Welcome to the new U.P site! A project about daily change can't stay the same forever, right? Well now is the time for that makeover. We will be rolling out the new U.P website this week, so please bear with the little hiccups while we get there. What you will see is not just a design revamp, but also a categorical reorganization of the past 2 years of U.P adventures. Add to that a much-needed upgrade of our technology framework to accommodate for more flexible content updates, and presto, welcome to U.P's whole new look. You will notice that there are a few things missing, but you will also discover a lot of new features… Get the the full update >

Uniform Project was born in May 2009, when one girl pledged to wear a Little Black Dress for 365 days as an exercise in sustainable fashion. Designed to also be a fundraiser for the education of underprivileged children in India, the project acquired millions of visitors worldwide and raised over $100k for the cause. U.P then continued into Year 2 with a monthly series of select Pilots taking on the 1-Dress challenge for causes of their choice. Today, women around the world continue to take on the 1 Dress challenge and wear U.P LBDs as an expression of socially conscious fashion. Get the Full Story >

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Under the Clock Tower

Posted on: January 1st, 1970 by admin No Comments

The Coach bus pulled into Cornell’s Theatre Arts Center around 9:25PM last night, just in time for me to stop in the Vietnamese restaurant to get “my usual.” I’ve been out of college for some time, but the owner remembers me so it’s always welcoming to drop in and say “Hello.” Does he remember all the faces that pass through his little restaurant? One may never know.

I opened my windows wide this morning and the sun’s strong white ladyfingers stretched through the gauzy curtains. An elderly passerby cast the longest shadow over the sidewalk and into the gardens. A thin crust of snow clung to the frigid ground. The walls of Comstock, which housed Tom’s office, formidably stand above all other edifices. I hope to see someone there today, anyone really… I want to know whether he had his beautiful mind up until he passed. It’s a peace of mind that I can’t quite explain, but am determined to find out.

Then a few meetings on campus, a few reminiscent moments with my professors, former colleagues and then my two talks…

I can honestly say that Cornell holds a very special place in my heart. A sudden shudder of realization overtook me last time I was here in December – I’d never come back here to study…the walls became too small, too controlling long ago, but I will always remember them as the education that helped set me free as a teenager…

Today’s dress: Silk, Italian-made Gucci blazer worn over the LBD with loosely ruffled bottom and a deep V-neck for one of the most exquisite re-created vintage jewelry pieces I’ve seen in a long time (Thea Grant); black nylon ankle socks (Stockingirl); and Lela Rose Bolivar wedge with loosely woven basket-weaving for Payless.

Song: The Blower’s Daughter by Damien Rice

In Memory of Tom Eisner

Posted on: January 1st, 1970 by admin No Comments

Yesterday morning I received word that my greatest mentor, Tom Eisner, had passed quietly in his home in Ithaca, just a week and a half before I emailed him to let him know that I was thinking of him. I was not his student, though I sat in his classes.

I was not a research assistant, though we talked entomology & research. In the summer months, he taught at NYU & I traveled to the city from Cornell to work on my environmental fashion projects. When we both had time off, we would meet under a large sycamore & share a spare lunch and substantive conversation. In so many ways he was closer to me than some of my closest family members. As my other friend has recently said, “We had a special connection that defies all orthodoxy.”

My professors at Cornell knew how close we were. And that’s how the news came…by way of their emails to me…

So this is a day of remembering: A day of remembering all those that are truly special in your life & a memorial to someone who was truly monumental in mine.

My LBD: Worn as an underbust ruffle dress; vintage silk chiffon shirt & vintage saddle bag (Ebay Green Team); Emilio Cavallini plaid anklets; Isabel Toledo for Payless ballet flats; Thea Grant re-created vintage jewelry; and special Cloven Hoof Hercules beetle cameo (dedicated to Tom’s For Love of Insects) Photos: Rory

And now I will take my trip back to Cornell today where I will walk past that long corridor to his office, in memory of him…

Song that soothes: Everyday by Carly Comando.

Spreading one’s wings

Posted on: January 1st, 1970 by admin No Comments

Well, the time has come for a beautiful end to a beautiful project. Like a butterfly emerging from its month-long chrysalis, it is time for me to symbolically emerge from my Little Black Dress.

This time, bedecked as a vest top tied loosely in back w/Carasan’s silk tie – and symbolically removed in the final images, always within reach for a day of inspired adornment. I paired this w/ Charmone heels & a vintage jeweled necklace passed down from my Great Grandmother. All worn today for a final hooray at a fashion cocktail event…

Thank you for your generous donations. After a very emotional talk at Cornell, it was so lovely to receive a note from Sheena informing me that we have surpassed our goal of building 2 wells.

A special thanks to Sheena & team; Carasan Designs for creating such a wonderful, versatile dress + all the giveaways; to the UP community for all your support & generous donations up to the last min of the last hr of the last day; to Payless for matching the funds + zoe&zac gifts; Marko Cecic-Karuzic, Rory Gunderson, & Chris Newburg for generously donating their time + creativity in helping me showcase my LBD. From the bottom of my heart – thank you. Photo: Marko in the Brooklyn Winery.

