Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Words Count

"It's never too late to be what you might have been"- George Sand

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


Stitch work on satin, part of a bigger 'something." Inspired by TSA Calendar.

"They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself." Andy Warhol

I agree with Andy except that time does take care of a few inevitable things...eventually. Live on all levels while you can, 'be the change.' (Ghandi)

Monday, December 20, 2010

Happy Winter Solstice

with a total lunar eclipse tomorrow, MagicK!

fiber art work made for the special occasion...cheers

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Anna Herman on the Air

red silk Anna Herman dress

well not actually. On the air was a term used for analog radio days, but now? Air plays a part as sound waves travel through the air unless one is using a headset or earbuds to channel the vibration. Still and all, on the air sounds nice.

Besides it's the content that counts and my friend Anna Herman spoke right up last week on Womens to let the USA know we of the eco fashion world may be small in numbers but we are passionate, dedicated and growing. Helping each other help the world change some industrial model fashion concepts is a big job, but we are doing it anyway.

Fashions ability to enslave some very sophisticated and intelligent women for centuries is getting a shakeout as we now understand that looking, feeling, being and enabling good is do-able and a standard we want to share with everyone. We are the world and we are next door, we care and we ask you to care as well, it really does matter and it will make a huge difference.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Need to Know Basis!

fashionRIP Project started with an ethos of re-use and re-invent in the discipline of art, function and dreams, called fashion. It was a way to mitigate the environmental, religious, social, ethical, cultural and economic clashes between what was deemed true and what I was experiencing. I started to explore further afield, trying to figure out what was really going on because it just didn't add up.

In the meantime, I started to sew and paint the new stories on old garments. (phoenix skirt, tree of life skirt, etc.) Giving them new life was part of the process towards my own re-design. Right now i am calling it faith in life(force) and in my 'knowing' self. ( its an emotional, solar plexus, greater heart based thing- you know it when you feel it!)

Like many i kept thinking there had to be rational, intelligent someones that were at the root of our great institutions. There are. The bad news is that they are usually locked into the systems these institutions have built over time. The very concepts behind these systems that shape our reality, our 'way of life' are full of myths that developed from our early human ethos of fear. This made sense at the time; we were in a war for our species survival and we fought it on a daily basis. I mean we had some big, nasty ol' predators back in the day.

Well, we did good, we survived and in fact, are such a thriving species we are now destroying our very ability to maintain our own life without an ethos make-over. To our collective chagrin, we are hampered by the knowledge that brought us here. This is what we know. We know what we did and are good at doing that thing better, we even call it progress. We are not so good at experimenting with new ideas, in part because so much of our energy and resources are trapped in the old systems and institutions. These constructs have hard won, almost hard wired concepts involved in their make-up, so letting them go isn't easy.

But yikes, to get us out of the mess we made, we need to let go. We need to support mass creative innovation and diversity, give perks for curiousity and embrace mindsets of 'whole concepts thinking.' We need to grow up (consciously evolve) and take responsibility for our actions and thoughts.

Why not imagine the best designs ever and go towards them? There will be plenty to choose from once they manifest. This will provide the incentive of competitive systems, yet allows for more collaboration, cooperation, sharing and fusing of designs because the mission statement has changed. Its a new dynamic for multiple diverse approaches in order to understand 'the whole' in a way that makes sense now.

This will take us to the next paradigm change but we can cross that bridge when we get there!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Economics isn't a Science!

Bethany McLean and Joe Nocera co-authored "All the Devils are Here" a book on the unseemly behaviour that enabled the biggest economic collapse since the Depression. The regulatory and sub prime mistakes made by corporations and Congrees that enabled this huge economic collapse (even when warned by consumer lobbyists that it was flawed) are still a problem.

The huge salaries to be made by playing the game, also make for self delusion, enables greed to look acceptable and creates the delusions that "the market is always right," " the sanctity of rating agencies" and other myths of capitalism created by those who need us to support thier theories in order to take home those large sums. Its a wheel of fortune that suckers the public into playing the global casino against their real best interests.

CONNECTED is about giving ourselves the gifts of the new story for the next reality. Stories based on todays wealth of knowledge and our access to it albeit beyond the wall of distractions so everywhere will further conscious evolution.

A new system of checks and balances will be enabled as we learn to work together for a resource aware economic system that looks to creating healthy populations via healthy lifestyles. This would be trustier because it is by default transparent, diverse, collaborative and contains the ethos that Darwin actually spoke to; that the human's ability to cooperate, bond and share was key to our survival.

