Win a Fabulous Upcycled Dolce Vita Gown & Imagine Sipping Nespresso with George Clooney!
It’s high summer, and The V & A is celebrating the eternal, Dolce Vita pizzazz and allure of Italian Fashion with its blockbuster exhibition – The Glamour of Italian Fashion 1945 -2014. So what could be more exciting than the opportunity to win a one of a kind, upcycled, form-fitting goddess gown inspired by those breathless mavens of Italian cinema – Anna Magnani and Silvana Mangano? The dress has been designed with chutzpah, spirit and a dash of daring reinvention by Orsola de Castro, the luxe eco designer behind Livia Firth’s 2010 Oscar gown and her urbane, inventive, luxe fashion label – From Somewhere. The dress is a playful juxtaposition of the casual and the alluring, with a hint of sportswear stretch for the exciting possibility of dancing in the Trevi Fountain!
Win A dress with love from Gorgeous George Clooney’s favourite brand of urbane coffee
Now, imagine a gown that would make George Clooney – heartthrob, political activist, campaigner, pig lover and coffee aficionado whistle his approval. The dress could soon adorn your wardrobe, with love from The Ethical Hedonist and George’s favourite brand of upmarket coffee – Nespresso. The chicly urbane coffee marque is keen to flex its sustainability credentials, not just the intoxicating aromas of its carefully blended world coffees – from Kazaar to the heady Rosabaya de Columbia.
Our one of a kind dress to give away is ingeniously fashioned from a super heavyweight sustainable viscose the colour of midnight. A fabric so silken and luxuriant – we will let you into a secret…. Shush, don’t tell anyone… it is the favoured fabric of the world’s top couturiers. The times really are a changing in the world of fashion from fast to something altogether more slow, intelligent and considered, and EH will bring you a front row seat!
Now Enter the Competition to Win the Dress and Visit the V&A’s Go-to Fashion Exhibtion of 2014!
Super Exclusive EH Competition in Association with Nespresso
Your chance to win a one-off upcycled dress – Nespresso’s version of a ‘capsule wardrobe’
Nespresso raises the bar for sustainable innovation
Nespresso is renowned for its passion for quality, craftsmanship and sustainability and because the world’s most eligible male, George Clooney has been the tongue-in-cheek ambassador for the brand since 2006 – with beautiful women famously preferring the coffee to George in those super smooth commercials. The brand’s commitment to artistry has now been extended into the world of fashion. To celebrate its support of the Victoria and Albert Museum’s new exhibition, The Glamour of Italian Fashion 1945-2014, the brand commissioned Orsola de Castro, creative director of the pioneering upcycling brand From Somewhere, to use its colourful, recyclable capsules to create a glamorous, one of a kind, artisan-luxury gown.
Nespresso chose From Somewhere due to their shared brand ethos of style with substance. This London-based fashion house really pioneered the fashion concept of creating contemporary fashion pieces from strikingly unexpected materials, and this dress showcases this approach perfectly. It took de Castro and five skilled seamstresses 200 hours to create the dress using 600 Nespresso capsules sewn onto a super luxurious, upcycled evening viscose.
So how can you get your hands on the hottest capsule couture around? Answer the following question for your chance to win the dress and two tickets to the V&A’s new exhibition, The Glamour of Italian Fashion to take a look at the pieces that inspired Nespresso’s dress.
Q: How many Nespresso capsules were used in the creation of the dress?
Send your answer to the competition to Alison Jane, Editor-in-Chief of The Ethical Hedonist Magazine now – email firstname.lastname@example.org Closing Date July 1st 2014
*******The winner will be picked at random from correct entries
Now read more about George Clooney, the story behind the From Somewhere dress and Nespresso’s track record on sustainable farming.
Clooney proves he’s got the brains as well as the looks
George Clooney has been the face of Nespresso for 8 years. Last year he was in Paris, lending a dash of Hollywood lustre and credibility to launch the brands new Sustainability Advisory Board. Writing for the Guardian, Lucie Siegle reported Clooney saying he had decided to take a more hands on approach to his relationship with the smooth coffee brand.
“I would find myself at a press conference, or perhaps a film festival, and suddenly there would be people challenging me about Nespresso’s sustainability,” said Clooney. “ I thought if I was going to be involved on a long-term basis with this company, and I like them very much, I should find out what they’re doing and what they should and could be held responsible for.”
In 2011, George visited Costa Rica with Nespresso, to meet some of the coffee farmers that the company now says it pays an above market price premium to for their distinctive, high prized coffee beans.
“I’m the grandson of tobacco farmers and I grew up on a farm, and I really felt that when I went to Costa Rica,” said the star. “I spent time with one amazing family who have changed everything, made it more efficient, made it better. They were so proud. Pig crap powers their entire home.”
