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It’s Lindsay! Owner of Broke & Beautiful and Co-Founder of The Demoiselles. Pleased to meet you! Once you guys actually remember who I am, I’ll take away this italicized part. Until then, deal with it!
I love learning about independent designers – there’s something magical about a passion so strong that it propels a person to create their own line of clothing. And, let me tell you, stumbling upon a clearly passionate designer with a strong aesthetic and seeing “Local Made; Fair Trade; Hand Made; Organic; All Natural; Made in the U.S.A.; and Recycled” on the tag…
… I cannot put into words the sounds, facial expression, or overall joy that it brings me. I constantly seek fashion that embraces ethical, socially-conscious practices without sacrificing… well, the fashion aspect. I may catch some grief for this, but most ethically produced clothing bores the hell out of me. It really does. I don’t want shapeless, muted-tone tunics, damnit – I want style!
Enter Philadelphia-based designer Sarah Van Aken – dreamer and designer behind the label, SA VA. Van Aken believes in a philosophy she dubs Ethiquette. “Every SA VA garment carries a label that lets the buyer know which practices were engaged in for the production of the piece. This way our customers can make apparel choices, both in the store and online, that make them feel good about purchasing attractive items that are ethically made,” says Van Aken. Not only does this reflect the respect the designer has for the Earth, but it shows the respect she has for her customers.
From the SA VA website:
Our customers are smart and savvy. They have their own individual take on fashion and on the world. This is why we believe in our unique relationship that we have with the SA VA woman. At SA VA, we are passionate about our customers, our environment, and our community. We have made a conscious effort to produce stylish clothes that women will love and feel good about wearing.
Now, tell me you wouldn’t feel good about wearing these beautiful pieces:
Betty Top $74.25 (was $99)
I love the cut of this top – it’s so simple and sweet, but the pattern and the jade/gold color combination brings it to a level of elegance that is so, so attractive and modern. I love the idea of the frilly neckline peeking out from beneath the blazer of a sleek pantsuit.
Erika Dress $189
Shhh, don’t say it. Sure, on a plastic mannequin, it looks boxy and plain, and comes dangerously close to the “muted tone tunic” rant from earlier. Can I encourage you to imagine… a belt with a turquoise rock buckle? A rich, brown, leather corset? A stunning statement necklace? All against your own, individual, beautiful skin tone. This dress is a literal wool canvas for you to display gorgeous accessories. It would work with patterned stockings, thick black tights – even vividly colored tights – and just about any piece of jewelry you own (maybe consider this gorgeous piece from SA VA’s jewelry collection).
Selma Skirt $144
I am dying over the gentle architecture of this skirt. The peach color makes it so sweet, but the meticulous layering makes it strong – a confident, feminine woman who knows what she wants will wear this skirt. It’s 100% cotton, fully machine washable – handmade, fair trade. Simply stunning.
Addison Jacket $99
Anyone who knows me knows that I love a drapey cardigan. The longer, the better, and this one is long. I like to take one side and throw it over my shoulder, shawl-style, and this would definitely create some strong, beautiful angles.
Elizabeth Dress $284
Okay, I am the last person on Earth who would have an interest in this whole tie-dye trend, but I can’t deny the allure of this smokey southern belle maxi dress. Were this a simple, spaghetti strap dress with the same print, I might vomit… But the conservative, almost prarie-reminiscent cut combined with the dark, swirling print kind of tickles me. In a good way.
I encourage you to peruse the entirety of SA VA’s collection – it all looks so comfortable, it has the perfect mix of traditional styles with modern styling that makes the line compelling, yet very, very wearable.