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Monday, 14 December 2009

Summit to write home about

A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of attending an event in Copenhagen, centred around climate change. When did I become a political player you ask? Well, actually it was the Nordic Fashion Industry's 'Fashion Summit', so more fashionistas than politicians around.

It was however, very interesting and I had a great time learning how to be 'NICE' (Nordic Institute for Clean and Ethical fashion), listening to prominent fashion bods, taking in a 'sustainable' fashion show and erm, *trying* to network.

The fashion folk converge on the Copenhagen Opera House:

I shan't bore you with all the details, but there were some very interesting presentations indeed. My favourites included:

- Laurent Claquin, SVP of CSR for PPR Group
PPR group includes Gucci, Puma, Stella McCartney, Valencia, YSL so Laurent gave an interesting view on how luxury and eco does not have to mutually exclusive - indeed luxury should 'lead the way' according to him.

- Christian Kemp-Griffin, CEO of Edun Group
Edun was started by Bono and his wife as an attempt to create a viable and commercially sound sustainable clothing line, created exclusively in Africa.

- Vanessa Friedman, Fashion Editor for the Financial Times
A sharp-tongued lady who no-one in their right frame of mind would like to get on the wrong side of! Made a very interesting point that fashion needs to be consistent with the wording they use. Does 'eco' mean the same as 'organic'? Is 'sustainable' the same as 'green'?

- Julie Gilhart, SVP & Fashion Director of Barney's New York
A very sweet lady, showcasing past, present and future sustainable initiatives of Barney's - all in her captivating southern drawl.

After a couple of breaks (during which I attempted to launch into conversation with anyone unattended) we were also treated to a little opera music which was delightful!

Here are some pics from the fashion show at the end of the day to give a taste of how 'eco fashion' actually can be fashionable.

Lovely and floaty (on a comical note, notice how the commentator on the left of the picture is frantically trying to retrieve her notes which somehow ended up all over the floor):

Power shoulders - part 1:

Power shoulders - part 2:

Something for the fashionable eco-gent:

*Love* this dress!

More floatyness:

The cupcake fascinator I can't help but want:

Yes, not sure about the bunched up knitted trousers look:

Lovely dress again:

A rather far-away shot of the contributing speakers. If I've managed to pique your interest, you can listen to the speeches here:

Is it me, or does the Opera House look more like a pumpkin wedged in a ventilation shaft?

Anyhow, I left feeling very much inspired and pleased to have been given the opportunity for an insight into the challenges currently facing the fashion industry.

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