TF Archives

Stylin' 954

Author: Alyx Gorman/Ingrid Kesa
Monday, April 6, 2009

In a desperate bid to make fashion look relevant, the UK’s Telegraph is suggesting that last week’s G20 summit was a battle of the “Fashion First Ladies.” In this case, Gordon Brown’s wife Sarah, and Michelle Obama. Not ones to pass up an opportunity to trivialise politics, we thought we’d jump on their bandwagon. The style war between Britain and America broke out primarily due to the absence of reigning queen Carla Bruni-Sakozy, without her former model bod and Dior Couture wardrobe there to steal the show, being a posh polli wife was anyone’s game. Well, anyone except our own Therese Rein’s. Perhaps it’s because Kevin hasn’t done anything bad enough to warrant real news, (I’ll be spending my $900 on a pair of shoes made in Italy and bought online from the UK using an AMEX, take that, local economy), but it seems Therese still can’t put a fashionable foot right. Google News her and literally every result is about how badly dressed our poor Mrs PM is (or why we should stop talking about how badly dressed she is). Anyway, our pick for winner in the national style stakes is Silvio Berlusconi, sure he may be a touch corrupt and more than a little bit sexist, but Italy just recently passed measures to protect its fashion industry from the ravages of global recession.

Rapper cum actress Queen Latifah is being sued for $1 million (US). The glamorous secret lesbian apparently failed to pay both her makeup artist and fashion stylist. The lawsuits are separate, with her former “cosmetology consultant” (we don’t know what it means either) Roxanna Floyd suing for $700,000 and her ex-Stylist Susan Moses asking for $300,000. The pair claim that between 2005 and 2008 Latifah cheated them out of payment for services and products. While we completely empathise with the grooming experts for wanting their money, we have to wonder, if someone hasn’t paid you after a year of service, why would you work with them for another two-

Last Tuesday at 9pm the Courier Mail posted the headline “Lisa Ho’s fashion company up for grabs.” If this column isn’t your only source of fashion news, you’ll already know that Lisa Ho’s husband Philip Smouha has been forced to sell his textiles company Smouha Fabrics. You’ll also know that (as of writing), Lisa Ho’s own fashion line is not the same as, or even strongly connected to, Smouha Fabrics. Ho and Smouha may be married, but all reports (including the Courier’s) have stated that the two businesses are not closely intertwined. So why the misleading headline- Did “Lisa Ho’s husband’s fashion company up for grabs” just have too damn many apostrophes- They’ve since changed it; guess we weren’t the only ones who noticed...”

It seems that the celebrity fashion line machine, like a many-headed hydra, is impossible to kill. As one head – Lauren Conrad’s – withers, another even more terrible (or terribly blonde, tanned and fake boobed) grows in its place. Pamela Anderson has just announced the launch of her new eco clothing line, Muse. In a statement to the press, Pam informed us that it isn’t as bad as it sounds: “I really don’t like to wear clothes. I would rather go naked. But I love Richie’s designs, so I agreed to be part of Muse.” The Richie she’s talking about is Richie Rich of Heatherette fame. The line will be both environmentally friendly and vegan. Given it’s not Pam with the pen in her hand designing the clothes, we’re hoping it turns out sort of cool in an ironic way, like the Baywatch babe’s recent ad campaign with Vivienne Westwood.


This year Vans have decided to give a little back to the world. That’s why they’ve launched a range of eco-friendly shoes through their Vault line. Ingrid Kesa caught up with them to find out whether or not it’s easy being green.

What made you decide to create an eco-line-
At Vans, we believe in sustainability as we know the planet’s resources are limited. We believe in meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet theirs. So Vans is taking one step at a time to become more responsible toward sustaining the environment.

How is the new line of Vans ecologically sound- What materials etc have been incorporated-
The eco-friendly Vault ERA LX Messenger shoe is made of Maharam Messenger fabric which is composed of 78% post-industrial recycled polyester, 15% polyester and 7% nylon. The post-industrial Polyester waste is crushed, pressed and then shredded into small fragments. These pure PET fragments, or “PET flakes” are used as the raw material for textiles that would otherwise be made of virgin polyester. In the finishing process, no heavy metals are used for dying and as a bonus, a Teflon finish is applied for stain resistance.

The shoe comes in Nile/Mediterranean Blue which is the original Vans colourway from the first ever Vans shoe.

Besides using eco-friendly materials, have you changed or updated any of the design aspects of the original Vans-

Across the FULL Vans footwear line, we incorporate water-based adhesives with no toxic solvents used and we use 100% post consumer recycled cardboard shoe boxes, all printed with soy-based ink. Aside from that we are incorporating environmentally friendly materials where possible into our current range of designs.
How important do you think it is to see a shift towards environmental sustainability within the fashion industry-
This shift is very important to our industry. As a trend we are seeing environmental sustainability moving from margin to mainstream. For Vans, it’s no longer an “environmental” issue but a “market” issue. The expectations of the younger generations are changing. They want footwear that represents what they stand for that is still cool and on-trend.
What can those playing at home do to help-
Kids can try and reduce waste in their own lives by buying products and services from environmentally ethical companies... They can also try to reduce waste in other areas such as reducing paper-waste, plastic, electricity, water. Re-using product boxes, stuffing, travel mugs, shopping bags and recycling paper, plastic, cardboard, glass and cans.  Any efforts large or small contribute to preserving our planet.
Did any of your pro team members have input into the decision to go eco-
Not in this particular Vans Vault Eco-pack. However, later this year we are launching a range of eco-friendly surf footwear internationally, featuring rider inspired art and details from the Gudauskas Brothers Timmy Reyes and killer style from Alex Knost and Captain Fin Co. 
Has Vans made any other moves to become more eco-friendly-

Vans is committed to being socially and environmentally responsible. This commitment runs through all aspects of our business practices from product design to manufacturing to facilities to retail operations. 
Vans gave us a very long, very impressive list of the ways they are cutting down waste, from developing a recycling culture in their offices and using post-consumer recycled window decorations and rainforest friendly paper, to switching to bio diesel and solar power on the US Warped tour.

Hey ladies, when was the last time you felt… well, like a lady- If the answer is ages then we have the solution: put a hat on it. No, we’re not talking a C-list rocker inspired fedora or trilby (known in the common tongue as a douche-hat), we’re talking a proper, full blown, day at the races hat. Only instead of wearing it with a cocktail frock and heels you can walk in drunk, just throw it on with a pair of kitten heels and skinny jeans. Alternatively, you can take a leaf out of Blaire Waldorf’s book and team your hat with preppy outfits – think stockings, short skirts and a touch of British tailoring.
Bare in mind we aren’t advocating the Sarah-Jessica-Parker-dead-bird-on-my-head look, but we do think these dome decorators by New York-based I Love Factory ( and Paris’ Sonia Rykiel ( are the most fun thing we’ve seen for heads since the invention of natural-look hairspray.