Collina Strada is a cutting-edge cocktail of couture, eco-friendly designs, and video games.
By Madeline Brik.
Collina Strada wants to challenge the norm when it comes to sustainable fashion. Designer and founder Hillary Taymour prioritizes eco-friendly garments with an avant-garde twist; a peruse through the brand’s Instagram shows models decked in Dr. Seuss-like hairdos wearing gowns decorated with whimsical doodles. Collina Strada combats the idea that long-lasting staples are meant to be plain and basic, but rather a form of self-expression.
Taymour utilizes environmentally-friendly fabrics to create her rainbow of designs. Many of the garments are made of 100% rose sylk, which Collina Strada describes as a cellulose fiber made from the natural waste of rose bushes and stems. But the brand is more about individuality and creativity than any one style or method. “I think the brand is based around being truly honest while clearly having fun which can never really go out of style,” explains Taymour. The designer’s taste for playful patterns and electric colors express a youthful, imaginative appeal.
The upcoming Fall 2021 collection, “Collina Land,” showcases the brands signature style, which Taymour defines as “print-on-print layering with bright colors and eco-fabrications.” The eccentric collection aligns with an accompanying video game of the same name that was created for last November’s GUCCIFest, Gucci’s week-long fashion film festival that featured original shorts from the likes of Gus Van Sant. Alongside labels like Mowalola and Ahluwalia, Collina Strada was one of 15 emerging designers to show collections as part of the digital festival.
“Collina Land is a video game we made for GUCCIFest. It was made with Charlie Engman and Jefferson Wenzel to create an immersive Collina world full of prints and cute animals,” states Taymour. “It has five levels with various climate game objectives to play. There is a desert, farm, underwater, drawing, and ice world that can be played on the Collina Strada website.”
Collina Strada also aims to raise awareness for different social issues, such as ethical living standards. “Through our shows and our concepts, I really try to reflect on things that feel important to me,” Taymour explains. “One season we did an outdoor farmers market with literature about the importance of where you buy your food as well as food waste. At the end of the show the audience and park goers were allowed to take all the food they wanted, and people would post meals they made with it, even using the food scraps like orange peel cake or pesto made from the tops of carrots.”
Taymour believes that taking the important steps to be our best selves can be transformative to communities. “If you are always one of those people who carry a reusable water bottle or Tupperware around, it rubs off on people. You can literally be a role model to anyone, so if you choose to express yourself in a sustainable way it will become a snowball effect to others around you,” states Taymour.
Being authentic means “to be honest and true to yourself,” she adds. “Making each step through the world daily questioning if you need to buy this, is there a better way to consume this, or how can I help someone today.” The brand works with sustainable, chic garments to promote the idea that authenticity is an organic approach to empowering positive change in the world.