Costello Tagliapietra dress dyed with AirDye technology, fall 2010. Image courtesy of the Museum at FIT
Green fashion design has been going on a lot longer than you might think, though with much trial and error. This day dress made with green silk faille and green chenille, circa 1865 was woven on hand looms -- but that vibrant color was achieved thanks to arsenic, a health risk to both the maker and wearer.
Beginning Wednesday, May 26, New York's Museum at FIT presents Eco Fashion: Going Green, an exhibit exploring the fashion industry's complex relationship with the environment. More than 100 garments, accessories, and textiles presented in chronological order provide a historical context for the eco-fashion movement. The exhibition observes six major themes: "the re-purposing and recycling of materials, fiber origins, textile dyeing and production, quality of craftsmanship, labor practices, and the treatment of animals," according to the press release, and features pieces from the highly coveted collections of Alabama Chanin, Ciel, Edun, FIN, Noir, and more.