vegansaurus!

02/09/2011

Fur and fashion: the revolution is coming!  »


On Sunday, Feb. 6, the awesome Joshua Katcher (Discerning Brute, Pinnacle) presented “Fur & Fashion: Decoding and Harnessing the Dialect of Fashion,” with a Q&A including the brilliant John Bartlett, and the amazing Leanne Mai-Ly Hilgart of Vaute Couture. There is sooooo much to be said, I can only skim the points.

Katcher ran through the symbols and psychology of fashion, connecting what is worn by the models and their demeanor, and how they invoke our need for approval! As they look at us, all gorgeous and disdainful, we need their acceptance, to be like them, to wear fur, contribute to inhumane and unethical behaviors! And we’re uncool unless we give in! YES!!! They subconsciously make you want to be evil! He points out that skins were once used for survival, which is no longer the case in our culture, and how there is disconnect between animals and their fashionable skins in many folks psychology. Example: Terry Richardson hugging a dog while wearing a rabbit-fur coat. Creepy!


John Bartlett, Joshua Katcher, Leanne Mai-Ly Hilgart

To summarize Katcher’s points on tactics, wardrobe is used as a weapon of intimidation, as in the military trends. And the aesthetic laws put top designer togs in a higher social class, and uniforms such as a maid’s on the bottom. The psychological attacks are quite astounding! Our love of a good villain is used against us and I surmise that this may be one reason why the allure of CrueAnna deWintour is so strong! Joshua points out that the editorials and designers’ campaigns portray a society that has access to the unknown. Often-used dark, occult imagery are ever so attractive. He also notes that as fashion editors continue to cover fur, they intentionally do not cover the whole story.

While the furriers have deep pockets and use their financial influence on the struggling young and naïve designers, the ethical folks do not have the finances.

Joshua brought us through the points of how cruelly all the skins are procured. Much of this verified information can be found on PETA, Mercy for Animals, and the HSUS websites. In a nutshell, DO NOT TAKE FROM ANIMALS. And even more, humans seem to always make the exploitation into a greater hell in order to cut costs. The examples are irrefutable and we are accountable. Feathers and silk are a part of this. And sometimes fake fur is too! Look for the “skin” of the fake fur. It should not look like skin! Philip Lim 3.1 and Urban Outfitters have made this mistake. And many folks excuse this as a personal choice as opposed to social justice.

Skins from kombucha-processing, recycled material from plastic bottles, and closed-loop manufacturing systems are all ways to ethically produce fashion. THE SOLUTIONS ARE THERE—but maybe a bit more costly than fur farms in China. And with John Bartlett (left) following in Stella McCartney’s glorious footsteps and then some by nixing wool and alpaca, the designers devoted to this cause are joined by an ICON!


According to Bartlett, “Next time I show, I want to show a fully vegan collection. I want to make sure there’s intention behind it. Over the past year, I have taken leather out of my collections, I will no longer use down and, hopefully by next fall, I will no longer use wool.” He is also actively participating with Pinnacle! The paper will be released for NY Fashion Week, but you can see PDFs here.

During the Q&A, someone asked how you should talk with friends who argue that wearing vintage fur is OK. While some answers were in more of the understanding and empathizing vein, Joshua zinged in with “A vintage Nazi uniform is still a Nazi uniform. You wear fur, you hate animals.”  Like a shot to the heart!

When asked how designers can’t know about the horrors, John Bartlett answered, “They don’t understand why fur isn’t fabulous. [Many] consider fur as fabric. There is this incredible disconnect; it’s the same kind of disconnect as eating a hamburger.”

Always a concern is cost, and the ethical clothes are often pricey. Leanne Mai-Ly points out that her clothes are locally sourced as best possible and locally produced here in NYC, keeping her eye on quality and ethical accountability. Clothing should be seen as an investment, not disposable! I agree. Never thought about how the sweatshops are there to produce disposable clothing, which only makes that worker’s toil even more horrifying!

I sense a revolution—style-conscious, ethically inclined superheroes that can finally speak the language of the often oblivious and closed-minded fashion world! Clothes do make the man (and woman), and they can make him heard!

Labels/sites to check out
Vaute Couture
John Bartlett
Matt and Nat
Moo Shoes
The Ethical Man
Novacas
Olsenhaus
Pinnacle
Melissa Plastic Dreams

Tell us your favorite ethical designers and sites in the comments!

This review and the photos herein were brought to us by the talented and terrific Jeff Nesmith, an Alabama native thriving in Brooklyn. Designer, draw-er, writer, magazine producer, vegan fry-cook/biscuit-baker, and by day, the editorial production director for Real Simple magazine. He describes his site, welloiledmachinenyc.com, as always a work in progress; we think it’s ridiculously awesome.

