The fancy-fancy: The mainstream magazine and the fashion-conscious vegan  »

After a close inspection of the September 2009 Elle magazine—September is traditionally the largest issue in a fashion magazine’s publication schedule—I compiled a list of every vegan item featured in the issue. All information (price, designer, manufacturer, etc.) was printed in Elle, unless otherwise mentioned. I am not counting jewelry, as Vegansaurus focuses on animal exploitation (though of course we have OPINIONS on the state of the jewels and precious metals mining industries. We always have opinions, and of humanity they are usually negative.)

page 132: Organic clothing manufacturer Hessnatur and designer Miguel Adrover in concert with Planet Green are holding a contest to promote organic cotton. Submit your t-shirt design through Aug. 31, and the winner’s will be printed on a line of 3,000 shirts. More information here. This is pretty all right of Elle, but the magazine’s lifestyle editor is also one of the contest’s judges, so it’s not like they’re writing about this only out of the goodness of their eco-friendly hearts.

page 206: A one-page feature on the new jeans designs at Gap, which apparently has dropped its “the.” The article doesn’t say anything about the jeans being made of anything but vegan materials (read: denim and man-made), but it’s still Gap, so you can’t completely trust them. Plus, what does this mean, the company “hired an outside consultant who conducted experiments in a lab in Mexico [to find] the best temperature to bake jeans for a good dark wash”? An “outside consultant” experimenting in “a lab in Mexico”? That sounds highly suspicious.

page 270
: The inspiration for this article, faux-patent-leather pumps by Guess, $90 per pair (style: Carrie 9). They are neon colors with silver stiletto heels, and I want the hot pink ones really a lot. A LOT.

page 276: A knit dress by New York & Company; its $55 price makes me comfortable assuming it is a cotton and/or man-made knit. Then again, below it are two dresses by BCBGMAXAZRIA one in polyester for $318, and one in nylon for $248, so what do I know, anyway. That nylon dress is really sweet. Best of all, though, is the vegetable-leather sandal by Pour la Victoire for $350 (style: Paley), which Elle of course places next to a neon orange Michael Kors “feathered” fox fur vest. It is shit like this that makes me really hate Joe Zee.

page 280: An Organic by John Patrick organic (naturally) cotton blouse, $265. It is white. Below, a striped cotton Juicy Couture dress for $178.

page 292: Nylon and spandex riding pants by LNA for $102. I don’t understand the appeal of these, they are super-ugly and silly, you guys. If you want riding pants, go for the gusto and wear riding pants. There are also $50 “faux-leather booties” by Alice + Olivia for Payless but it’s just the “upper” that’s man-made; the sole is still leather. Cute.

page 294: Amid a (presumably) smelly array of leather jackets lies one in purple coated bouclé, by Stella McCartney and priced at an eye-popping $1,645. It makes my eyes pop, anyway. Below, a Guess by Marciano rayon and spandex dress for $158.

page 302: An $85 cotton tank top by 3.1 Phillip Lim.

page 308: A $34 cotton t-shirt by Democracy of Nevermind.

page 348: O.P.I. matte nail lacquer (O.P.I. is a vegan nail polish); Clarins Pro Palette eyebrow kit (no ingredients given, but Clarins is on the non-testing list in the Caring Consumer database, just like the other beauty products noted here).

page 350
: Urban Decay deluxe eyeshadow; M.A.C. Pro Paint Stick; Smashbox Doubletake lip color; Revlon Super Lustrous lipstick; Clinique Superbalanced powder makeup; Paul Mitchell Fast Form Cream gel.

page 362: Clinique Acne Solution spot healing gel.

pages 408-10: In the photos accompanying the Jennifer Aniston profile, she wears a $130 denim shirt by Diesel, and $78 vintage denim shorts and $135 custom vintage jeans from What Goes Around Comes Around in NYC.

pages 424-5 (“Some Kind of Wonderful” spread): A cotton t-shirt for $15 from (the) Gap; a cotton tuxedo jacket for $3,415 by Balmain and a cotton t-shirt by Boss Orange for $425.

