Sipping a glass of white wine, Adrian Grenier was laid back as he stood, bathed in red and blue light, under the life-sized model of the enormous blue whale in the Millstein Hall of Ocean Life of the American Museum of Natural History.
Just days before the much anticipated season premiere of Entourage, Grenier wasn't in New York City just to check out the exhibits, though he is well known as one of young Hollywood's most dedicated greens. Grenier was in town to support supermodel Angela Lindvall, his castmate from the Planet Green hit AlterEco, who was hosting the Be EcoChic fashion show and launch, opening New York Fashion Week.
Asked about the growing connection between fashion and the environment, Grenier told TDG, "We only have so many limbs, but there are so many different things creative designers can do with fashion. And going green is a great way to keep that fresh and exciting," said Grenier.
Grenier said he, Lindvall and the rest of the Planet Green team work hard to keep the show fresh and interesting. "Being green shouldn't be a chore. It's exciting to discover all the little things you can do. I mean one can only buy so many light bulbs, and just when you thought you knew everything, someone comes along and reinvents the wheel," said Grenier.
Kicking off the show, Lindvall took the stage with Carl Pope, executive director of the Sierra Club, a beneficiary of the event. Lindvall looked eco-chic and fantastic in her (literally) green crepe de chine dress from DKNY, which she explained had been "upcycled" from recycled material. "We're here to show that you can be an environmentalist and fashionable," said Lindvall. "I'm wearing stilettos and I hug trees," she added.
Sharing good-natured banter with Lindvall, the smartly dressed Pope pointed out that his Linda Loudermilk shirt was made of "seaweed and sawdust." His organic cotton pants were by Loomstate. The pair joked with Lindvall's AlterEco co-stars Boise Thomas and Darren Moore, and noted that the evening's showcase of green fashion was also being produced in as eco-friendly a manner as possible (reuse and donation of stage materials, organic and locally sourced food, low-energy lighting and carbon offsets).
So what is Be EcoChic? As my friend Remy C put it on his account of the night for Greenloop, it's "a convergence of many different people, companies and organizations who share the same environmental concerns about the fashion industry, and who are all working to instill practical sustainability solutions in both their personal lives and their profession." Some of the founders include Lindvall, the Sierra Club, IMG Fashion and Kimberly Pinkson of the EcoMom Alliance.
Perhaps encapsulating the campaign's mission, Lindvall told the crowd, "We can definitely consume less, but it's also true that the things we do buy affect the world."
Pope, the long-time eco-advocate, said, "We're all here to send the message that being nice to the place where we live is finally chic - it's been a long time coming."
With that, the hall was filled with the sounds of the rousing Ghoom Charakhana, and the runway show began, with some of the biggest names in professional modeling, along with entertainment and green celebrities. MTV host Coltrane Curtis looked hip in his Converse by John Varvatos vintage linen suit and army cap. Dark green model and actress Lauren Hutton wowed the crowd with her steampunk coat and jodhpurs by Maggie Norris, who was also on hand, looking ultra-boho.
Cute-as-a-button Olesya Rulin from Disney's High School Musical looked great in an organic cotton vest and lace skirt by Oranics by John Patrick. Gorgeous activist Kimberly Pinkson, founder of the EcoMom Alliance, was very chic in a sleek, green bamboo jersey evening gown. Law and Order: SVU's unforgettable Tamara Tunie drew oos and ahs in her spectacular ball gown by B. Michael, made of recycled and reconstructed quilted cotton and an embroidered garden motif.
Other celebs flaunting stylish green duds included Alex Meneses from Everybody Loves Raymond, James Lesure from Lipstick Jungle, stunning Kelly Bensimon from The Real Housewives of NYC, Dominique Swain of Lolita fame, (speaking of housewives) Joy Lauren of Desperate Housewives, and Ugly Betty's Mark Indelicato, who was rocking a hipster look in his Edun organic skinny jeans and striped cardigan, with felt hat. Supermodels included the show-stopping Alek Wek -- who dazzled in her Ralph Rucci recycled raffia jacket, white cotton pants and turtleneck, with her own wek1933 eco-bag -- Patti Hansen and Tori Praver. John McLaughlin performed a tune in a cool Edun outfit.
It was also great to see long-time environmental activist Jayni Chase model a Laura Bennett look, with a gown of organic cotton denim and LYCRA. Husband Chevy was a proud supporter. Green author Tom Kostigen looked very styln' in his recycled tweed jacket from Joseph Abboud, You Are Here organic hemp t-shirt and organic jeans by Levi's. (See more images of the show at Eco-Chick.)
The makeup for the show was done by Matin Maulawizada of Neutrogena, a native of Afghanistan with a master's degree in molecular biology. (Learn more about the effort to green up the pro makup industry at GreenMUA.) Be EcoChic is supported by some heavyweight corporations, including Johnson & Johnson's brands Aveeno and Neutrogena, as well as NY fashion week sponsor Mercedes Benz, Continental Airlines, LYCRA and PJ Madison's.
A sort of sideshow to the event was the Project Greenhouse VIP balcony, which was run by Aveeno, and which showcased chic sustainable furniture from ABC Home and From the Source, and elegant natural-fiber rugs by Karastan. The lounge felt like a little green oasis at the show, bringing a slice of serenity to the exciting evening. Attentive servers provided farm-to-table snacks, like a delightful scallop pate.
Launched in 2006, Project Greenhouse brings together designers, artists, filmmakers and more with the theme of sustainability, and has set up shop at Sundance, in the Hamptons and more. Aveeno reps were on hand to talk up the brand's Active Naturals line of cosmetics, with ingredients like lavender, oats, soy, chamomile, ylang ylang and shitake.
The show seemed to be a smashing success, and Be EcoChic certainly proved that green fashion is no longer relegated to the far back burner of the industry.
See many more photos from the Be EcoChic show, as well as other green fashion events.
Thanks to RemyC for taking the great photos and sleuthing around backstage. Remy was on hand to observe the show and talk up the connection between New York's green leaders and the fight to shut down the embattled Indian Point nuclear reactor upstream.
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