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The G Word

The G team blog on all things green

Green on the red carpet

Tanya Ha - blog

G magazine columnist Tanya Ha looking glamorous in her 'green' outfit for Australian TV's night of nights, the TV Week Logie Awards.

Tanya Ha - TV Week Logie Awards

G magazine columnist Tanya Ha looking glamorous in her 'green' outfit for Australian TV's night of nights, the TV Week Logie Awards.

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By Tanya Ha, G columnist.

Recently, an invitation to the TV Week Logie Awards arrived in my ABC in-tray. As a part-time reporter for ABC 1’s Catalyst, I was one of the lucky 900 or so that scored a seat for Australian TV’s night of nights.

For a girl like me, it’s a delight and a dilemma. Logies fashion is all about glamour, with many starlets spending hundreds, if not thousands, on dresses and accessories that will be worn for one night only. There’s an environmental cost to fashion as well as an economic one. A simple cotton T-shirt takes an average of 4,100 L of water to make and gold is extracted from ore using cyanide. How does an environmentalist glam-up for a special event without throwing her values out the window?

Livia Firth (Mrs Colin Firth) set herself a ‘Green Carpet Challenge’ for this year’s Oscars to “promote sustainable style and ethical fashion”. Fabrics, buttons, fastenings, corsetry and other items were ‘recycled’ from 11 vintage dresses and sewn into her Oscars number. Some loved her dress and applauded her intentions, while others questioned using vintage clothing just as a source of materials. 1930s era vintage dresses are in short supply, so I can understand why a vintage fashionista would prefer to see dresses reused instead of recycled.

I set myself my own Green Carpet Challenge – to buy nothing new for the Logies. This started me on a tour of Melbourne’s (and Geelong’s) secondhand shops, markets and vintage stores. I eventually bought a beautiful 1930s dress from Circa Vintage. If ever there was a dress waiting in storage for a red carpet outing, this was it! The dress was teamed with a silver bag from Chapel Street Bazaar, shoes from Thread Den (a vintage store that runs sewing workshops) and a borrowed ring (thanks Auntie Dian). Even the hot rollers I used were ones from the 50s that I picked up from East End Markets in Adelaide nearly 20 years ago!

The bracelet was bought from the Mill Markets in Geelong. Funnily enough, there was a film crew there that day – The Collectors. Now there’s a show that understands treasuring items of quality and history, rather than buying cheap stuff and soon throwing it away. The Collectors team were at my table on the big night, along with my Catalyst colleague Graham Phillips and nominee Poh Ling Yeow, so it was a fun night with good, intelligent company.

So who else was going green at the Logies? It’s hard to tell from afar, but there were a few stand-outs to me. Julia Zemiro re-invented a tuxedo she’s worn before and looked fabulous. Writer, First Tuesday Book Club panellist and co-creator of the comedy series Laid Marieke Hardy was at her quirky-cool best in powder blue 70s vintage from Mr Stinky’s in Sydney. And the lovely actress Zoe Tuckwell-Smith wore a beautiful white dress made from bridal off-cuts as part of Georgia McCorkill’s Red Carpet Project – an environmental awareness collaboration between designers, celebrities, stylists and publicists, which Georgia is undertaking as part of her PhD in Architecture and Design at RMIT University.

So it is possible to go green on the red carpet. Later this year, Catalyst will cover the Australian Museum Eureka Prizes, which celebrates Australian science. I’m setting myself a new challenge – having been in four wedding parties over the years, I’ll see if I can wear an old bridesmaid dress again!