01/27/2011

How do I know god loves you? Vaute Couture is having a sale!  »


Our beloved Vaute Couture is having a 25 percent off sale on most of their coats! This includes the FW10 Vaute pictured above. Just enter “LOVEYOU2” at checkout for the discount. If you were waiting to get your $400 Vaute Couture coat, it’s now $300! Now you too can frolic in the woods with no pants on!

12/02/2010

Hey you vegan boys! You’ve got your own store!  »

Yes vegan boys, you can stop dressing like a slouch because The Ethical Man is here! I know I neglect you, always talking about women’s shoes and whatnot, but no longer!

The Ethical Man is not just an online shop, it’s also a fashion resource. The store is actually a bit sparse now but I’m into these skinny ties. And they aren’t silk, pals! Holler! They also have bow ties and some other items plus a few dope coats from Vaute Couture. I’m in love with their “About Us” section because they promise all the items they sell are, “MANLY. After all, real men don’t hurt animals.” OMG LET’S GET MARRIED.

And dudes, you can submit yourself to be featured on their Ethical Men series on their blog! I’m thinking our vegansaurus boys should be all up on there!

[Picture from The Ethical Man website]

10/06/2010

Vegansaurus Midwest recommends Chicago VeganMania!  »

Hello Chicago! And surrounding area! You guys are about to have a lot of fun! EarthSave Chicago is holding the second annual Chicago VeganMania this Saturday, Oct. 9 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and you’re all invited! Really! It’s at the Pulaski Park Fieldhouse (1419 W. Blackhawk, between Division and North Avenue), it’s FREE, and that is all you really need to know, you guys: Saturday, VeganMania, Free.

OK, if you must know more, some details. You’ll get a bunch of chef demos, notably from Soul Vegetarian, the Chicago Diner, and Isa Chandra Moskowitz! You’ll get speakers, like Oakland’s own Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, and, oh, Isa Chandra Moskowitz, she is an unstoppable force! Also performers! See the schedule for particulars.

What about buying stuff? With free entry, you are basically obligated to make purchases inside—that is a tenet of capitalism!—so what will your options be? You can buy food from, yes, Soul Vegetarian, that’s exciting! Who else will be there? Chicago Soy Dairy, naturally, and Herbivore, and Supreme Master TV! Of course your own Vaute Couture, and a whole lot more.

According to organizer Marla Rose, you can also expect “appearances by the Vegan Cupcake Fairies.” That’s a positive thing, y/n? We are assuming yes, as Marla Rose uses the word “amazing” to describe them. Vegans with children, whether for the day or ever, don’t worry—once they get cranky and unmanageable, just dump them in the free “children’s play area” and let strangers deal with it! Brilliance.

You know, were we not spoiled by “sweater in the morning, jacket in the evening” weather most of the year, we’d move to your gorgeous city in a heartbeat, Chicago. The architecture knocks us out, the rent is sickeningly low, the theatre scene is amazing, and clearly you vegans are revered as precious creatures with your own “Mania” day. Unfortunately, your Vegansaurus is a big baby about things like S.A.D. and temperatures that actually kill people. We’ll just have to be long-distance friends.

Have fun at your Mania, Midwest vegans! Report back, with photos!

10/05/2010

Guest post: The first-ever San Francisco vegan fashion show!  »

When I became a vegan, a list of “projects” arose for me. Looking at my life as different projects makes challenges feel more manageable and gives me an excuse to do Cher’s squeal from Clueless—“Ooh, project!”

There was the “Find a Vegan Cheese” project; the “Find a Cruelty-Free Body Product” project and—being obsessed with fashion—the “Create a Vegan Wardrobe” project.

I gotta tell ya, as much as I enjoy researching my favorite labels for the 3 percent of their merchandise that’s vegan, it’s still a daunting task. So when a clothing or footwear line comes along that is ENTIRELY vegan, I am beyond happy. And when a vegan fashion show arises to showcase the efforts of vegan designers and entrepreneurs, you don’t just sit by. These designers not only have the challenge of researching and acquiring legitimately vegan and ethically-produced materials, but also of becoming profitable in an industry that has mostly no regard for animal suffering. So you go to the show. You go, and you support them.

San Francisco’s first-ever vegan fashion show (Canada’s ahead of us on this one)  happened last Saturday, as part of the 11th Annual World Veg Fest. Karine Brighten organized the show pro bono; a planner of eco- and animal-friendly events for places like Farm Sanctuary, Nature’s Express, and Cinnaholic, she’s also vegan. The audience packed the auditorium to see the lovely vegan models walking the show in cruelty-free clothing, accessories, and footwear. Rory Freedman of Skinny Bitch emceed the event.