Ne’er ask me what raiment I’ll wear, for I have no more doublets than backs, no more stockings than legs, nor no more shoes than feet…”
— William Shakespeare, Sly, in The Taming of the Shrew

Finale: Big Jet Plane, Angus & Julia Stone; If you want me to stay, Sly & The Family Stone.

3, 2, 1…

Posted on: January 1st, 1970 by admin No Comments

Wow, what a momentous occasion: We have successfully raised enough money to build one UP well and are on our way of reaching our ultimate goal of 2 wells! I want to start off by thanking all who have given and to Payless for matching the funds because it makes our combined efforts that much easier. Starting today even some of my wardrobe will be auctioned on I-Ella, proceeds going to charity: water as well.

Today is my last full day in New York for a bit, as I’ll be on a mini-speaking tour until April 5th. I leave late in the day tomorrow to my Alma Mater to give 2 talks – one campus-wide keynote entitled from Rainforests to Runways: One young woman’s wild journey in fashion, activism and entrepreneurship, which I thought was a fun title. The second talk happens right after at the Johnson Business School specifically on building Source4Style. I’ll be back on the 31st just in time for a panel talk (and my last LBD day with all of you (sniffles))….

I’d love if you all can keep up with me though, as I have to share how I’ll be helping transform Times Square in New York on April 7th – and of course, the environmental film that I plan to finish very, very soon, Sacred Headwaters…and so much more…

In the meantime, I turned my LBD into a drop crotch jumper with a few deft pulls of the strings. Vintage Navajo bolero (Ebay Green Team); Dirty Librarian Chains necklace; and recycled Panamanian Mola shoes. Photo: Rory Gunderson.

Jamming to: Number 1 by Goldfrapp

Dryad of the Urban Wood

Posted on: January 1st, 1970 by admin No Comments

At this point you’ve been invited into the whimsy & wunderkammerness of my little abode. Brightly painted walls bursting forth w/ tendrils of ivy & philodendrons; Tree ferns, Ficus & palms stretching branches towards the morning sun; a hammock b/t two turn-of-the-century wooden posts; terrariums of exotic insects; and a collection of honeys, teas, bibelots, & collectibles from all corners of the globe.

Welcome everyone to my chimerical paradise of rest, work & relaxation.

I do believe my proclivity for such niceties stems from my deep affection for Nature and have quite the collection from Her ample armoire. Prized finds such as bird’s nest fungus, witch’s butter, wooly bears, iridescent beetles, dead man’s fingers, driftwood, and the ghostly vestiges of Indian pipe float about my bedroom. Perhaps my urban-existence is a bit anemic & will never be able to fulfill my unquenchable thirst for idyllic living –but that’s why I go out to experience life – or shall I say – living – once in a while.

I suppose if my home were embodied into an LBD – it would be this one. This time: a CPALI skirt (STUDYNY) woven w/4,000 wild silkworm cocoons; Christian Siriano bark cloth belt; Oda folklore bolero; Thea Grant reconstructed vintage necklace; Charmone heels; monarchs in the hair.

We have successfully built 1 UP well! Yah! And some of my wardrobe will be auctioned off on I-Ella starting tomorrow. 

Photo: Rory.

Skipping barefoot to: The Trapeze Swinger by Iron & Wine

Reverence from fifteen feet below

Posted on: January 1st, 1970 by admin No Comments

We finished the first day of shooting that I was telling you about yesterday. My body is unaccustomed to being submerged beneath the water for three hours and when I emerged, my skin felt gummy and rubber-like. The hot shower last night felt more than amazing and the filleted lemon branzino – more than delicious.

We’ll continue on today and then schedule one last day for some key components of – what I suppose – is becoming a PSA for the Environment. Then, a marathon editing session so that the finishing touches will be completed by May, just in time to unveil the final product to the Aspen Environment Forum and perhaps even a potent visual homage to World Environment Day on June 5th.

If I have time, I’ll give my good friend Wade a call back, as he is helping me plan for an April trip to Peru to meet some textile weavers and artisans for Source4Style.

I decided to take a sensually subtle approach to my LBD and slide it beneath the most beautifully embroidered 1940s dress, worn backwards (Traven7). The reminiscent touch of the sweetheart neckline remains, but enshrouded beneath an organdy fog. It can easily be worn with or without the finely tailored organic cotton-wool bolero by Anja Hynynen; vintage-inspired Loreto wedge by Lela Rose for Payless; and a handmade silk belt purchased at the old Studio 5-in-1, which I had frequented quite regularly back in its heyday.

Caught up beneath a: Mango Tree by Angus & Julia Stone

Diving deep

Posted on: January 1st, 1970 by admin No Comments

Around 1PM today I’ll be casting off my LBD and diving

Deep
Deep
Deep

Into a dark and uncomfortably familiar emotional abyss. I’ll be once again teaming up with my friend Clayton Haskell to shoot an experimental environmental short. The last piece we did was an epic short fashion-film on honeybee Colony Collapse Disorder for ABOVE that you can view here. (Please note: There is nudity, but done beautifully and expressively – quite secondary to the message, as you will soon see).

