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May 082009
 

Oak is such a trendy fashion Web site, just perusing their lineup of hip indie designers will elevate your cool factor substantially. Mixed in with all that fabulousness are three design lines that are exotically earth-friendly.

A Peace Treaty:  This line was created by partners Farah Malik, a Muslim from Pakistan, and Dana Arbib, a Jew from Libya. Their scarves, stoles and bandanas are made by artisans working in war-torn parts of the world.

The colorful items are inspired, they say, by the “hand-crafting cultures of the Middle East, Asia, Europe and Africa.” The design duo travel to a new part of the globe each season to track down artisans. They also donate, their Web site says, to Counterpart International – this season’s proceeds will go to reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan.

Their designs – for men and women — range from fringed, dip-dyed lightweight silk scarves (such as the Neino, above right, for $109) to hand-blockprinted silk stoles (the ELS, left, $148) to elegant block-printed bandanas (the Hasani black, $72, right).

You can see their full spring lineup on their Web site, A Peace Treaty.

Eairth: Unfortunately, we didn’t get to Oak’s lineup of Eairth items in time and they’re sold out, but we found a sampling of designer Melissa Dizon’s Phillipine-made women’s clothes at Revolve Clothing.

Dizon uses natural fibers, such as organic cotton jersey, that is then hand-dyed using everything from leaves, flowers, roots colorful spices and even tree bark. The shirts, pants, shorts, etc. are hand-sewn and embroidered by members of two Filipino indigenous tribes. The results are some slightly space-age, softly shaped clothes. And, like the pink Scarfie at left, they’re not cheap (this one’s $239).

If you’re in New York City, you can find Eairth designs at Steven Alan, 103 Franklin St.; (212) 343-0692.

Bantu: This hot new line of African-made and inspired swimwear (pictured at bottom) is getting some attention. The itsy-bitsy Brazilian-cut bikinis (and a few less daring one-piece suits) are made of Lycra, with colorful patterns inspired by West Africa’s old wax-cloth textile industry.

The suits this season were made in Ethiopia, but next season will be made in another African country. The colors have special significance as symbols of emotions.

The bikinis cost $74 on Oak, the one-piece suits are $118, but the selection is limited. The line is also sold at several chic L.A. boutiques. You can see all of designer Yodit Eklund’s lineup at her Web site, Bantuwax.