PYTs wear LBD's..
Thursday night, Maryam Nassir Zahed’s boutique on the Lower East Side hosted the launch of Brooklyn designer, Eliza Starbuck’s new line, Bright Young Things. The concept is simple. The Little Black Dress (LBD) designed in a clever way to be all things to many people. This is ‘slow fashion’ as a parallel to the ‘slow food’ movement where clothes are not disposable.
Some of the live models wearing the LBD had their own comments, explaining it “Molds into whatever you want and it’s the perfect dress and sold as a canvas like art.” The pricing is also practical at $185 for a garment made In New York. Production is in the Garment district and Chinatown. Online sales start June 18th. Orders will take 4-6 weeks to be made and is currently offered in three sizes.
I checked out every young model wearing the LBD, it did seem incredible that so many women of different sizes, heights and body types could rock the dress in independently. One model channeled 70’s Janis Joplin with a furry vest and pink tights. The LBDs were worn wrapped to the front, back, open, tied with an obi or worn simply with a slim belt as Eliza did.
The designer was her own best model. Tall and svelte, the LBD looked amazing on her. Eliza spoke to us about her first gig, “The Uniform project” which inspired her Bright Young Things launch. She found it hard to locate “Made in US” anymore. The oil crisis of recent years had affected shipping costs making it expensive to ship goods in from China and India. She was also concerned about why goods were so cheaply made overseas. Ms. Starbuck started questioning how and in what conditions these items were being produced.
“ There was never a comfort level working in the industry. I felt that consumer culture has been blind”. She felt she wanted to “see and meet the people making the clothes” and decided to produce her clothes in US.
The LBD in cotton pique is the first of her Bright Young Things conceptual collection. She will add on to the collection by adding core pieces to build upon versatile items. “People were ready for it.”
Eliza was ready to leave the industry for good after becoming disenchanted by it. This was until 2009 when she met Sheena Matheiken during a charitable drive. Sheena was out to raise funds by wearing a single dress for 365 days of the year. She designed and created the Uniform dress that could work in any setting for the whole year.
Based on the awareness generated from the Uniform Project, Eliza produced a 365 piece limited edition run of the Uniform dress that sold out quickly. The sales from this raised an additional $10,000 for the Akanksha Foundation that funds education in India.
Resist being the fast-fashion victim. Wear the Little Black Dress and make it your own. We wish Eliza great luck and we hope this is only the tip of the thoughtfully-made fashion movement!
Photos and story by Ritika W.