Sunday, October 1, 2023

A Barbie Star Draped In Swarovski and Sustainability


Barbie star Nicola Coughlan shines the spotlight on sustainability in Europe with a Tencel dress sparkling with Swarovski crystals.

A spotlight on sustainable fashion hit the European premiere of the highly anticipated movie, Barbie, when actress Nicola Coughlan graced the pink carpet in an eco-conscious, custom-made gown. The couture piece was born out of a partnership between the leading textile brand Tencel, the actress herself, her trusted stylist Aimee Croysdill, and designer Jackson Wiederhoeft.

Coughlan, renowned for her role as ‘Diplomat Barbie’ in the movie, wore the unique ensemble inspired by her favorite childhood ‘Sparkle-Eyes Barbie’. This collaboration, first in a series, aimed at showcasing eco-couture and supporting the new wave of designers moving towards sustainable materials and practices.

Wiederhoeft, an emerging designer based in New York, used fabrics sourced from Esce-tex, a platform specializing in sustainable materials for rising talent. The gown was crafted using fabrics made exclusively from Tencel Lyocell fibers and Tencel Luxe filament yarns, and decorated with Swarovski crystals.

Nicola Coughlan
LONDON, ENGLAND – JULY 12: Nicola Coughlan attends the European Premiere of “Barbie” at Cineworld Leicester Square on July 12, 2023 in London, England. (Photo by Jed Cullen/Dave Benett/WireImage)

Coughlan’s participation and support for the project held significant meaning. “Collaborating with Tencel and Wiederhoeft on this custom look has been a dream,” she said in a statement. “It’s really exciting to have the opportunity to spotlight eco-couture at tonight’s Barbie premiere.”

The custom-made gown was not just a fashion statement, but a symbol of a broader movement toward eco-friendly practices in the industry. It showcased how sustainability can be seamlessly integrated with high-end couture, sparking discussions around the need for more diversity in beauty and style representations.

Eva McGeorge, Head of Marketing & Communication Europe / Americas / Turkey of Lenzing AG, the parent company of Tencel, elaborated, “It has been an honor to collaborate with Nicola and Aimee on this special project, showcasing Tencel’s commitment to sustainability and encouraging the adoption of eco-friendly materials in the fashion industry.”

Tencel’s commitment to the environment is mirrored in the materials used in the gown. Tencel Lyocell fibers and Tencel Luxe filament yarns are 100 percent botanic, biodegradable, and compostable, derived from sustainably sourced wood. These materials produce naturally smooth, soft, and breathable fabrics, making them a preferred choice for many designers and brands seeking to maintain luxury and quality while mitigating environmental impact.

Coughlan’s stylist Aimee Croysdill emphasized the responsibility of sustainable fashion in the context of the Barbie world, known for its association with plastic.

Nicola Coughlan
LONDON, ENGLAND – JULY 12: Nicola Coughlan gets hair and makeup for the European Premiere of “Barbie” at Cineworld Leicester Square on July 12, 2023 in London, England. (Photo by Jed Cullen/Dave Benett/WireImage)

“The Barbie world is plastic fantastic and I felt that we had a responsibility to make sure we took measures to be sustainable in our approach to this look,” she said. “Materials made of TENCEL™ fall beautifully and feel incredibly luxurious. The thing I love the most is it has a breathability that you can’t compare to other fabrics. It’s lightweight and airy.”

In crafting the design, Wiederhoeft integrated silver glass beads and chandelier crystals, reminiscent of Coughlan’s Barbie in the movie. “Fashion is such a resource-intensive industry that is susceptible to creating incredible waste and pollution. It’s been amazing to partner with Tencel and through them Swarovski – who both have incredible initiatives around sustainability,” the designer said.

The collaboration with Swarovski, a company deeply invested in sustainability, further solidified the project’s eco-conscious message. The use of Swarovski crystals served as an homage to the company’s commitment to sustainability, diversity, and self-expression, established since its inception in 1895.

The partnership between Tencel and Swarovski underscores the synergy between two Austrian companies devoted to sustainability, uniting to back emerging talent. This alignment marks a critical step towards mainstreaming sustainable practices in the fashion industry, where the red carpet becomes not just a display of glitz and glamour, but also a platform for sustainable and responsible fashion.

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