Six vegan labels showed: Mission Savvy provided pieces from various designers split into five collections that each benefit different animal welfare causes. Five percent of proceeds are donated to related organizations. Cri de Cœur had footwear made with animal-free, eco-friendly materials and without toxic PVC or vinyl. Vaute Couture brought animal-free, classic and trend-conscious outerwear, tees, and sweatshirts made of high-performance, recycled, recyclable, upcycled, closed-loop, zero-waste fabrics and deadstock, and vegetable ivory buttons. Melie Blanco supplied affordable but luxurious faux-leather handbags. Reco Jeans brought their recycled high-end denim. Lion’s Share Industries had eco-friendly T-shirts adorned with vegan-artist-commissioned graphics. Pansy Maiden provided handmade handbags of animal-free, fair-trade, plant-dyed, organic, reclaimed/vintage fabrics and animal-derivative-free glue.

One of the brilliant aspects of the show was splitting the event into sections to highlight each line, including a description. This was a nice way to educate the audience, many of whom may not have known much about these particular designers or the vegan movement in the fashion industry in general.

From a purely design perspective, I had mixed feelings about the pieces—just like how I would feel at any fashion show! Because I’m not a hater, here are the items that I loved and with which I would now like to fill my closet:

 1. The adorable “Upcycled Indigo Windbreaker” from Vaute Couture (made with the remnants of another Vaute coat’s lining), with an elasticized empire waist, oversized gathered collar, and bubble hem. [Ed.: LAURA WANTS ONE VERY BADLY];
2.
The edgy “Stella Cutout Cage Wedge”, which wraps the feet in bars of faux patent leather;
3.
A cropped black blazer with gold trim from Mission Savvy.

As for the venue, I think Veg Fest was a perfect place to have the first show, because it was the most visible way to promote it to the vegan community. For future shows—and according to Rory Freedman, there will be one next year—I’d love to see a more luxe location, one that can house an show focused on style in a way that lives up to the pieces being showcased. A night spot, a gallery, a loft…. The auditorium at the County Fair Building kinda screams “I also did my high school play here.”

Still, that a vegan fashion show even happened, that there is a fashion community that cares enough about animal rights and environmental welfare to put a show like this together speaks volumes about how far veganism has come. Seeing a group of designers and entrepreneurs who have navigated their way to success while sticking to their ethics is beyond inspirational. Here’s hoping that their efforts will not only inspire current designers to rethink their practices, but that they will ignite something in a new set of vegan artists and visionaries who may look at a pair of shoes at Saks and think “if only…”

 Check out more photos, including behind-the-scenes shots, here.

This is Vi Zahajszky’s second post for Vegansaurus (you can see her first here!). Vi left her motherland of Hungary as a child and has spent most of her life in Boston and New York. Two years ago she drove across the country to San Francisco with husband Chris Carlozzi and a rescue pup named The Bandit. Here, among other things, she’s studying fashion design and pattern-making, and has plans to develop a vegan clothing line. Also, she’s enjoying no blizzards. Photo enhancing by Chris Carlozzi.

10/01/2010

Veg Fest preview! Get ready for some hot vegan action!  »

San Francisco’s own Veg Festival celebrates its 11th year this weekend! If you’re in the Bay Area, come on out to the County Fair Building, just inside Golden Gate Park at 9th Avenue and Lincoln Way, Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. There’s a $7 “suggested donation” that we can from experience tell you is more like an “entry fee,” though “kids,” students, and seniors get in free, as well as anyone who arrives before 10:30 a.m.

Now what, what is there to do? There are free samples all over the place, so bring a tote bag for easy storage. There will be all kinds of vendors, food and clothing and books and who knows what else! We are presently awaiting vendor information from the organizers, which we’ll immediately pass along to you!

As for festivities, this year looks pretty exciting. You guys, there’s going to be a vegan fashion show, and by “vegan fashion show” I mean “all the clothes and all the models are vegan,” but you must try to restrain yourselves from grabbing, no matter how touchable the clothes look. Be in the main auditorium by 4:45 p.m. on Saturday to see the fashions, which will feature pieces from Vaute Couture, Cri de Cœur, Reco Jeans, Melie Bianco, Lion’s Share Industries, Pansy Maiden, and Mission Savvy. Thrilling! Thrilling? Probably. Behave yourselves; fashion shows are for looking, and note-taking, and note-passing—not talking, heaven forbid, hollering at the models.

Probably you can do a little hollering, just a little, at the speed-dating in the Garden Club Room, where vegans ages 25 to 40 are invited to participate from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday. This could be the place to admit to the hardest-line of your vegan beliefs, like how maybe you won’t wear used silk or wool; you don’t eat ketchup because of the “allowable amount” of insects in it; you’ve “always felt” that if you had a nonfatal parasite inside your body, you’d probably keep it. Trust, these people are not allowed to be terrified. Surprised, but not alarmed. Go on, find your vegangelical love match! Or fuck it, find your honey-eating, secondhand-leather-shoe-wearing life-partner—you never know! Maybe speed-dating is the (totally bizarre) answer.

