We all knew it was only a matter of time that would turn the humble and mysterious mushroom into a glorious fashion statement, embraced by the most luxurious and cutting edge designers! Only time! And here we are!
My history with Kate and Laura Mulleavy extends to the beginning of their careers with their super nova label Rodarte in 2005. They told me straight off that their mom Victoria was an artist and their dad Perry was a mycologist (a mushroom expert). Perry had studied and written about mushrooms in university, and Kate and Laura absorbed the mystery of these fleshy spore-bearing fungi that grow under trees. Along with Victoria's exquisite pastel mushroom renderings, Kate and Laura's Spring 2022 show last month in New York was informed and enhanced by their parents' love and understanding of the importance of mushrooms.
Here are Victoria Mulleavy's mushrooms on Rodarte's gorgeous cape dress.
Let's talk about Stella McCartney! This designer never ceases to amaze me. Her commitment to leather-free clothes and accessories virtually qualifies her for sainthood, at least a special prize for Environmental Hero. She has introduced Mycelium into her collections, a remarkable substitute for leather. Mycelium comes from the root system of fungi (mushrooms) and is infinitely renewable! It can be grown in a lab with just mulch, air and water. Is this genius or what?
From Stella's Mycelium collection
And we cannot ignore Hermes! This leather goods powerhouse has gotten into the mushroom act. It may be difficult for some Gen Xers and Baby Boomers to believe that the leather Birkin bag in now considered uncool and undesirable by younger generations. But that is a fact. So Hermes has come up with its own uniquely elegant Mycelium handbag.
Hermes mushroom-based bag
We all know about the health benefits of mushrooms. Mushrooms are a rich, low calories source of fiber, protein and antioxidants. They fight off serious health conditions such as cancer, diabetes and Alzheimer's. They are lovely to look at, lovely to eat and now lovely to wear! Here's to the humble mushroom, perhaps not so humble any more!