Always in style, we catch Sonya ready to go have some fun with her friends. This fashion designer, mother of an angel and inspirational blogger shares tips and tricks on how to dress and live in a more eco-friendly way.
Yes! And we are over the Moon because we did it respecting our values. Only using sustainable fashion! It couldn’t be any other way coming from us, right? Dubai World Cup is such a huge event. Let me walk you through how the idea was born, how it evolved and grew, all our hiccups, and how special it was for us to win this award!
A BIT ABOUT STYLE STAKES
Every year our beloved city of Dubai is proud to host the Dubai World Cup. And every year, there is a competition happening alongside the horses, selecting the best in different style categories. And that is Style Stakes!
There are all these categories, but we only competed in Most Creative Hat, Most Creative Outfit and Best Dressed lady.
Most Creative Hat
Most Creative Outfit
Best Dressed Lady
Best Dress Gentleman
and, Best Dress Couple
And you know what? We got finalists as Most Creative Hat and won first prize in the Most Creative Outfit! Yuhuuuuuuuu!!!! You can not imagine how happy we were. I was so happy that I started crying! They were happy tears, but I couldn’t stop sobbing! The last time I cried like this, was when I met my little one for the first time!
We worked for months on this look. Everything was done from scratch and it started as an idea. Remember the Green Carpet Awards? I know Meydan is not the Oscars, but this is something that I always say. “At Goshopia, you can find items to go to the beach, to the office or the Oscars.” The point is that sustainable fashion is still fashion, it is very stylish and the only thing that changes is the process, the way that materials get sourced and transformed into your beautiful new pieces.
PREPARATION OF THE WINNING LOOK
The pieces part of this look are full of meaning and beautiful stories. A common effort by people that truly believe that fashion needs to slow down and become eco-friendly. And who do you think that people are? I, Araceli Gallego had the idea and started coordinating with Sylvia Calvo, and Ines Montesinos, who put together their respective designs. And Miah Llanes, Silke Styles, and Tristan Czar came to help on the day to make it glow and shine!
We had the conversation going in a WhatsApp group and I got even to meet in person when Ines flew to Dubai to participate in Expo. Initially, we had a different hat for our look. The first hat was exhibited at Expo as a work of craftsmanship, showcasing the use of natural materials and traditional techniques. From Dubai, it was supposed to fly to Paris for an exhibition and back to Dubai, but it got lost on the way!!!!
Imagine our stress when the hat was nowhere to be found! So, after zillions of calls and follow-ups, we decided that it was better to just do a new one following the same philosophy. And so our finalist hat came about! And let me tell you, it is so true that everything happens for a reason. I love this hat even more than the initial one- and at the time I thought that to be impossible!
This fabulous hat uses haute couture sinamay and buntal -both natural palm fibers. The hat is to be worn vertically and is embellished with Faisal feathers and rachis that are shaped by hand using vapor and traditional techniques. The delicate flower is made in silk organza and every petal is molded patiently by hand. Even the Montesino Vilar logo at the back is done by artisans in metal. Isn’t it the most gorgeous hat ever!!! Let me tell you that is very comfortable and easy to wear too.
SUSTAINABLE FASHION WINS!
Now, we need to talk about the dress. We went with an A-shape silhouette as we wanted the dress to be classic and timeless, elegant and sophisticated. Seeing our research Pinterest board we saw that was a winning shape, but also we needed to respect the rules and protocol of Style Takes as a competition in terms of length and how revealing it could or couldn’t be. Every race has different rules in terms of dressing and we learnt that for example, in the UK, there are even different set of rules also depending on how close you are from the Queen’s circle.
Our winning dress is made out of used coffee bags. Coffee bags are made of jute, a natural material that is biodegradable and can have so many more lives. The bags become gorgeous and unique dresses at the Atelier of Sylvia Calvo in Barcelona. We always say it, but reusing discarded materials in clever ways, saves natural resources and energy. Upcycling can be really cool as you can see.
The flowers detailing the dress are hand-cut from the coffee bags hand-sewn to the lower frontal side of the dress. The center of each flower is hand embroidered to the dress with 3 different natural precious stones: Mother-of-Pearl, Citrin, and Green Agate. The gemstones are natural so they have beautiful properties upon the person wearing them. Maybe that is why Miah looked so happy the whole day, even if the heels and the heat were pressing.
We get asked lots of times if the dress is itchy as it is coming from jute. And the answer is no. It is super comfortable and not itchy at all. You see, under the dress, there is a lining that not only allows the dress to have a nice fit but also makes sure you have zero itch. And I know this because I have my own Jute dress too and I love it!