Given Clooney’s love for the porcine world, it would seem that the star was happy that Nespresso is maintaining the high standards required between commerce, the environment and looking after its coffee farmers as a Rainforest Certified producer.
So it seems Clooney is comfortable with his relationship with Nespresso and they are fulfilling their promises on sustainability and security for the farmer who produce for them. See below for more updates.
Paving the way to lasting change
Fast forward to 2014, and Nespresso says it is increasing its commitment to sustainable coffee production from farm to cup and the idea behind the upcycled gown is to show how something that is frequently discarded as rubbish can again become something covetable and beautiful. This message is wittily brought to life into every hand-stitched, colourful Nespresso recyclable aluminium capsule that adorns this eye popping, playful, inventive dress inspired by the Italian passion for colour and peacock display.
The Ethical Hedonist adores Italy, especially Rome. There is something about a summer in the eternal city that captures the playfulness, colour and exuberance of Italian fashion. Think of a gamine Audrey Hepburn, larking as only princesses do, rather demurely, around its cobbled streets with a very dashing Gregory Peck in suave pursuit in Roman Holiday. Her wardrobe is adorably colourful and cute.
It took De Castro and a team of five skilled seamstresses a week to make the equally colourful FromSomwhere dress, which looks almost good enough to eat, or should that be inhale!
A coffee-fuelled collaboration!
I was one of the first journalists to write about Orsola and feature her inventive, colourful, upcycled sportswear couture back in 2005 for You Magazine. So it was fun to catch up with her again at the Nespresso shop on Regent Street, to celebrate Nespresso’s co sponsorship of the V&A exhibition and to see Orsola’s café society inspired capsule couture!
“This is just the kind of challenge we love staying up overnight to work on,” Orsola, tells me, her eyes twinkling. Though she readily admits that she had no idea just how painstaking the job of hand sewing hundreds of tiny Nespresso capsules onto the dress would turn out to be.
“Let’s just say we were fuelled by coffee,” laughs Orsola, who says, “The capsules were sewn on just like colourful buttons. “We were very inspired by the colours of the capsules. We went for the reds, the golds and the pinks to create the idea of a perfect, Dolce Vita story – I’m very Italian – I’m a red and pink sort of person.”
As for the brief, she describes it as wonderfully organic. “ The brief was very fluid. It didn’t have to be day or night, it just had to be glamorous and naturally it had to exude Italian style. But what was interesting, is that we submitted sketches and the winning style was a classic combination of two popular From Somewhere gowns – our column dress that we did for Livia, for the Oscars – and the top bit was inspired by our Racer Speedo dress, which pays homage to the influence of sportswear in fashion in the nineties, with designers like Gianni Versace.”
The most luxuriant, upcycled viscose is the chosen fabric of Italian luxury
Orsola picked a super heavyweight, luxurious, upcycled viscose, for the body of the dress. The fabric is used by many of Italy’s iconic designers, while the opaque side panels are made from stretch sportswear, to make the dress versatile, durable and flattering to every body shape.
“The dress will follow the line of the body, whether you are curvaceous, or if you have a more boyish figure,” she explains. “It is designed to be super flattering to all body shapes – and the fabric is an evening viscose, with a hint of shimmer. I wanted to create a dress that is super elegant, but also a bit tongue in cheek and casual.”
So, was there one woman who inspired the creation of the dress? Orsola pauses, deep in thought, then she says, “I liked Gianni Versace’s sportswear evening gowns in the nineties and those svelte, elongated column dresses that the late Catherine Walker created for Princess Diana. They were very daring. I liked the new casualness to eveningwear.”
There was another perk to designing the dress that would be a joy to any self-respecting Italian.
“The best thing while we stayed up all night creating the dress was that the design studio smelt like the most wonderful, intoxicating, Italian coffee bar – what could be better than that for any Italian? I would do it all again, like a shot.”
To Buy Tickets for the V&A Glamour of Italian Fashion Exhibition go to – www.vam.ac.uk
Nespresso and Sustainability
*Nespresso coffee is Rainforest Alliance certified – This is the leading environmental NGO, and puts the focus on quality and sustainability to drive social and economic improvements for coffee farmers as well as to preserve habitat. Nespresso has said it will expand the triple AAA programme to include more smallholder coffee farmers in the future.
Nestlé Nespresso, the Colombian Ministry of Labour, the Aguadas Coffee Growers Cooperative and Fairtrade International have entered into a groundbreaking public-private partnership to establish a retirement fund for coffee farmers in the Nespresso AAA Sustainable Quality™ Program.
When launching its Ecolaboration™ sustainability programme in 2009, Nespresso made the commitment to put systems in place to triple its capacity to recycle used capsules to 75% by 2013. In three years,Nespresso has not only reached that target, but has also attained a recycling capacity of 100% in eight of its markets.