Collina Strada Sends Powerful Message on Climate Change and Inclusivity

Collina Strada Sends Powerful Message on Climate Change and Inclusivity

by Aaron Royce

Collina Strada is known for its environmentally friendly and free-spirited collections. For spring, this was no different. The pandemic may have halted designer Hillary Taymour from producing a high-energy in-person show (her Fall 2020 runway included a performance by Hayley Williams), but she didn't need one.

In true Collina Strada spirit, the most colorful method proved the most effective. "Change is Cute," a joyfully trippy video presentation, premiered on Runway 360 to showcase the brand's Spring 2021 collection.

Co-directed with Charlie Engman, the Jefferson Wenzel-animated film is a fashion show extravaganza in its own right. A diverse, inclusive cast — and several flower-like mascots — strut and dance to an Angel Emoji rock tune through floating gardens, tie-dyed cornfields and a hand-drawn town in Taymour's colorful creations.

Dispersed with individual videos taken on-location at beaches, fields, nature trails and farmhouses (IRL goats and ducks made appearances), Taymour's Collina Strada community made the presentation a group effort. According to the show notes, "the importance of solidarity has never been clearer" during the COVID-19 pandemic. This was spotlighted in a cast of Taymour's friends and collaborators, including models Aaron Philip and Precious Okoyomon, author Kimberly Drew and artist Mimi Jung.

It would be remiss to discuss Collina Strada without mentioning sustainability or climate activism, two of the brand's core values. The use of a video format was already more eco-friendly than an in-person runway show (though hers are often minimalist and conscious in their sets, like Spring 2020's produce stand in Stuyvesant Square Park), but the clothes themselves were especially green.

Using deadstock sustainable fabrics, Taymour created WFH-worthy sweats and hoodies, sexy catsuits and swimwear and vintage-like dresses in a range of colorful fruit, floral and plaid prints. One of the biggest standouts — aside from the garments and Strada's signature totes — were flower-shaped masks, a cheerful approach to the trend that's combating a deadly worldwide virus.

Collina Strada's presentation, though not the NYFW spectacle it's known for, was just as bright, bold and smile-worthy as its past runways. The video was a lesson in the brand's ethos to not take life so seriously — and that runway shows can happen in your own backyard. Se the full film below.

Photos courtesy of Collina Strada/ Charlie Engman