EVERY LITTLE DETAIL COUNTS
Every accessory has also a beautiful story behind too. The bag for example is made out of wood. Leftovers from a furniture factory, now turned into a luxury item and coveted by many celebrities. You can get yours here or visit our showroom to see the available ones for quick purchase.
The earrings are gold plated and showcase a Tiger’s eye stone ring. It is all from a socially driven brand called Fugeelah. Funds from the sale of this gorgeous jewelry collection go to support a school of refugees in Malaysia. The bracelets are all handmade by a ladies’ artisan association from Morocco.
All the pieces of the look you can find and shop at Goshopia.com!
BEHIND THE SUSTAINABLE LOOK THERE ARE SO MANY MESSAGES
I wanted to break many stereotypes with this and Style Stakes was the perfect place! Fashion is said to be the 2nd largest pollutant industry in the world, only behind Oil & Gas. Yes! I know you might need time to digest that piece of news. That is why at Goshopia we focus on slow, sustainable, and socially responsible fashion. Sustainable fashion has the stigma of being “just too comfy”, ” just too loose” or ” even just too boring”… People might think you can not wear them on certain occasions. But that is far from the truth!
We want to show the world you can wear your values, no matter the occasion… Sustainability is about the process. It is about quality and longevity, about good materials, innovation, and design. You can look amazing and wear pieces that have respect and love for people and the planet. But, I wanted to break – crush if I might- even more stereotypes… at least one more!
Miah Llanes, our model for that special day and good friend, is from the Philippines. Over 20% of the Dubai population is from there and yet we don’t see too much representation in competitions like this. We chose her because she is an environmentalist and understands what we are about. She spoke beautifully. The Style Stakes presenter asked her… “so Why Sustainable Fashion?” And she replied- “It should be our number one priority to respect the Earth”.
SO, AFTER STYLE STAKES, WHAT IS NEXT?
After the Dubai World Cup, it was time to reflect and move on to our next thing! … Fashion Revolution Week! Come and join us for the annual event that this year will be in hybrid form. Yes, the panels and talks will be online but one day, the grand finale day… will be in person! Don’t we all miss seeing and hugging our people?
Every year we produce more and more plastic. Since the day the plastic was invented in 1907 and became a daily staple in our lives, we have used plastic for the wrong uses. Why are we using a material that is meant to last an average of 500 years for a single use. At our consumption rate very soon there will be more plastic than fish on the sea. Are we drowning on plastic?
In this editorial we wanted to show how asphyxiating plastic is becoming to us as species and to all the ecosystem.
Covid-19 brought a new awareness. Now there is no question about how closely connected we are as humans. No matter our location, our beliefs, or our resources. We were -and still are- all exposed. We want to protect our friends & family, specially our elderly and children. And so, we need to stay at a distance. Even though we are so hungry for hugs, kisses and caresses.
But awareness, loneliness and pain is not the only thing Covid-19 brought. The need for extra careful hygiene and the fear of contagion, brought an appalling amount of single- use plastic that now will stay with a us for centuries. It might be a good reminder about this crisis. It might be a wake up call to find solutions capable to biodegrade plastic. Or a better alternative to plastic all together.
Is science able to save us from our own mess? Will we be able to change our behavior? How much pollution can our planet take?
Read our article for Plastic Free July.. although refusing, reducing and reusing is an exercise we should all do every day.
something that will exist or happen in time to come: The future is rooted in the past.
a condition, especially of success or failure, to come: An oracle had predicted the mighty hero’s tragic future.
the future tense.
another future formation or construction.
a form in the future, as He will come.
SHOP THE LOOKS
BEHIND THE SCENES
The hair is twisted, tied and pinned in complex patterns and wrapped in plastic or in wire.
Even where there is no need, we Humans still tend to use plastic.
Note: All the plastic used in the shooting is still available if any of you needs it. It is meant to protect floors or furniture when painting the walls.
Thanks for your continuous support! Together we can make a difference!
HAIR & MAKEUP
There was a reason why our beautiful models looked dehydrated, pale, emaciated, stressed and even agitated.. I can assure you they are beautiful inside and outside!
We wanted to show the struggle, the fight for our own survival. Plastic is asphyxiating our very existence. They are fantastic actresses and were able to show the agony. The MUAH did her magic too…
Blue shade on the eyes is representing the Oceans.
Pale skin and flakey lips are representing the sea pollution.
Each year people are dumping plastic, debris, chemicals, crude oil & more..
Half eye green and the other eye full green is representing the loss of trees and greenery around the world. If these precious habitats are lost, the creatures living in them, have an uncertain future.
Pale skin and flakey lips are representing the Environment Pollution, dehydration, asphyxia.
We did a special edition mask with Bubble Wrap representing the disposable masks that seemed to be everywhere. Do you know they have a layer of plastic?