Monday, December 27, 2010

everything old is new again

We don't usually like to "recycle" content between our two blogs, but we just couldn't resist stealing this post from Bubby and Bean because it is oh-so-fitting over here at Smart. Sustainable. Style. Enjoy!

With a brand new year approaching, I thought I'd revisit a fashion project I did a little over a year ago, as inspiration/motivation to focus on more projects that involve creating pretty and new pieces from the old, unwanted, and discarded. I designed this vintage-inspired, 1950s style dress from mis-marked and excess candy wrappers given to me from the Tootsie Roll company. These wrappers (Charleston Chew!) were otherwise landfill-bound, and I paired them with vintage silk fabric and ripped pieces of tulle (to give fullness to the skirt) that I discovered at a local thrift store.
The project was part of an event called Sweet Chic that benefited the Spina Bifida Association of Illinois, and several Chicago fashion designers were invited to participate. It took me over a month to construct the dress, mainly because the wrappers themselves presented a major challenge (they ripped when I tried to sew them!).  I had to experiment with an endless variety of methods in order to successfully attach them to the fabric and each other, but in the end, it was more than worth the countless hours and late nights. The dress turned out quite well and was even exhibited at Chicago's Museum of Contemporary Art!
The most amazing part was the visual proof that you really can create new and beautiful pieces from materials otherwise considered to be useless. As a sustainable fashion designer, I'd worked with eco-friendly materials for years, but this was my first earth-conscious piece created solely via recycling. I hope to do a lot more of these type of projects in 2011.

xoxo, melissa

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Come Visit Us!

Despite our lack of frequent posts lately, we're still here dear readers. We've just been spending a lot of time over at our other blog, Bubby and Bean. Bubby & Bean is like Smart. Sustainable. Style. with a burst of fresh energy.  Like here, we write about sustainable and vintage fashion, but we also cover topics like art and design, handmade and indie business, product reviews, DIY projects, home decor, giveaways, everyday things that inspire us, and lively creatively in general.  Plus there is a plethora (yes, plethora) of lovely pictures on a daily basis.  If you are a Smart. Sustainable. Style. reader and/or subscriber, we hope you'll come visit us at Bubby and Bean, and subscribe to our posts.  We welcome ideas, suggestions, and guest posts about inspiring topics that encompass a creative lifestyle.

Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Last Day For Giveaway!

You officially have until tomorrow at 5 PM to win a $50 Gift Certificate to Mountains of the Moon over at Bubby and Bean! Click here for details.

the smart. sustainable. style. girls

Friday, December 10, 2010

happy holidays! xo, the motm elves

It's that time again for the Annual Mountains of the Moon Eco-Fashion Holiday Newsletter! Gifts galore, and note that fabulous 20% off coupon!  You can also read it in full right here.

+ HAPPIEST OF HOLIDAYS TO YOU AND YOURS! We are incredibly grateful for your support in 2010, and are excited to share many exciting new projects with you in 2011!

HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE:  We've been working round the clock to add lots of new goodies to, and have even put together a special holiday gift section to help make your shopping experience easy and fun.  From beautiful eco-friendly clothing to vintage goods to handmade art to gift certificates, we have something special and unique for everyone on your list. (To make sure your order arrives by December 24th, see our 2010 Holiday Shipping Schedule).

A GIFT FROM THE MotM ELVES:  We've been feeling a little like Santa's elves around here, so to help you get the perfect gifts for your family and friends, we're giving you a Special Holiday 20% OFF COUPON to use on your entire order from now through this Monday, December 13th!  Just enter MOTMELVES in the coupon code box at*

With Love & Gratitude,
Melissa, Kari, Morgan and Corinne
Mountains of the Moon

(*Coupon not valid toward purchase of gift certificates, and may not be used with payments made by gift certificates or store credits.  Must be entered at check-out to redeem).

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

new year's dress dreaming

(This post was originally posted earlier this week on our brand new lifestyle blog, Bubby and Bean.  If you haven't checked it out yet, it's highly recommended.  Be sure to follow/subscribe; we have a big giveaway coming up later this week!).

Is it too early to be thinking about New Year's Eve?  This little snapshot is of the boyfriend and I side stage at his band's NYE show, right after the big countdown.  The dress I'm wearing was a birthday gift (I'm a good old fashioned New Year's baby!) from a friend who decided it was just the right blend of flapper and 1960s mod to be the perfect Melissa dress, and she was right!  It was tiers of  pale, pale pink pleated chiffon, and I adored it.  I'm try to decide if I'll have time to make something this year (and leaning toward the realistic decision of "highly doubtful") or going for a vintage piece.  I'm imagining a 1950s shift or something a little more 20s that's short, simple and swing-y.  If you have any ideas, please post!


Sunday, December 5, 2010

Eco-Fashion Pioneer (Happy Birthday Dad!)

In honor of my dad's 62nd birthday, I thought I'd share this amazing image of him modeling for a company called Perennial Designs in the early 70s. Perennial Designs was a local knitwear line out of Bloomington, Indiana that designed responsibly made sweaters, coats and shawls, all hand-knit and hand-loomed. All of their designs were also naturally dyed and reflected the boho style that was defined during this era.

Smart, sustainable style was invented by the small design labels of this generation, and I'm pretty proud of my dad for choosing to model only for small, eco-conscious companies like this one. Happy birthday Papa John! Thank you for raising me to understand the significance of eco-fashion well before it became an everyday term in the fashion industry!

xo, melissa

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Holiday Shopping - Some Love For Indie & Eco-Friendly Designers/Businesses

I decided to whip up this banner to spread the word about the importance of supporting small and indie businesses this holiday shopping season.  This is a little gift for all of you fellow small business owners/designers/artists/crafters, so please feel free to use it on your websites, blogs, etc.!  (A link back to is of course appreciated!).  If you have any trouble copying and pasting, contact me for the image code.


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

december dress inspiration

I am so inspired by this photograph of Jean Shrimpton from Vogue's December 1964 issue. The empire cut dress (by Nina Ricci) is both playful and incredibly elegant.  I adore the detailing on the bust and the drape of the fabric that Ricci chose, and am dreaming of finding the free time to design something similar out of vegan silk for New Year's Eve!

Happy December!

P.S. If you haven't yet, be sure to check out Bubby and Bean, my brand new lifestyle blog!