This year’s keynote speaker is Dr. Joel Fuhrman, who appears to advocate a vegan diet without mentioning the word “vegan” very much. He is also a big weight-loss, disease-prevention advocate, and has even published a book titled Fasting & Eating for Health: A Medical Doctor’s Program for Conquering Disease, which is frankly offensive. He appears to have invented the word “nutritarian” to describe followers of his diet/lifestyle. He is a member of PCRM. Dr. Fuhrman is “a specialist in nutritional medicine,” but he is not a registered dietician. He’ll be giving a talk from 1 to 2 p.m. on Saturday on “Food Addiction Primary Cause of Excess Body Weight,” and that’s all we’ll say about him.

There are plenty more speakers, workshops, cooking and raw food demos, and of course the big Saturday dinner. For all the details, please see the schedule.

Your Vegansaurus will be there all day Saturday and Sunday to cover all the excitement of the Bay Area’s hottest veg social event. Angling for a guest appearance on Vegansaurus? Show up, look hot, talk up the pink dinosaur and maybe one of our operatives will take your picture! YOU NEVER KNOW!

09/24/2010

Weekend events spectacular!  »

You guys! There are so many events this weekend, we can’t even take it! If we included them with this week’s link-o-rama, the post would be about a mile long, which we cannot inflict on you, so here’s an extra-special events-only post. Have fun, everyone!

Friday, Sept. 24
Farm Film Night at Hayes Valley Farm! Jordan already gave you the details yesterday, but here are the quick details: Event starts at 6 p.m., film, Vanishing of the Bees, at sundown; raffles and snacks; $5 suggested donation. Hayes Valley Farm is located at 450 Laguna St. at Fell Street.

Saturday, Sept. 25
It’s International Rabbit Day! Come celebrate at the House Rabbit Society at 148 Broadway in Richmond! They have all kinds of amusements planned, like bunny-petting face-painting and a Hop Shop sale, and food including a bake sale, snow cones, and a cake walk! It is true, people still organize and participate in cake walks. Obviously, there will be many rabbits present in need of permanent and foster homes, so even if you hate face-painting and snow cones, you should still come out to HRS HQ to meet the buns. Fostering an animal is a wonderful way to see if you’re ready for animal-companionship on a permanent basis.

It’s also the first day of the Great Big Vegan Garage Sale at VegNews! Laura brought you the news yesterday, so here’s the rundown: It’s happening from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 3620 Wawona St. at 47th Avenue, and basically everything imaginable is on sale! Woo!

You can also train to be a Volunteer Animal Disaster Service Worker! This is a series of free classes organized by the SFDCPA, the same group who’s been giving “how to prepare yourself and your companion animal(s) for a disaster” seminars at different branches of the SFPL! The first class runs from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at 1550 Bryant Street; register online or by phone at 415/ 970 2024. [via SF Appeal!]

Sunday, Sept. 26
Rocket Dog Rescue
is having a HUGE garage sale today at 1569 Custer Ave.  from 10 a.m. till it’s over! Come by to support us and get rad stuff! They’ll have TONS and TONS of goodies, including EVERYTHING YOU NEED and more! All the money goes directly to the dogs so you can feel like the good person that you are.

It’s also the second and last day of the Great Big Vegan Garage Sale! Today it’ll run from noon to 5 p.m., again at 3620 Wawona St. at 47th Avenue, and whatever wasn’t sold on Saturday MUST GO TODAY, so get on over to see what deals are left!

Today Cranky Boots Pops will debut at 331 Cortland! The storefront isn’t ready yet, so look out for a “custom paleta cart” from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wunderground predicts perfect popsicle weather, and SFoodie says two of the flavors are vegan (strawberry-basil and peach lemonade!), so if you’re looking for an alternative to MaggieMudd, how about a fruity pop?

Future Events you should prepare for!
The 11th Annual World Veg Fest is just one week away! It’s happening Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 2 and 3 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the County Fair Building in Golden Gate Park at 9th Avenue and Lincoln Way. This year there will be a vegan fashion show, which includes designs by Vegansaurus favorite Vaute Couture (highly recommended!); and two rounds of speed-dating, segregated by age (your Vegansaurus feels uncomfortable about speed-dating), in addition to the many speakers, booksellers, food booths, and free samples. Entrance fee is $7, which is waived before 10:30 a.m.

Farm Sanctuary’s 2010 Walk for Animals, Berkeley edition is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 16; participants will meet at noon at the Berkeley Martin Luther King, Jr. Civic Center (2151 Martin Luther King Jr Wy.) for registration and some “fun activities,” and the walk begins at 1 p.m. For more information, contact the local coordinators, Karine Brighten and Gina Grega, or register now!

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