Jillian Ganz overlooking Suzy Amis Cameron's green dress fitting. Photo by Jim Peck
Even with Linda Loudermilk and Stella McCartney's high-end sustainable clothing, it is still an effort to get eco-minded celebs into black tie worthy gowns. A couple years ago, retro Chanel was all the rage, which was a great idea, until Reese Witherspoon discovered hers wasn't a one-and-only dress, as she'd been told, and her '50s number showed up on somebody else. These are problems we don't have to worry about, thankfully. To avoid the whole thing, actress Suzy Amis Cameron (wife of Avatar's James Cameron) held a contest for her Oscar "green" gown. Guess what color it is?
Red Carpet Green Dress fitting for sustainable Oscar gown at Deb Scott Studio. Photo by Jim Peck
The winner of the "Red Carpet Green Dress" competition is Jillian Granz, an apparel and textile design student at Michigan State University, who created a special design with sustainable materials and techniques that Deborah Scott Studios created (winner of the Academy Award for costume designs in Titanic--James Cameron's other blockbuster.
Selected from worldwide entries, her green design utilized a clever and aesthetic waste-free way of using the material. Not only is Amis Cameron wearing the gown on the Oscars' red carpet, she says she may wear the dress twice, "a definite fashion faux pas," she admits to Planet46.com, but also "the epitome of recycling." Another no-no was unveiling it before the Oscars tonight. Instead she revealed the gown at Global Green's Pre-Oscar party last Wednesday. Yes, you guessed it--it's Avatar blue.
The criteria for this first Red Carpet Green Dress contest was that it be sustainable as well as elegant, which Ganz, the aspiring designer winner, discovered took more thought and effort than she expected when searching for suitable materials and non-toxic dyes. But she says the trend is a positive direction for design.
James & Suzy Amis Cameron with winning Oscar dress designer Jillian Ganz.
The Academy Award nominee Avatar has an environmental message, which reflects both Camerons' personal philosophy. The gown contest was also a fundraiser for scholarships to the green nonprofit elementary school Muse, she founded with her sister in Topanga, California, which starts our teaching environmental education to children.
"I was impressed by the creativity and diversity of designs that came in from around the world for the 'Red Carpet Green Dress' contest. Jillian's design really stood out because it was highly creative and inventive in its use of sustainable materials. This is exactly the message we want to send to young designers and a message we care about at MUSE.
Global Green's, Matt Peterson added, "This partnership will raise awareness about not just green lifestyle options like eco-fashion, but also the importance of creating healthy, green schools for children that improves learning, saves money and helps slow global warning,"
More Winners in Green Outfits
Cameron isn't the only one with green on the mind. Oscar nominee Colin Firth and wife Livia, owners of ECO in Chiswick, England, a shop devoted to sustainable items, will be attending the Academy Awards in green get-ups. Committed environmentalists, he's been showing up during award season gatherings in a bamboo suit. In Vogue UK, Livia, who Treehugger highlighted at the Golden Globes for an upcycled wedding dress, wrote about her Green Carpet Challenge with visits to some sustainable designers:
"I've spent the last couple of weeks dashing about looking for ethical inspiration for the perfect green carpet dress. Last week's Estethica (the ethical arm of London Fashion Week) was a gift. The amazing thing about Estethica is that everyone is speaking the same language - fashion with a conscience, low impact, responsible etc - so you don't have to explain yourself."
Another Oscar nominee with less celebrity status, but a star nonetheless, is the documentary director of Food, Inc, Academy Award nominated director/producer Robert Kenner who will wear a custom-made Loomstate organic tux.
More on green fashion:
20 Green Fashion Designers You've Never Heard Of (But Oh You Will)
Best of Green: Fashion + Beauty (Slideshow)
Green Fashion: 7 Reasons Why You Should Care About Sustainable Fashion
Green Fashion Week Fall 2010: Vaute Couture