The first show for Eco Fashion Week's 7th edition is already behind us and what a way to open the week. Nicole Bridger is someone I interviewed way back in the summer of 2008, just a year after launching her label. Five years later it is such an amazing experience to be in the audience to see her growth both personally and artistically. "You Are Not Alone" touched me deeply - the message clear - while at the same time showcasing each look in her Fall/Winter 2013 collection. Kudos!
I have never been a fan of night club fashion shows, but Celebrities gave me pause for thought. It was open and spacious with lots of room to stand as well as a large sunken section in the middle which I assume is normally the dance floor. It was in this sunken section the organizers placed several rows of chairs divided by an elevated runway - a true gift to any show. The models were high enough they could be seen no matter which row you were sitting in or even when standing behind others at the upper level railing.
Bridger is a very spiritual in how she approaches life and that, of course, influences her collection. She always strives to give women clothing that embraces their needs along with a message to uplift their souls. Last season the focus was a heartwarming BE - "BE who you are without justification, without fear, without expectation or judgment.” This season it embraced YOU ARE NOT ALONE. From her press release -
from the Source saying –fine, I’ll do it myself. But it is in these times most
of all that we need to remember that Source exists within us and that we
just need to open up the lines of communication. We are not alone on this
journey...We will be using all male models dressed in women's clothing.
This is a way to challenge the audience on their perception. What is beautiful,
how we judge each other and how we separate ourselves from each other
when we are all one."
There is the message and then there is how it affects each person in the audience. For me, I was profoundly moved as it touched on my global concerns for humanity. This year has seen a travesty in human rights based on gender, sexual preference, age and more. From an 8 year old child bride who died on her wedding night after a brutal assault by her husband, to the LGBTQ persecution in Russia, to the woman in Saudi Arabia judged "guilty" of being gang raped and given 200 lashes plus 6 month in jail, to the hate filled anti-gay heckling of a theatre performance at the University of Mississippi - I have found my heart full of sorrow and worry. YOU ARE NOT ALONE showcased androgynous models of both sexes all dressed in the designer's F/W 2013 collection. Each took a moment to really look in the next model's eyes and offer a personal touch when leaving the runway. The models nailed it! Acceptance. Embracing differences. Love. Reaching out to others. If we can hold onto these messages tightly and implement them globally, what a different place the world would be.