The survival of the fittest was coined by another dude, Spencer (an economist) and because it gave the Victorian elites a tool to justify their own delusional outlook - we deserve to have more than our share because we are the best!- it took off as a "truth."

Its way time for the new truth and that new reality to kick in!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Ethical Markets

I am reading "Ethical Markets Growing the Green Economy" by Hazel Henderson (2006) and came across the term Post Cartesian, which I like enough to pass along!

On page 202, HH writes that people are losing trust in the current industrial medical model. "The almost excessive specialization that affects our current medical approach is part of a 300 year academic tradition of reductionism: the idea that the wholes can be understood by dissecting them and studying their parts.This so called Cartesian approach-named after the French mathmatician Rene Descartes-led to an explosion of scientific knowledge. Now we are beginning to put these pieces back together in a larger worldview and more systemic approaches, which I have called the Post Cartesian Scientific Worldview (Henderson, 1981) We are slowly remebering that our bodies, minds, attitudes, spiritual lives, social circumstances and physical environments interact to keep us well or make us sick."

Now in 2010 that thinking is expanding to incorporate the economic mythos as well. WTO blew big time by thinking that currencies and wealth would be retained within the trading countries (that is one of the excuses used to offset World Bank et al responsibility) however global markets that are a mouse click away have altered the story -shock!

The CONNECTED approach has a history we need to share.

Monday, December 6, 2010


Still from a presentation/lecture/discussion I set up last year at SCCC Sustainable Fashion -how one industery is re-inventing itself

School is almost over, 1 year down and 1 to go! It's funny -I am in a teaching and learning constant, it's a good recipe..
Meeting with Anna Herman and Mark Pomerantz, putting puzzle pieces together is fun, generates proactive energy that is solution oriented and makes more sparks. When i meet the sparks i will write about them. You never really know what sparks will become lights on the path and which ones will just fizzle.

A Social Entrepreneurial Hub has just opened in San Francisco and forward thinking people are asking "why not Seattle?"

I hope the answer is "Yes Seattle is behind innovative, creative, socially just, new startups that will generate local sustainable businesses that will enable a new vision of economics and Seattle can grow her own!!"
Okay beyond mere hope, some of us are getting together to set the scene. We already know Seattle can deliver when encouraged.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Seattle has Style

Men who wear great vintage garb and ride the public's transportation are the best. Social justice style doesn't need armbands or protest buttons, it needs socially conscious decisions made visible. Joshua does all of that and more. Leaders are out there and looking good!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

good garb

This from summer days, like the look -urban skate with cyber hardware or something...just great!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Sew Rescue

The little hacking jacket in the top photos, had some off color spots. It is now remedied with a leather patch disguised as an intentional design.

The car coat, cut from a 1940s long coat that weighed in with too much fabric, had a case of moth misery that was repaired by red ultrasuede maple leaves appliqued over the holes.

Textiles in distress call out for design rescue.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Future !00 Award


This is a UK event to celebrate young social entrepreneurs"which recognizes the success of young entrepreneurs who demonstrate entrepreneurial flair and innovation in progressing a responsible business venture... How cool! " Nicola Woods (Beautiful Soul ) wrote after receiving the award.

In the words of the Future 100 the "definition of responsible business, is one which demonstrates an equal balance between economic, environmental and social goals to achieve ultimate business success. "

Friday, November 12, 2010

Water Now

Belltown Seattle

Vancouver BC

In this CONNECTED update the water chapter comes back to the stage.
I recently met someone working on desalination and even more recently talked with a classmate who has a keen interest about desalination, though his career path is heading towards what looks to be, a different directon. What a timely 'coincidence.'

I am loving this! I get to be a conduit that connects two wonderful, intelligent people together. Will this advance the thinking behind current desalination processes? Perhaps so.
Through this window, I was able to see that my work with CONNECTED was also 'like water.'

As water flows the way of least restrictions yet "knows" its eventual destination -so too does CONNECTED. As the water cycle doesn't have endings or beginnings, but points of transition that may or may not be influenced by human interventions - so too does CONNECTED. This is great fun with thinking.
Then do patterns after nature follow true nature?
Well thats a muddle. That could throw linear 'step by knowable step' and 'beginnings, middles and endings' into chaos. Consider both its charm and the jolly mess!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

fashionRIP Project (CONNECTED)

Exposed in Seattle-the hidden attributes

fashionRIP has something under her umbrella & its all about being CONNECTED.

