HEMPFEST 2013: Fashion With A Passion For Freedom

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PHOTOS: Tawnee Cowan, unless otherwise noted. Featured: T-shirt, dress and skirt by Marcella Kelly.

You may have heard about the speakers, the massive smoke outs and other highlights of 2013’s Seattle Hempfests, but did you know there were daily fashion shows in the Hemposium Tent?

I co-produced the show, Fashion with a Passion for Freedom, with Hemposium Manager Pam Haley, featuring garments from established hemp clothing companies across the country and exciting pieces made by fresh design students at Seattle-based NY Fashion Academy.

Local fashion design students utilized bolts of hemp fabrics to create savvy garments for this first legal hemp fashion show in post I-502 Washington State. All participating clothing companies were founded in the 1990s and the well-constructed garments on the runway reflected the accrued experience in workmanship and clothing design.

The companies featured at the fashion show this year were excellent examples of eco-friendly organizations dedicated to environmental preservation with style.

Earth Creations, based in Bessemer, Alabama, creates casual and fashionable seasonal styles in hemp and organic cotton jersey. Dyed with locally-sourced natural clays, these garments are designed for mixing and matching for a variety of up-to-date looks.

Earth Creations’ runway offerings included a ruffled Lucca shrug in taupe, paired with a flounced Sydney dress and flared Arabesque skirt worn as a strapless dress.

A 3-Dragonfly printed tank, ruffle Capri leggings, and Lucca shrug in aqua blue made a comfortable casual outfit.

The hooded Sadie dress with decorative front button jacket looked good as a tunic with skinny jeans or as a short dress.

Earth Creations clothing is stylish casual wear for earth lovers of all ages.

Amsterdam hemp clothing company, Hemp Hoodlamb, and its North American flagship store, Hoodlab, showed off select women’s garments from HHL’s urban eco-friendly clothing line.

HHL’s outerwear included a signature winter coat from the Sea Shepherd line, a pea coat and summer jacket.

All outerwear is solidly constructed with hemp fabrics, double stitched at stress points, and reinforced with a hemp cellulose water and wind proofing treatment.

The HHL signature winter coats are lined in luxurious Satifur, an exclusive blend of hemp, recycled PET plastic and acrylic fur.

House of Hoodlab custom screen printed hemp and organic cotton t-shirts were paired with stylish herringbone-weave miniskirts and shorts with pleated front pockets. Hemp Hoodlamb’s clothing is perfect for people who appreciate an urban clothing style.

Dress by Earth Creations, bag by Dharma Bags  Photo by Josh Rettie

Dress by Earth Creations, bag by Dharma Bags
Photo by Josh Rettie

Dharma Bags from Taos Hemp Company are beautiful and utilitarian travel bags for women and men. The three styles of bags are sewn in Taos, New Mexico with premium woven hemp in gorgeous solid colors.

Practical for everyday use, Dharma Bags can hold a lot of life’s necessities. The wide shoulder strap comfortably distributes the full weight of the bag’s content.  However functional, it is the simple and elegant beauty of Dharma Bags that inspires their everyday use.

Conscious Clothing, a green bridal boutique based in Santa Fe, New Mexico, stunned the audience with wedding couture.

The first gown, a corseted feathered top with peacock feathers and full skirt were made from a hemp and silk floral jacquard. A simple and elegant bias cut gown shimmered in hemp silk satin with a sheer chiffon train overlay.

Conscious Clothing green wedding couture.

Conscious Clothing green wedding couture. Photo by Susan Squibb.

The “Steam Punk” gown, made of hemp silk satin had an elaborate bottom ruffle around the full skirt. A raw edged organic cotton voile ruffle runs around the neck that draped down the back to create a very becoming dress.

In addition to bridal wear, Conscious Clothing will soon be launching an evening wear collection.

The future of hemp fashion was showcased by the designing talent at NY Fashion Academy. Four designers came up with innovative cannabis lifestyle clothing utilizing hemp fabrics from EnviroTextiles and HempTraders.

Erika Ray crafted unique hand dyed and hand painted hoodies from hemp and organic cotton for cozy cool street looks that heal the planet.

Malia Peoples, constructed an oversized smoking jacket, for local musician Boris Budd, with classic natural hemp fabric and accented cuffs.

Hand-dyed and painted hoodie by Erika Ray

Hand-dyed and painted hoodie by Erika Ray. Photo by Josh Rettie

Kiymbah Tytania designed couture men’s and women’s trim aprons with black hemp fabric and red pocket, ruffle and tie accents.

The attractive and practical aprons have handy pockets for holding trimming scissors, cell phones and rolling papers.

A wide pocket in the front of the men’s apron catches loose trim to roll up a doobie for break time!

Marcella Kelly presented the exquisite Seattle Colorfest collection.

Marcella made a dark green hemp and cotton jersey knit dress with black hemp silk yokes, side panels, accents, and a black hemp silk charmeuse corset belt.

The belt contained handy lifestyle stash pockets. A pair of his and hers High Society smoking jackets, made for Seattle Hempfest organizers, Vivian McPeak and  Kanti Selig ,were constructed out of plum Hempcel fabric with black hemp silk charmeuse collars, cuffs and pocket welts. Specialty pockets on the inside hold legal cannabis and accouterment.

The most surprising outfit in the Colorfest collection was a bright coral jersey knit t-shirt dress with hemp silk collar paired with a yellow hemp silk pleated asymmetrical skirt with a grommet waistband. This lightweight and festive garment wowed the eco-fashionistas in the crowd.