make it look either sculpted or a DIY project.  Kayo’s knit pieces are immaculately tailored to fit the body and then shredded.  The results are flattering pieces that drape elegantly and accentuate the body’s curves.
Kayo with her models.
     The event was a Green Zone Production, organized by Robin Drysdale and Douglas Kohlberg.  SF Carnaval will be featuring an Eco-Village during the Carnaval weekend of May 29th and 30th.  Their fashion event at Blue Macaw shows that being eco-conscious can be stylish and fashionably fun.

For more information on Carnaval San Francisco, please visit their website at www.sfcarnaval.com.
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