You know the saying, "Opposites attract?"
Honing in on your personal style is all about testing the limits and stepping out of your comfort zone, and one way to do that is by experimenting with dichotomous design elements that may not typically go together – contrasting colors, opposing seasonal pieces, different patterns – the list goes on. I'm all about the subtle details, so when it comes to my wardrobe, I typically gravitate toward clothing that incorporates free flowing elements and structural details that work together to create a unique and effortless design.
Enter the perfect silk crepe tunic from Dallas Daws Designs.
The brainchild of the belief that versatility and quality will outlast trends and consumerism, Dallas Daws Designs seeks to create unique, timeless apparel on a made-to-order basis in an effort to combat the wasteful fast fashion cycle mentality. I discovered Dallas' shop through Instagram (as I tend to do), and was immediately drawn to her collection of intentional, hard-working closet staples designed to be worn over and over again.
One piece that really stood out was the Liv Tunic, which perfectly blends movement and structure to create a stunning, timeless silhouette. Originally intended to be a dress, the Liv Tunic came into fruition when Dallas was designing the FW 2016 Collection. She began by pairing the deep V neck/boat neck pattern from the Anita Dress with a slightly altered version of the sleeves from the Lotte Top. While making the samples, however, she had an urge to add slits to the sides ... and the end result stuck!
This tunic is so easy and versatile, and can be worn a multitude of ways – with high-waisted pants, over a skirt or dress, with the deep V neckline in the back or the front, though I personally love it facing the back to show off my one tattoo that rarely sees the light of day. Oh, and did I mention that the Liv Tunic hits in all the right places? The length extends to about mid-thigh, which is great for us gals with hips, while the side slits allow it to move with your body as you go about your day. And then there's the every-so-slightly flared 3/4-length sleeves, which offer just the right amount of coverage for year-round wear.
Each Dallas Daws piece is designed and manufactured in the U.S., often using natural fibers because they are beautiful, high quality, and most importantly – biodegradable. These are qualities that man-made fibers simply cannot match. The Liv Tunic in particular is constructed out of silk crepe, a durable and lightweight protein-based fiber that has a subtle sheen and feels like butter against your skin. This magical fiber is also thermal-regulating, meaning it can keep your cool in the summertime, and serve as an insulator when layered in the winter (a must when you live up north and rely on a fairly minimal wardrobe). Silk crepe is also machine washable, which means you can avoid the toxic chemicals used in dry cleaning.
Not only is silk highly biodegradable (1-3 years to be more precise), but it's also non-toxic and creates very little waste in the production process. Silk doesn't contain any toxins when it's harvested, nor does it release any into the environment as it breaks down. Additionally, the silkworm (bombyx mori) feeds exclusively on the leaves of mulberry trees, the bark of which can be used for medicinal purposes and the fruit for making dye.
There has been much debate in the ethical fashion industry about the morality of killing silkworms in order to produce silk. However, the reality is that silkworms no longer exist in the wild, and have become totally dependent on human care to survive – when the moth is able to emerge from its cocoon, it can't see, fly, or eat on its own. While harvesting silk isn't perfect (and let's face it, every textile industry has its flaws), the non-toxic, biodegradable properties of this age-old textile outweigh the shortcomings of how it's produced.
I'm curious... Where do YOU stand on the silk debate? I'd love to hear your thoughts!
BE SURE TO CHECK OUT THE COMPLETE DALLAS DAWS COLLECTION For sustainably-made wardrobe staples!
Big thanks to Dallas for collaborating on this post and for gifting me this beautiful tunic! As always, all opinions are my own and I selectively work with brands that share the same values when it comes to ethical and environmental responsibility.