More LFW fun! We talk nettles and recycled bottle fabrics… and hats of course!
We interview Ciel on the best possible green fabrics and the future of eco fashion
MAXJENNY is designed by one of Scandinavia’s most innovative new fashion designers at the moment: Maxjenny Forslund. Situated in Copenhagen, the company was built in the spring of 2007 and the first fashion collection was successfully launched in the autumn of 2007.
Maxjenny does not work in a traditional way of making patterns, instead she works directly on the body and onto fabric, studying the movement of the body’s own architecture together with the garment itself. This enables her to constantly improvise and follow the fabric’s characteristics, measurements , and to use the whole width of fabric.
Using sustainable methods such as recycling, up-cycling, and organic materials, Maxjenny ensures her items are ethically produced, in keeping with Esthetica’s ethos.
The ready to wear line called THE NEW BLACK is a collection that allows various designs and colours to be mixed and matched, allowing for individual styling. The outdoor line, STREETSCULPTURES, comprises of jackets that will turn heads for a lifetime, as the look is edgy and street savvy.
During London Fashion Week I was able to catch up with this inventive designer who is at the forefront of her field.
Q. Maxjenny, tell me a little about yourself. Where are you from? What’s your design background?
Actually I am a taught furniture designer at Denmark’s design school, however I have always been interested in textiles, surfaces and colours, and after having succes in my original field, I felt it was time for a change. My mother is a fashion designer so the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree! I’m very niche, I do fashionable outdoor, and a jersey line, though this season it has been mixed up with some organic wool and silk.
Q. How would you describe the MAXJENNY woman?
Anyone with an edge
Q. What has been your inspiration for autumn/winter 2011?
Wings, drapes and squares
Q. What was the inspiration behind moving into ethical and sustainable fashion?
Well if I’m being honest, it wasn’t a planned thing. I stumbled across this recycled PET bottle fibre fabric, and I had a discussion with my beloved one, this was some years ago now, and he said believe me, this is the new black. I didn’t believe him at first, but now it has become a sport for me to find the best fabric and the best colours to do something super fashionable, but which is also sustainable.
Q. I know you’ve had some interest from Japanese buyers, how has that been in terms of spreading the sustainable fashion message?
Overseas they are actually more in the forefront than we are in terms of sustainability, from fashion to healthy food, so actually it is great that they have shown interest, and I want them to discover me even more. I really want to hit Asia etc, so I’m working hard on that!
Q. Would you say MAXJENNY reflects your own personal style?
I’m sorry to say, and this is so bad, but since I have been working, I find I am not able to dress how I want as much, because I need to be able to move etc. So I mainly wear my good blackish lines, and then when I go out partying I wear my colourful ones. I would love to be more colourful during the day, but it’s not always possible, but I try to ensure I look good with drapes etc, so it is still possible to work around it.
Q. If you had to pick a famous person to be your muse, who would it be?
Chloe Sevigny – I think she has a good style, I like someone who can dress carefully in colours.
Q. What advice do you have for aspiring ethical fashion designers?
Collaborate with really good, responsible people. Also network a lot, and try to ensure you’re at the right place at the right time.
Interview with one of London Fashion Week’s top ethical designers of 2011
Roweena and William check out a gorgeous eco holiday destination in Lincolnshire.
Eco food lovers and gastronomic connoisseurs rejoice, as the Brown horse Inn delights on all fronts.
Being filled with timeless character and a marvellously relaxed ambience the Brown Horse Inn is the ideal place to slow down and get in touch with wholesome living. With Worsworth inspired surroundings it’s as pleasing to be indoors or out and would suit both active and relaxing travellers alike.
As we approached along the winding roads, just beating the autumn dusk, the rust coloured scene appeared like an after party of summer. The cool grey slate of the Inn silhouetted the kaleidoscopic and colourful backdrop in the way only a place with nothing to prove could. We’d heard of the quality of this place and were eager to test the promising rumours. At reception we received a relaxed, ‘nothing is a problem’, and informal attitude that permeated throughout our stay encouraging plenty of stress relief.
“England is on in the bar” referring to the rugby match against New Zealand and so naturally we made our way through to the small bar where we drank good ale made in the micro brewery in the next room (how sensible). Wooden tables, filled with locals, walkers and foodies enjoyed the match or read the Saturday paper and the ale flowed. Around 6 we went back to our room to freshen up ahead of dinner at 8. The room was much to Laura’s delight, tasteful French country chic. It seemed this place manages to get the balance of luxury and country living with laser accuracy.