After the big meeting at the end of November, I will plug in more details. The known is:

-eco fashion with Anna Herman

-recyCouture from fashionRIP and others

-people from varied disciplines are involved in developing one act plays and other modes of information via the arts
-something from the local music scene (heritage and /or current
-collaborating with the local eco businesses to see what kind of networking can be developed to push concepts of the sustainable lifestyle forward, while devolping a local economic strategy that is repeatable to encourage further growth of slow economy. (like slow fashion and food, we need to apprciate the processes that enables life and move out from the archaic industrial model)

-A big crazee good experiment that will rock the senses.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Pure Magnolia

Picture worth a thousand words.....Pure Magnolia, pure sustainability.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Halloween Showtime

the Welcome Griffin
at Costume and Display, Northgate.
Madder Hatter

Scott is sporting a fine set of tails. I saw him last week at Costume and Display "lookin' good" and wanted a picture for the blog but didn't know how to justify the flash as so often it turns quickly to trash.
Well, maybe in the right place a person can wear a costume every work day in October and that means re-use. Scott said this little number is on its 5th or 6th appearance and is going back to the closet after Halloween and will make many more appearances down the line.

It is good to work in a place that values more than bottom lines.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Lara Presber

More, Vancouver Eco Fashion Show..........

Monday, October 18, 2010

Eco Fashion

Elena Garcia is featured in the new Eco Fashion book by Sass Brown. Moving on out of the mud flats into chic street. Ethical Cool!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Blke Stunt Mystery

who are you?

I was on UW campus for a book and saw these two bike masters, walking their rides up stairs and the like. I snapped a few photos that do not do them justice, sorry. I thought too late, about inviting them to work at the fashion show next summer, to open the catwalk for the Alleycatz.

The Sophistcatz show would then be all of that with top hats, just imagine.

Eco fashion, bike stunts and one act plays about technology -great and gasp, or water -fresh and foul. This will be something unlike whatever you think it is now, for me too!! Process is organic and part of the fun.

Ideas, partners, helpers and talent are wanted.

Showing up counts. We can be that change that gets talked about.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Monday, October 4, 2010

Vancouver Eco fashion

Elena Garcia Eco-couture
Elena always delivers style and innovation. I found charming to apply this time, there was a romantic softness to the collection. It looked very wearer friendly and flowed nicely on the body. Loved the hand dyed quality.
This was a really good event, informative and full of talent. My personal esthetique was pleased many times though sometimes i was wanting to ask a designer to push it further or to lose the .....
I wondered about a few details as "is it a useful addition (pocket) or is it just to draw attention," what? I suspect these were young designers and they will grow into their style.

Catty not intended, but i wear clothes and dislike it when they wear me.
Personal style draws from experience and how one wants to show up in the world. I opt for function over fashion a bit too often these days. Alas!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

final warning ../.sign

if you would like to post this sign in your local hospital gift shop or anyhere baby clothing is sold, please email me @ debbarnesusa at hotmail dot com, for a pdf copy to print.
(put sign as the subject, thanx)

Monday, September 27, 2010

Warning Signs

(in cold water with no phosphate detergent and line dry)

i was at a local hospital picking up my father after surgery and had some time to kill. Went to the gift shop and started reading labels on the baby clothing and stuffed animals. Well as most of them were imported and not deemed eco sane or even safe; i suggested to the clerk that she tell people to wash items before putting them on the babies. She agreed to the idea.

Later i had a recycle conversation with the pharmacist (who asked for my card!) I then talked to a nurse on my dad's floor about my gift shop boldery. She said "doesn't veryone know to wash clothing first?" I replied, you would hope so, but it is easy to think new as clean. We then discussed the allergy uprise and how sad it is that asthma has been virtually normed. Who knows what else is induced by our toxic chemical dependencies?

So under the fashionRIP Project ethos; I am making up signs to take to local hospital gift shops and ask them to please hang them where customers can see them. I will also write up a little "why" card to help the clerks answer questions about this concern.

I am a zero population growth supporter which means that babies count. The numbers count and the babies then count more. Happy, healthy babies are good ...a matter of quality and not mass quantity.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Beautiful Soul Update

and an absolutely fabulous new collection!

