From Earth to wear: nature in fashion. - Petralonga

Wear a touch of nature.
Throughout time, fashion has solidified its invaluable role in reuse and recycle have nowadays reached a very high level of importance both in political debates and in the lives of people.
True to its tradition, fashion has taken a stance that shows how ahead of times creativity can be when it comes to essential matters: it is in fashion that old and new concepts are challenged and reinvented through a more contemporary light.

Natural textures find their way among silks and cashmere, in a timeless reuse of what has hardly ever been out of touch: a wonderful example of this is the “coffa”, otherwise known as the classic straw bag. Historically, the coffa was part of the rural world, and it used to be a bag for feeding donkeys. It has definitely come a long way, from feeding farm animals to becoming a fashion icon!

The splendour of the Sicilian tradition is embodied in the endless combinations of decor, from pompoms to delicate little mirrors, blending colours and light, every “coffa” is a masterpiece, it is art at its best. Made from straw and other vegetable fibres, it represents an intricate connection between old and new life, a story told through every personalised detail. It helps reviving memories together with creating what can be defined as a “innovative” fashion style.

Reusing natural materials involves the idea that something new can be created without destroying but “re-transforming” something old in a pure comeback of the “antique” in the realm of bags, jewellery and other accessories. The concept of reuse becomes a symbol: the artistic creation from inexpensive materials changes the idea of making without losing track of memory and time.

The most charming aspect of such wonderful creations is the adaptability and eclecticism of these accessories. Straw bags and bijoux can be used any time of the day at any occasion, at parties, weddings, special occasions, the difference in detailing and the variety of colours make these fashion items a simple and elegant choice bound to please everybody.

Let’s take a look at a couple of examples of creations from natural materials:

– the “Coffa”: as mentioned before, from a mere object of the rural life it has now become a celebration of baroque and Sicilian beauty originally thanks to the intuition of Dolce & Gabbana. The two stylists are particularly bound to tradition and to their own country, as the use of “carretti siciliani” and the re-invention of the “coffa” clearly states. Whether in its original version as a bag or in a smaller cute version as decor for earrings, this spectacular straw creation oozes wonder, warmth and beautiful simplicity. It is an expression of the ever-so-cool concept of Made in Sicily, with a keen eye for artistic details that become, in its more valuable version, a real handmade masterpiece.

– The “espadrillas” and cord-made wedge heels: nothing feels more summer-y than the famous footwear named espadrillas – a fresh, very colourful type of shoes well-known as an element of boho fashion. Espadrillas blend a body of light fabric – usually in bright colours such as red, yellow, orange to name a few – with a low sole of interwoven cord in warm brune tones. This peculiar element has been lately celebrated by many famous footwear brands, as the espadrillas have decisively conquered a spot as a classic summer item. For example, the renowned brand Superga has very recently launched a new line of shoes that unifies the sneaker-style with a slightly higher-than-usual wedge heel (4cm) entirely made out of cord, in a shabby look that suits every informal occasion, or rocks a boho-inspired formal look.

Tracing out the wonder of nature and the beauty of reuse has lately become a new trend, not only in fashion. What is classic is re-discovered and personalised, there are no boundaries to imagination and creativity. Durability, strength and resilience are welcomed additions to everyday fashion accessories, as materials such as cord, straw and rafia are naturally very resistant and most easily malleable.

This new planet-friendly use of natural elements in fashion is a metaphor of life. The inexpensive becomes art, and challenges the unstoppable flow of time drawing a line between past, present and future. It is the desire of going back to what is pure that gives life to this wave of change in various industries. In the kitchen, for example, there has been a gradual but consistent growth of interest towards the origin, meaning and use of herbs and spices, going back to their use in medicine and healing processes and exploring the fascinating world around them. Similarly, natural materials wide the sensorial experience in a blend of scents, colours and textures. Their reuse is a celebration of the natural world and of what it has to offer, without contamination but within the reach of artistic re-invention.

By the way, your way: when the shabby chic meets with nature, there is an explosion of styles that fearlessly challenges tradition and models it. For the adventurous bride, the “coffa sposa” is the classic example of a fusion of old and new interwoven with delicacy. The pure notes of white textures mix with the brune, warm colour of the straw, pompoms and lace details add a sweet tone to the elegance of mirrors and (sometimes) tiny bells, and all together these elements give life to a unique accessory, a triumph of simplicity that enchants with a touch of earth and sun your most important day of life.

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