I have great respect for Clay’s work and had looked a long time for a videographer whom I could trust, work collaboratively with, and push creative boundaries when it comes to cutting edge video, environmental messages, and avant-garde beauty and fashion. This time we’ll be doing a short film that’s inspired by a rather poignant speech I’ve given in the recent past. I hope to share it with all of you in the coming months…

For the short time I’ll be in my LBD I’ve created a vested-cape. I believe one of you had asked for something worn w/trousers. I have heard your request – so here it is: Silk high-waisted pants by John Patrick’s Organic, whose collection this season was just impeccably delicious. Vintage Frenchie blouse from FistCityVintage; Isabel Toledo for Payless kitten heels; and a vintage cap compliments of the Ebay Green Team.

Diving to: Dishwasher by Fujiya and Miyagi

Très chic, très hip, très sexy

Posted on: January 1st, 1970 by admin No Comments

I vowed not to curse the weather – but my goodness! What IS it w/ the snow, sleet, hail, rain & lightning all wrapped into one ominous package?

At least I get to play-work around the house today until my afternoon meeting. So here I go again – looking a bit way too fabulous for my idyllic little urban dwelling. But then again, I never minded the dichotomy of this crazy little life I’ve crafted.

I’m actually writing a letter to my grandmother today. I need to let her know that I’m featured in a bunch of magazines this month (She gets a little irked when I keep to myself), but I think she quite enjoys picking them up on the newsstand, which is really sweet. I also have to share the news that I have been using her beautifully crocheted collars & great gram’s vintage scarves since she doesn’t use the Internet. ;-)

I think the LBD looks so elegant but I’ve kept it simple. I love how just a little adjustment makes such a transformational difference. For instance, I kept it as a bubble and stepped one leg through to the front to make it appear like an unconventional slit up the dress. Again, another Carasan collar creation and her cute knit ruffled gloves, (which you can win if you give $100 or more!); glasses from my collection with MODO Eco (coming soon!); Charmone heels; and a lovely pen given to me by my dear friend Damon so I can write, write, write.

Images: Marko

Swept off my feet to: Ces Petits Riens by Stacy Kent

This will make you dance

Posted on: January 1st, 1970 by admin No Comments

I’m feeling quite festive today so I decided to skittle it up and taste the rainbow. Might as well because something needs to ward off this wintery mix that has reared its head once again.

For all of you who responded to yesterday’s post about the NYC Garment Center Town Hall – just to let you know it was a really engaged crowd and panel discussion. I’ll be posting an overview later tonight on the Source4Style blog: S4.

Our field research intern, Jessica, will also be coming in to the office today to present her experience+data collection from factories in the garment industry. Hopefully by being involved in all of this initial research, we’ll be able to come up with a useful tool via Source4Style to bring more business to the garment centers and help designers find what they’re looking for more easily. All those updates will be via the SMARTER GARMENT CENTER™.

As for my LBD? Let’s see. I really layered it on: I left a few buttons secured at the bottom & stepped through it. The amazing confetti-like ruffle sweater is by Carasan Designs. Tagua nut bracelet+necklace (Palma Collection); Guatemalan beaded bracelet (Mercado Global); feather headpiece (Emily Clark); vintage leather heart inlay Rancho Loco cowboy boots (Atomic Fireball); vintage hand-painted Mexican folklore falda circa 1950s (RaimentRevival);

Photo: Marko

Swirling to: Mariposa traicionera by Mana

Why today is important

Posted on: January 1st, 1970 by admin No Comments

Today is a significant day for a couple reasons.

Firstly, it’s World Water Day, which is pretty cool considering that we’re raising money for charity: water to build a Uniform Project well. $1294 and 9 more will do that!

Secondly, Elizabeth and I are heading to the NYC Garment Industry’s Town Hall meeting later today. If you’re not a designer, contractor, politician, real estate developer or urban planner – you probably don’t know this – but the NYC garment industry, which has a workforce of 300K & 12K+ businesses in NYC is under heavy real estate & zoning pressures.

The Garment Industry is vital for independent designers since that is most often where they get their start sourcing & producing their first samples. I mean I can’t even begin to tell you how many independent designers have helped make my wardrobe possible (and not just for the UP either)! Anyway, that’s why Source4Style is launching the beginning stages of the SMARTER GARMENT CENTER™ initiative because we want to ensure we have an intact garment industry and be able to help independent designers source more locally. Tell us what you think!

Corset-Deborah Lindquist; Gloves-Cornelia James; Socks-Stockingirl; Cigar box purse -made by a friend; bracelets-Smart Glass; collar-Carasan; jacket-Operations (a NY label which declared bankruptcy in ‘10); flower headband I made in high school.

Photos: Marko

Sinking into: Hallelujah by Jeff Buckley