pages 426-7 (“SKoW”): a $20 cotton t-shirt from Mango; on the male model, a $50 Gap hoodie, one Calvin Klein Underwear cotton crewneck shirt that sells at $30 for three, and $200 Diesel jeans. The baby’s $35 cotton button-down shirt and $30 jeans are both from babyGap. Interesting how much Gap product is featured in these pages, when just 220 pages ago (essentially the beginning of the magazine) (the) Gap itself was featured. A PERSON MIGHT WONDER.

page 435 (“Age of Enlightenment” spread): Cotton harem pants by Comme des Garçons for $420. The model is also wearing a patent-leather and nandu-feather hat that appears to be a good 12 inches high (the nandu, also known as the rhea, is a flightless bird native to South America)

pages 441-2 (“AoE”): A Givenchy by Riccardo Tisci jersey top, priced at $2,450; Chanel muslin blouse, “price upon request.” Good old “price upon request,” that charming fashion mag canard. Nice to see the standard even applies to cotton blouses!

pages 444-5 (“Ciao, Manhattan” spread, featuring Tommy Hilfiger): Tommy Hilfiger cotton turtleneck for $198 and cotton pants for $128; on the male model, a $348 cotton car coat, $148 cotton turtleneck, and $150 white jeans, also by Tommy Hilfiger. This promises to be one bland set of photos, you guys, everything all navy and white and khaki and blahhhh. All the vegan (read: cotton) clothing I’m listing here is Tommy Hilfiger.

pages 446-51 (“C, M”): Now the man has on a $598 cotton coat. It is still khaki; now, he’s wearing the $148 white cotton turtleneck and $150 white jeans from page 445 again. Never mind what the woman is wearing, animals and insects died to make her clothes and shoes; finally, our man is wearing a $98 poplin button-down shirt.

pages 458-9 (“Away We Go” spread): An Albertus Swanepoel velour hat for $350 sits on the head of a model, who is also wearing a $645 lace bra by Balenciaga by Nicolas Ghesquière; In front of a mobile home, a model is partly covered by a $2,260 viscose twill blazer by Chloé by Hannah MacGibbon. Karl Lagerfeld used to design for Chloé. He left for Chanel at the beginning of his fat days, before he started his anorexia-style diet, subsisting on “homeopathic granules” because he is motherfucking insane.

page 464 (“AWG”): A pair of Shaneen Huxham hand-crocheted cotton gloves for $55 on the model’s outstretched hands, while her leather-shod feet stomp on a $4,000 LV trunk resting in the gravel. If I were a cow, I’d be kind of insulted.

page 468 (“Electric Company” spread): A $350 cheetah-print velour hat by Eric Javits and a $59 stretch cotton turtleneck by Liz Claiborne New York, hooray. The hat is fucking ugly, though not as obscene as the one made of rabbit hair on the opposite page.

page 476 (“EC”): Here’s that $59 Liz Claiborne turtleneck again, this time in purple. Still nothing much.

page 485-6: A four-page feature on Justin Timberlake’s fashion line, William Rast. Mostly it’s denim, like a $276 grommet-trimmed skirt, two pairs of $249 patchwork jeans, and a studded-sleeve jacket for $838. There’s leather too, which obviously we will not address (except to say: “fringe-trim unitard”). We’re also treated to several “price upon request” items, including a lace top and a pair of grommet-detail jeans. Justin Timberlake is really into grommets. Imagine the marks the grommets all over your tight jeans would leave on your skin! Ugh no thank you.

That’s all Elle has to offer vegans this month. Well, it also has a lot of clothing and accessories made with fur and/or feathers. I don’t get it, you guys, what is it going to take for these people to stop using fur, at the very least?

Still, good on Elle for featuring almost three vegan shoes—is it the thought that counts? Or was the idea “cheap” before “ethical”—and for dressing Jennifer Aniston in recycled denim. And Tommy Hilfiger works mostly in cotton. I guess, let me know when he starts using organic cotton, and Elle has done its last SKINS SKINS SKINS! layout.

Brought to you by the 496 pages of Elle September 2009. Inspired by Glossed Over, where Wendy in her infinite patience deconstructs fashion magazines.

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