Lessons in Slow Luxe How to Protect the Snow Leopard
Lessons in Luxe: How to Protect the Snow Leopard
Authentic luxury that makes the heart miss a beat has always been about provenance and marvellous storytelling. Now luxury takes a paradigm shift to celebrate and champion the slow, time-honoured art of the artisan and to get us all talking sustainability and biodiversity in a way that is intelligent, doesn’t preach and just works. Ultimately, isn’t beauty the answer to everything? The kind of heart-stopping beauty that would make a bishop want to kick in a stained glass window, laced with straight-talking altruism – at last!
Montesogno – The New Kid On the Slow Luxe Fashion Block
Montesogno is the new kid on the block of fledgling luxe brands to know and fall head over heels in love with. What discerning lover of beauty and the natural world wouldn’t want to cocoon and swathe themselves in a shimmering shawl that features artist Sophie Dunster’s extraordinarily magnetic illustrations of some of the world’s most endangered species?
Notably, the Snow Leopard, European Wolf and Africa’s Bataleur Eagle. We are thoroughly smitten and enchanted by Dunster’s flighty, noble bird of prey, its wings kissed with phosphorescent blue plumage. In French, its name means ‘street performer’, an apt reference to its remarkable ability to soar, rather like the wavering of a tightrope walker. Dunster, who studied print at Edinburgh College of Art and Design, really captures the personality of the Bataleur, and in doing, so creates wearable art that is tactile, sensuous and thoroughly intoxicating – the essence of luxe! While her subtle interpretation of the sublime, muted fur pattern and palette of the world’s most elusive and endangered cat lends its self beautifully to a sumptuous blanket turned talisman. Each piece in the collection is worthy to become an heirloom treasure.
A Labour of Love for a Passionate Animal Lover and Conservationist
Founded by Mungo Tennant, Montesogno has been a labour of love for the passionate animal lover, conservationist and disciple of Professor Mark Rowlands, an academic who dissects human and animal behaviour with such compelling insight. He is the author of sixteen books, including the bestselling The Philosopher and the Wolf.
The Animals are the Icons
The concept behind Montesogno is elegantly “simple. Create a capsule collection of Made in Britain shawls, scarves, blankets, throws and T-shirts, using exquisite natural materials, including wool and British silk and let the animals start the conversation. Mungo says, “Giving money to conservation causes is usually thought of as an act of charity. At Montesogno, we see things differently. If a species makes some valuable contribution to a product we create, by lending its image or providing inspiration – then we will pay for it.” Montesogno gives a minimum of 10% of the cost each garment to charities that support and champion the survival of its featured endangered species through conservation and protection.”
Could this be the future of luxury and charitable giving?
“Business and conservation don’t have to be enemies,” says Mungo thoughtfully. “In striving for a better life for ourselves, we can simultaneously give back to the exquisite yet fragile creatures that have in turn given us so much.”
What Makes Montesogno Sustainable
Silks are manufactured in London, to keep the carbon footprint low as possible. Digital printing is used to minimise waste and avoid the use of harsh chemicals. All knitted pieces are manufactured in Scotland, using Good Energy, as a renewable supplier. T-shirts are made using a Fairtrade bamboo and organic cotton blend and water-based inks. Knitted designs are made using 100% superfine merino wool, which is fully traceable back to individual flocks in Australia. All yarn suppliers meet GOTS standards for dyeing processes.
Here at EH we like and respect this pragmatic approach to conservation. For it is so much productive than gloom and hysteria. Animal prints and the call of the wild hold eternal allure to the world of haute fashion. Of course, the proof is in the desire for people to adorn themselves in images of charismatic cats and kamikaze eagles – and for that we predict a riot of interest!
Montesogno donates 10% of the production costs on every item to the following conservation charities:
The Snow Leopard Trust
The Whitley Fund for Nature
Edge – Evolutionary Distinct and Globally Endangerd (EDEOFEXISTENCE.ORG)
Prices start at £60.00 for a T-shirt , with silks scarves from £205 and blankets from £350. For more info www.montesogno.com