Before the year runs out, can we take a moment to appreciate these high fashion, eco-friendly brands for their ingenuity and stroke of rare genius? Paolina Russo, Courreges and Yves Salomon took fashion by storm this year with their unusual and unexpected fabrications and while their eccentric styles are a tad avant-garde for regular fashion, their craft deserves no less respect. Fashion serves its purpose when it does more than make you beautiful.


Paolina Russo

Everything Paolina does stems from her love of sportswear, and overly feminine shapes. With a recognized signature of hand-made techniques and very technical fabrics, this recipient of the prestigious L’Oréal Professionnel Young Talent Award upcycled most of her products by scavenging through garage sales and local charity shops. For her BA collection, the Canadian substituted traditional satin and lace for deconstructed soccer cleats and balls, hockey helmets, and other gym-class staples to deliver over-the-top corsetry more suitable for the stage than the field. Solange Knowles has already slipped into one of Russo’s pieces. Perhaps the designer’s lifelong style icon, Gwen Stefani, will be her next convert.







The famous French fashion label has declared that it is the end of plastic for them.  “I’m not an eco-warrior. This is more about making common sense sexy again,” says Courrèges’s new creative director, Yolanda Zobel, of her decision to phase out vinyl from the French house synonymous with slick midcentury design. Over the years, much of that sheen was achieved through the use of synthetics, but Zobel’s debut collection marked a reset. To use up the brand’s remaining stock of less-than-eco-friendly textiles, Zobel crafted practical ponchos and rain gear labeled with countdown-style numbers—an introduction to the brand’s plastic-free future.



Yves Salomon


Eco-friendly furriers? Well, with Yves Salomon, that too is possible. For many decades Yves Salomon has stood out among furriers for its bold use of color and such groundbreaking designs as intarsia shearling and nearly weightless knitted mink. As animal rights have become a critical issue in fashion, the fashion label has declared its brand to be humane and peaceful, promoting the idea that real fur is truly eco-friendly and sustainable. Now the French house is making headlines with its sustainable Pieces collection, which repurposes fur remnants and dead-stock items into artfully patchworked outerwear.


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