Project Blue: Barneys and Elle Auction Redesigned, Recycled Denim for Charity

In a charity project that might well have been called “Forever in Blue Jeans” if Neil Diamond hadn’t already taken cultural custody of the phrase, Barneys and Elle have teamed up on a charity auction of redesigned, recycled denim to benefit Oceana, the international advocacy group dedicated to protecting the world’s oceans. Project Blue was born when Julie Gilhart, Barneys’ sustainably savvy fashion director and senior vice president, helped to implement a program collecting and repurposing customers’ used denim. Eight fashion designers were invited to create unique pieces out of the old jeans (just like that Project Runway episode!), and the resulting garments are now up for bid on eBay through Sunday, May 10.

From our wildly talented friends Kate and Laura Mulleavy of Rodarte comes a ballerina-style dress (pictured above, at far right) that manages to make denim delicate, frayed edges and all. Bottega Veneta creative director Tomas Maier also went with a dress (above, second from right), a sleekly tailored number with a Thierry Mugler-on-the-farm vibe that Maier describes as “a dress for the future with a beautiful history.” Check out the work of the other participating designers—Derek Lam, Ann Demeulemeester, Alexander Wang, Rogan, Versace, and Stella McCartneyon eBay or in Elle‘s May “Blue Issue,” which features a portfolio of all eight “recycled chic” looks styled by Joanne Blades and photographed by Michael Armstrong.