As buyers peruse markets all over the world, trying to scope out what’s fresh and new amidst garment racks, look books and line sheets, when they find something that is different, it’s a thrill.
So it was when on my own buying trip. I stumbled across Jai, tucked away neatly in a corner of the NOW Showcase’s sustainable marketplace. I’m already familiar with Jai designer Kizzy Jai Knight, but what she proposed for spring 11 was nothing short of paradise and luxury and softness galore.
Maintaining the brand’s aesthetics of layer-friendly silhouettes, Knight has taken her line to a sustainably ethereal level with organic Ahimsa Silk, organic cotton, silk/cotton blends and Tencel. She employs hand-dyeing (by way of locally grown fruits and vegetables) to add various hues of pink, saffron, ivory, rust and blues. The collection feels young, which is a refreshing forward look after a long fall and winter of knitwear, tightly wound scarves and double-buttoned jackets.
For this collection, Knight looked at coral reefs and how they’re formed by the interactions between a community and its environment.
“Having worked with vegetable dyed silk last season and musing on the natural intelligence of Coral Reefs desires to include more of our immediate surroundings was at the root of our organic color adventure for this season,” says Knight. “We want to the collection to speak of the delicacy of the coral reefs so hand dying enables us to create garments that are all unique.”
Her spring 2011 collection (all produced in New York City), includes frocks with pockets, ruffle trim dresses, an open-backed maxi dress, backless shifts, a flyaway poncho, wraps and, according to Knight, “the perfect white sun dress that women spend the early part of every year searching for.”
My favorite? The Melissa (top) in all its saffron glory.
Special Offer for EcoSalon Readers: Because most of you don’t want to wait until the spring to buy, Jai is offering pre-orders for both the fall 2010 Sunningdale Classic Dress (below) for $220.80 and the Melanie Dress (below next) for $195.50.
Sunningdale Classic Dress
Made from Tencel, which feels like a sophisticated denim (but with a subtle shine), you could wear either of these two dresses for upcoming holiday soirees and into spring until you get your Jai hand-dyed frocks. If you want one of these limited edition pieces, just drop me a line at amy @ ecosalon dot com.