The luxury eco by Linda Loudermilk Fall '05 Collection was inspired by the beautiful creatures found under the sea.
Loudermilk's mission is to create exquisite clothing that allows the human body and spirit to reaffirm our deep connections to the natural world. Her designer clothing uses organic, recycled and ecologically friendly materials, elevating sustainability and environmentalism to the highest levels. There is a world-wide revolution in environmental consciousness, moving from basic needs to luxury living. Her intent is to lead that revolution.
The luxury eco by Linda Loudermilk Fall '05 Collection was inspired by the beautiful creatures found under the sea. Tentacles. Soft lines of jellyfish, kelp and other sea life, all accented by rich colors and fluid movement, unite in the collection's celebration of the oddities of nature. "The simplicity of several silhouettes in the collection mirror the sleekness of a fish," explained designer Linda Loudermilk.
A pioneer in the ecologically-friendly couture design arena, Loudermilk who also founded the online luxury eco social network, continues to use ecologically-friendly, innovative fabrics in her collection, including Eco-Spun, which is made from recycled soda bottles and has the texture of sheepskin; Lenpur, which is made from wood pulp; soya which is made from soybeans; sasawashi, which has antibacterial, non-allergenic and blood purifying properties; and bamboo jersey, which is anti-bacterial and deodorizing as well as highly sustainable, as bamboo grows up to one a foot a day.
The luxury eco by Linda Loudermilk Fall '05 Collection also includes transformative designs that allow you to unzip pieces to create a different look within the same piece. One long coat features a section that can be unzipped to make it a mid-length, and yet another section unzips into a bomber style jacket length. A pair of pants in the collection unzips in two places, a movement Loudermilk aptly compares to the opening of a clam.
Describing the sasawashi jacket she designed, Loudermilk referenced kelp floating in water and how it looks while resting on the sand. "It's like the way sea life would land on your body; like clinging blankets of kelp or schools of jellyfish floating around you." Similarly, the bamboo jersey and crepe Loudermilk uses drapes and clings, moving as they would beneath an ocean wave. The jellyfish logo, created for this season, carried a message of whimsy on several unique silks and jerseys.
As any child knows, seaweed can be used as a bracelet, a necklace or a belt. Loudermilk taps into her former life as a sculptor with a flexible seaweed-style piece made from chain and wool.
"Some of the items in the collection are about the creepy, crawly things you find in the sea, which are both beautiful and a bit scary. Without contrast in the world, where would we be? To me, human life is about dichotomies; good and bad, dark and light. I believe the journey of this world is the darkness and light. To me, the simplicity of nature is the light. The complexities of our minds is the darkness."
About the Barnacle dress Loudermilk designed, she commented, "When you think of our romantic thoughts of life under the sea, you think of color and lots of movement. If you picked a flower of the sea and you put it on your body like you would a land flower, it would droop and cling to your body. I tried to create this effect with the organic wool dress. "Loudermilk's coral top mimics coral itself; hard and jagged yet fluid and curvy. "The lace of the top is metallic, which is hard and the coral beads are a balance to that-more soft."
"One of the tops, made from Lenpur (wood pulp), sasawashi leaf and metal zippers reminds me of when you see a still part of the ocean and you'll see a bunch of objects floating together," Loudermilk said. " I am replicating this experience on fabric." Another element of that same top, inspired by sea kelp, includes a chain of leaves, made of metal, entangled with chiffon.
In the Hope Series, Loudermilk was honored to integrate acclaimed photographer Steve McCurry's work into her line. Several of McCurry's soulful photographs are imaged directly on garments. Loudermilk said, "I design to hit people at a gut level; to capture the soul and raw beauty of people and nature. The garments in my fall collection inherently bring up our universal connectedness and our responsibility to take care of each other and the earth. This collection is about the hope in the world and the 'we are all one' spirit.
For more information on luxury eco by Linda Loudermilk, visit www.lindaloudermilk.com
Photos by Lawrence Davis