Eschewing chemical-based fabrics for Japanese organic cotton and Italian linen, Paris-based designers Kaito Hori and Iku Furudate of Commuun believe that "environmental issues can not be ignored when considering the future of fashion and society as a whole." Each collection is inspired by natural landscape and "the balance and tension in nature." While the pieces are fastidiously crafted and ecologically sound, they also breathe a rebellious and bold spirit through color and cut. The fall 2007 collection was inspired by photographs of the sea, importing colors from the ocean-like stark blues and haunting blacks, which are grounded by uncluttered silhouettes. There are ethereal tops floating above skin-tight miniskirts, dresses with undulating layers, and graphic blouses anchored by slim pants. The collection is intended for a woman who is "strong and still pure in ways," says Furudate. Do not expect the earth mother archetype. With the pair's understated confidence, Commuun can easily spearhead the movement for sustainable clothing that's still enduringly chic.

by JiJi Lee