Funky Fabric and Innovative Fashion


Kombucha tonic has been popular due to its beneficial health properties. Gwyneth Paltrow drank the beverage daily in preparation for Iron Man 2 and Lindsey Lohan popularized it last year as the explanation for her botched alcohol test. Kombucha has been recommended as an alternative energy drink for all the busy staffers needing a boost in preparation for the upcoming Fashion Week festivities taking place in NYC in just over two weeks. In thinking about fashion and alternatives, Lives of Style was inspired by the innovation of fashion designer Suzanne Lee and her creation of a fabric made from the kombucha fungus.

Other designers have played with recycled-bottle polyester blends yet, Suzanne Lee — a senior research fellow at the School of Fashion/Textiles Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London — is out of the box with the material she likens as a vegan alternative to leather calling it a microbial-cellulose. Innovation and fashion are definite focal points in her creations. She uses iron oxidation and fruit and vegetable stains to create prints on her clothing. One of Lee’s featured bodices sent to the ModeMuseum in Hasselt, Belgium last summer was on trend with the African-inspired looks on the runways of Spring 2012 shows such as Michael Kors, Donna Karan, and L.A.M.B. It’s a wonder if we might see some of her materials featured during this year’s Brit Week festivities coming this spring to California.

Lee heads the BioCouture project and produced much internet buzz as a featured TED fellow in the “Suzanne Lee: Grow Your Own Clothes” video describing her fabric production methods and explains that the material isn’t water resistant, yet her vision is to create a real way that clothing can be literally grown. Now that’s forward thinking fashion!

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