I am so happy to see this designer gaining ground and voice. Her newest collection is beautiful, wearable and now includes a mens wear line. Nicola is a great talent; designing garments to wear now and to watch for in the future as each collection brings more delectable surprises.

"Inspired by the Grace Kelly exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum, and the vintage wardrobe of Naomi Thompson, founder of Vintage Secret, the collection will focus on the feminine 1950's silhouette with a twist of the Orient........The collection gives vintage Japanese kimonos a 'new lease of life' as they are upcycled into entirely new designs."

Watch the video Believe-ss:11 featuring garments and illustrated gardens and see more of this lovely collection on the web site.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Vancouver Eco Fashion

Elena Garcia Spring 2010

Next week i will be in Vancouver, especially looking forward to seeing Elena Garcia's newest work. Elena and other sustainable designers will be showing on the 29th and i cannot wait to see her runway show. Join us!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Silk Buffalo

lightly fitted, lovely eco (buffalo) plaid shirt from Anna Herman.

Love it!!!

Anna and I are planning an eco fashion show in Seattle next year. This will be more than a runway ya- da-da. We promise fashion with a difference in many ways. Stay tuned.

Monday, September 20, 2010

American Dream is the Nightmare

Stranger News Box(?) in Ballard

Growth in economics without regard to resources, environment or social equity was what built the American Dream. This is surely now the nightmare.

"We thrive when the planet thrives." Juliet Schor professor of sociology at Boston U. and author of Plenitude: the New Economics of True Wealth...."while waiting for government, lets get going.

Now!!!! fashionRIP Project's move towards a co-op building buy with other eco sane entreprenuers can address this issue. Pooling money and resources will help real progress manifest and enable the growth we want, not the growth that will eat us alive.
fashionRIP Project wants to be the experiment, is willing to model the new paradigm, is able to be sustainable and I will prove it. Dare me! but i need help!!!!

Co-ops and triple bottom line corporations will create healthier economics if supported and seen as better investments than the old markets, based on the linear model. Sole proprietors are good (been there, done that) but are less able to bounce back. Local sustainable economics will create healthier communities.
Bio-diversity is good for eco systems, communities, human species and economics too! It's simply not having all the eggs in that one basket and that = smart.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Lady Slippers part 1

The Lusty Lady died last month. I won't go into the morality show or the "it's a living" diatribe. I will say that the place is attached to a good memory of mine.

The photo is of the sidewalk mourning installation, across from SAM. The Kurt Cobain show inside the museum was all served up proper-like for commercial collections. It is funny how time and death creates that "other cultural acceptance" that the live artists rarely see. Anyway across from SAM the art was displayed publicly and on concrete. (street pop up art)

As for the LL, the first big wedding I did as Zootsuit was for a couple with connections to the Lusty Lady. I did 8 or so bridesmaid dresses and some of those maids were Ladies.

Lady Slippers part 2

It was the late 80s (or early 90s)
The dresses were jewel toned, silk satin, 50s prom worthy swirls with floral jackets. I made the flower girl dresses as well, blue and pink Swiss Dot (organdy with flocked pin dots- so cute with little pinafore covers) and the priests robe was a multi color combo made from dress remnants. It was held at Kinnear Park on Queen Anne and it was lovely. My first big custom dress event!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Fashion Is

back with yoke detail

as fashion does.

This custom one of a kind skirt was made for and by Montana with remnants retrieved from Sew Up Seattle via Goods for the Planet in the grand "pass it on" style that recycouture and sustainable fashion endorses.

Passing on the goods and better yet the information, is what sustainability is all about. Reaching into many markets, changing patterns and beliefs is part of the evolving process that life encourages. Montana's skirt is a metaphor for how real, tangible, 3d things are accomplished when action is added.
Today a skirt, tomorrow the co-op; same principles.

Monday, September 6, 2010


hello people art from a child

State Farm (insurance) club 17

Starbucks Gold Members tent

& elitist schmack
Bumbershoot was palled by corporate presence. The elitist noise of the current economic model that is tanking the best of the planet has the temerity and the power to promote it's agenda. By the means of processed factory foods and worker bee buzz, the soon to be Dead Peasants they are giggly 'bout exploiting are the you and me of the the whole. Prompted to consume for economic health we are gobbling through resources like mad gremlins tossing back waste enough to bury us all
The all of us, the whole, that is the issue. Our species means of existence relies on the very things that are being does this not register?