Saturday, April 23, 2011

Miss Annie Who?

May I introduce you?
I am very happy to feature this extensive interview with Jane Olley, the director of Annie Greenabelle. The ethical and sustainable fashion label Annie Greenabelle from the UK was just recently voted 2nd in the category of "Best International Brand" in's Best of Green Competition. I'd say they perfectly reach their aim to prove that ethical clothing can be beautiful, on-trend and affordable. But read more for yourself to get a deep insight into this brand:

elilos blogspot:
Who is Annie Greenabelle?
Jane Olley: Annie is her own person – she follows trends but likes to add her own twist to them.  She loves to dress up and is a real girly girl. She is confident and likes to stand out from the crowd.
I think she would agree with Mahatma Gandhi when he said “ there is no beauty in the finest cloth if it makes hunger and unhappiness"

And who are you, Jane?
I have worked within a fashion environment for the last twenty years.  I am married to Richard who has manufactured jerseywear garments for 25 years. My father in law, Matt, supports me by making the woven garments and with his knowledge of dyeing and finishing.

Who else is behind the brand?
We have a very small staff of approximately 11 people including myself. Isobel and Maisie are the designers, my brother Tom is in charge of online orders and customer service, Joy is my assistant and helps with marketing the brand and processing the wholesale orders and Kitty is our office assistant and part time model! Our accountant Paul comes in on Wednesdays and on Fridays, Rachel comes in to analyse sales figures and desperately try to organise me!!  Rebecca, Charlotte and Julia look after our concession in Topshop Oxford Circus.  However, we all pitch in together with unpacking / packing and labelling garments when we get a big order in!
And what idea is behind your brand?
As a consumer I wanted to buy ethical garments but also had a keen interest in fashion. I often felt I either had to compromise the fashionable element of the garment or the price was out of my reach.

I felt there must be a way of being able to produce fast fashion in an ethical way – and there is!
And then, how did Annie Greenabelle become "who" she is?
I always knew that the brand would be Fairtrade, I feel very passionately that people should not suffer physically or be abused financially because they are in a vunerable position.  However, it was on a trip to India to source the Fairtrade cotton that I made up my mind that the fabric was going to be Organic as well.
I think, I like many, had not really considered the benefits of Organic cotton. We eat organic in many an instance because we feel it is better for our bodies  but I hadn’t really considered the side of buying organic products because they are so much better for the environment.  This was something that I became aware of whilst travelling. I learnt huge amounts of chemicals were used in cotton production and these in turn were polluting communities’ water systems and making people ill.

How do you set up a new collection ?

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Lady and the Tramp.


unfortunately I do not know the artists of these works anymore. I took the pics in september 2009 in Rendsburg at the NordArt exhibition. If you know more - please let me know.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Paradise Lost.

The exhibition "Paradise Lost" in Istanbul Modern deals with the old dualistic understanding of culture vs. nature in the western world. The shown video-installations approch this issue from many different perspectives. Some of them focus on the "clash" of nature and modern technology, others wake and exhibit a deep fascination for the creation (wich I do not mean in a religious sense!) with all the structure and beauty in it. You will see naked people in the clouds, women dancing on saturated green mountain meadows, opened skulls, memories stored in light and a biker comforting kangaroos. And more that keeps you thinking.

"Paradoxically we celebrate or mourn modern industrial society as the cause and effect of humans' victory over nature. Modern industrial society thus is seen as the end of nature and the highest state of culture. Yet modern industrial society is at the same time critically dependent on "natural" resources such as hydrocarbons. Modern human society is not independent of nature; at best (and at worst) it's a hybrid of nature and culture."

The video below gives an insight to the installation that captured me most because of its stunnig, calm aesthetic, without a wagging finger or moral sermon, and yet offering "a message" - Migration by Doug Aitken. Every shot in it would be worth a frame.

"Even many animals are not really unambiguously part of nature or culture. Several of North America's iconic "wild" animals, for example, are neither wild nor domesticated. Turkey, deer, buffalo, pigeon and geese all passed through genetic bottlenecks as humans subjected the species to dramatic selective pressures by (nearly) exterminating them, breeding them back or managing their populations."

(quotes from Interview with Emmanuel Kreike, associate professor of history and associated faculty member of the Princeton Environmental Institute, by Carol Peters found here)
temporary exhibition "PARADISE LOST"
in Istanbul Modern
until the 24th of July,
on thursdays entrance is free

Saturday, April 09, 2011


"sustainability is the only legitimate approach
to start a fashion enterprise today" (quoted from Mikenke website)

...and if you additionally create such extraordinary beautiful clothes as Rosa Gröszer and Tina Luther do for their label "Mikenke" - the two ingridients for the perfect fashion are given. sustainable and just WOW.
I have always been a big fan of delicate and kinda precious materials and so I was really stoked seeing them using mohair wool, leather and feathers. And what gorgeous stuff they make from it!!

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Urban Gardening.

Absolutely lovely. Even though I must say that she looks like the incorporation of alternative-eco-stereoptype: I think this is really cool. And I was astonished how much harvest she actually has in the end - even though we're only shown a very small part of it. This got me definitely hooked! I found the video via, a page for people who have maybe even smaller or no gardens at all.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

As the world burns.

Oh what a nice pretty book. And such a colourful cover. And how sweet it is illustrated. Look girls! Isn’t it just too cute?
No. It isn’t. It hits you rigt in your face. Bam.
„As the World Burns: 50 Simple Things You Can Do to stay in denial“ by Derrick Jensen & Stephanie McMillan comes to you innocent. Nothing would prevent you from reading it, no „oh not another inconvinient truth“, no „but I’d rather read some entertaining not-so-tough-stuff“. If you hesitate, then it’s because you might fear it is just another irrelevant comment on scouts-world-saviour-behaviour (of wich I myself may definitely be „guilty“ every once in a while... and sorry, no offend to scouts!).
The style of the book might remind of IKEA-assembley-instructions: Reduced, simplified (right along the conceptual edge, floating between the picture plane top and the „meaning“ corner of Scott McClouds pyramid) and thereby universally understandable. But this doesn’t mean it’s not complex and manifold too. We can see that word-specific panels prevail, but we also find some very strong image-specific panels. Very often we have a word-image relation that is additive, so that you can understand the meaning (or jokes) only „between“ word and image (for example where the president is „killing the bad guys“ – in a computer game).
The panel structure is also very various, next to the dominating one-to-five-rectangular-panel-pages we find unframed (full page) panels as well as irregularly scattered smaller panels, combinations of framed and unframed panels in one page do also very often occur.
If you read the title carefully, you might not be blinded by the „50 simple things you can do (...)“ but will prick your ears (well, actually your eyes might do something like that...) at reading „(...) to stay in denial“. The title already reveals that we will be confronted with irony and maybe a little cynicism (and a lot of fun!). Eventhough this is an ongoing undertone, transported especially in the slightly (but just slightly) overdone caricatures of the politicians, the book stays „friendly“ in so far, as the reader is in the first place identifing with the naive blonde girl „Bananabelle“. Bananabelle is constantly „corrected“ and taught by her best friend who seems to have all knowledge about how it really goes – but her friend still loves and supports her. So we, as the readers, do not have to feel all too bad about sharing naive ideas about environmentalism – Kranti (the blackhaired girl) will also teach us throughout the book. And at some point she will be pround on how our eyes are opening and how good we understand and how we get angry.