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Matches In Residence / Sustainability: The New Luxury

This past weekend London-based luxury retailer, Matches, hosted what they dubbed 'In Residence': a presentation/ virtual trunk show with a series of events that are taking place in NY and Paris. We're seeing more online stores going into brick and mortar, even in a temporary way, so the idea appears to be a smart move. Setting the mood, the roaring fire in the entrance lobby on a chilly, drizzly day was certainly a warm (literally) welcome...

It was a packed house for the Sustainability: The New Luxury event, which had long-time eco-fashion advocate, Julie Gilhart interviewing Gabriela Hearst about her collection. 

I go to a lot of talks about sustainability in the fashion industry; it's a topic I've been closely following for more than 10 years. Often, it's more of the same with the same questions from the audience with the same challenges and solutions discussed.

I took a few notes at this one as some of the points really resonated and I thought they were worth sharing:

* A conversation around the idea of "Who cares if you have the bigger brand if the environment is suffering?" Riiiggghhht?

* Talk of trends- or rather, of not following them- and the idea of 'timeless' pieces: Something should pass the 10yr test- is it still stylish after 10yrs? If so, it probably still will be 10 years in the future.

* Gabriela talked about buying deadstock from luxury mills and how it allowed her to feel that she was helping to 'clean up,' and that the idea of clearing out is our responsibility too, that we need to use what we already have. This 'waste' means that there are only a limited number of pieces that can be made (for example, she was able to make only 10 coats from a leftover Loro Piana fabric and 50 of another) which also means that in such limited quantities, they are REAL luxury. 

* She is using the wool from her family's ranch to produce textiles for her collection. It was her love of wool that inspired her to show its innovative qualities for the Woolmark award

* Hearst believes in wellbeing and has introduced a textile that blocks radiation from cell phones into her jacket pockets after realizing many of the wearers carry their phones in them.

The elegant townhouse was the perfect setting for Matches to be #inresidence. Their typical shopper may be used to such digs but for many of us it was an escape into that aspirational world where our home (with a WIR that is full of $4,000 dresses!) is graceful, tasteful and the perfect place to host our BFFs that come to sit and chat about fashion that improves the planet.