And so we ventured down to the already busy restaurant ready for a wholesome organic dinner. For starters I chose a pheasant, bacon, wild mushroom and lentil dish with good bread and Laura took tempura battered prawns, with sweet chilli dip. For mains I took a wonderfully succulent sirloin steak, Laura had a Lamb Shank, we finished the meal with some ice-cream. The wine list was great and had a good selection including a lovely Pinot Noir, although were tempted by an Argentinean malbec. Our waitress was lovely and advised us that all the meat and most of the veg came from the Inn’s Estate or within a three mile radius and the wonderful ice-cream from just down the road in Windermere.
In the morning we ate a fantastic full English breakfast and sat outside wrapped up warm with a coffee on a table just next to our room. It was warm even though the fields were dusted with frost, and the sun was out. Then we wandered up along a farm road up to the top of a hill for a great view of the valley, I imagine myself going back for a cycle trip as it must the perfect location. The owner showed us the micro brewery and advised that the water comes from a spring up on the hill. He also kindly showed us to the pigs as there were around 20 new born piglets running around their mother (much to Laura’s piglet obsessed delight!)
The Brown Horse Inn proves it’s possible to maintain excellent standards while not only locally sourcing food but actually producing almost everything. It is a self sufficient, high quality and great value Inn which is always busy. We will most definitely be going back.
Can one of the world’s leading brands be going green?
Planning a trip to London? Why not stay the eco way!
When I was 9 my family took my sister and I to the local baths for swimming lessons. On my first lesson I almost drowned. Fast forward 15 years and I am still not the world’s most confident swimmer. Sure, I can do a few lengths of the swimming pool, but I am certainly no Rebecca Adlington, nor have I really engaged in swimming outside of a safe and secure pool environment.
So imagine my terror when, having only ever been on a boat once, I was invited by Travel Manitoba to kayak on the Regents Canal in London. However, I need not have worried as I was in good hands as soon as I arrived, right up until the end of the canal tour two hours later.
I was kindly invited on the kayaking tour of the canal by Travel Manitoba, a company based in Canada thatprovides tourism information such as accommodations, outfitters and attractions in Manitoba Canada, and the tour was lead by instructors from Thames River Adventures.
Thames River Adventures offer an exclusive and eco-friendly kayaking experience, either on the calm and serene waters of Regents Canal, the “tidal Thames” at Tower Bridge or the more sedate waters at Hampton Court. It is an excellent opportunity to see London from a different angle, whilst enjoying the escapism and peace of mind that comes from bobbing on the water in a 9ft slab of green plastic.
We began at 10am in St John’s Wood, and after a quick safety talk and lesson in paddling (to which I paid very close attention, being the only newbie), we were off.
If you’re concerned about a lack of experience on the water, don’t be. Kayaking at this level is relatively simple, especially when you know you are in safe, qualified hands, and no rolling out of the kayaks is required on these tours.
After a tentative start and a few shrubbery collisions, I was soon in my element and taking to kayaking like a seasoned veteran. Okay, so I wasn’t exactly going to be competing in the next slalom competition, but I was quite pleased so find that I could relate my driving skills to the navigating of the kayak and if I recall correctly, the words of the group were “like a duck to water.”
By the end of the tour of Regents Canal, during which we went past London Zoo, Royal Park, and even saw some of Banksy’s work, I felt thoroughly relaxed and calm, as well as secretly proud of myself for experiencing something I’d never tried before. Not only that, but my arms looked considerably more toned after I clambered out of the kayak than they had to begin with!
I would recommend the kayaking tours to anyone, even complete novices, as the Regents Canal is a perfect setting to try your hand at kayaking, although there is a pre-requisite for you to be able to swim at least 20 metres.
All equipment is provided including recreational touring kayaks, so you only need to bring yourself, although if you’re anything like me, you may want a change of clothes,as I managed to accumulate copious amounts of warm water on my lap with each stroke of the paddle.
You are joined on the tour by a qualified British Canoe Union Instructor who guides you throughout the tour with expert tuition, health and safety briefing and knowledge and history of the tour environment.
Tour Prices from £59 per person Monday to Sunday for all Hampton Court Tours. Regents Canal Tours from £74.99 per person 7 days a week. Call 0208 3613009 or visit ThamesRiverAdventures.co.uk