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.
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.
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!
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!
Cute-ass flyer for Vaute Couture’s hotness in SF next weekend. That’s right, they’ll be in town trying to make San Francisco fashionable. Let it not be in vain, people. I won’t make another sad, sad joke about what messes we all are but damn, let’s at least try. FOR THE CHILDREN. AND OTHER PEOPLE WITH EYES.
So yes! Book an appointment! Get super adorable at a discount! Oh and they’re serving up free cupcakes and tea? Yes, please! Getting hotter and fatter, that’s what we’re all about.
A little self-promo because it never hurt anyone (it only just annoyed many! and still I rise!). My band (that’s right, I said BAND, I am in a BAND because I am VERY MUSICALLY TALENTED), Dino Bike, is playing at Hemlock Tavern on NEXT Sunday, Aug. 29. We do amazing shit like medleys from Top Gun and throw vegan cupcakes into the audience. Also, there might be some stripping involved and playing of cow bell by Leanne from Vaute Couture! OH and our opening band, Red Light Circuit. Oh, they’re just OPENING FOR HANSON NEXT MONTH. That’s all.
SERIOUSLY, it’s gonna be ridic. and IN ADDITION TO THE RIDICULOUSNESS:
Every penny raised will go to help pay for TPLO surgery for my dog, Hazel, who is the most beautiful, wonderful, perfect pit bull in all the land and also, ONE EXPENSIVE BITCH! This year on self-care, I’ve spent about $5 (showers are for fools! I will not conform to society’s arbitrary* standards for hygiene!) and on Hazel-care, about $6,000. So anyway, the show is only five bucks and you’re gonna get some vegan treats out of it (uh… anyone want to bake??) and I’ll pass around donation jars and you might get to see some bazoongas. Not a bad deal, at all!
Also, Jonas from Vegansaurus is in the band, and Jordan is maybe in the band. So really, it’s a Vegansaurus spectacular! And I’m gonna write this all up in The Bold Italic so if you come and make a big enough scene, your name will be in print!
Now, please, RSVP, s’il vous plaît!
Vaute Couture visiting San Francisco for discount shopping! »
Hello, everyone with good taste, style and money; this announcement is for you!
Vaute Couture will be in town on Friday, Aug. 27 and Sunday, Aug. 29 to show us the new fall/winter ‘10 collection, the remaining stock from the fall/winter ‘09 collection, and current late-summer/early fall pieces. You’ll be able to pre-order FW10 items at a discount, and buy the current/older items on the spot.
This will happen at appointment-only Pop-Up Shops, which haven’t been scheduled yet (Orange County and L.A., check the site for details about yours!). However, if you want in, and you probably do, you gorgeous creature, you should send an email right away to hold a spot, with information like your name and phone number; whether you’ll be alone or with a friend or two; and notes on your preferred Vaute Couture styles/sizes/colors. Again, check the site for the exact times of these Pop-Up Shops, because as of now they have not been announced. There is also promise of a party! [Ed.: If you know a place that might want to host an event too, let her know!]
Leanne Ma-ly says anyone is welcome to make an appointment to say hello and ogle the clothes without buying anything, so if you’re broke, you can still admire vegan fashions!
Unaffordable Vegan Winter Coats »
[Ed.: I will say that they use hella high-quality materials and they do cost less than say, Stella McCartney, and they are super-cute, so vegans with money, BUY THEM FOR THOSE OF US WHO CAN’T. But yeah, I’d love to see some more affordable vegan winter coats…anyone up for a round-up!?]
The fancy-fancy: Vegans in faux-furs »
The LA Times ran a nice little feature on “vegan fashion” on Sunday. Inside, a number of young designers and boutique owners explain why they run cruelty-free businesses, and it touches on reasons that consumers would want to buy vegan clothing, shoes, and accessories. Seriously, it’s decent, and only a little bit giggle-at-the-loonies. The designers—including Elizabeth Olsen of OlsenHaus, Inder Bendi of Matt & Nat, and Leanne Mai-ly Hilgart of Vaute Couture—are all middle-priced brands, less dear than Stella McCartney,* but of higher quality than “polyurethane flats from Payless.” Ew, Payless, que naco. Nothing stylish ever came out of that place.
If you’ve wished you could buy more clothes only to be stymied by all the death and destruction found in even a simple pair of underpants, do not despair: there is more out there for us than cotton and plastics. Today, Vegansaurus introduces a new feature: The Fancy-Fancy, in which we discuss fashion! Because 100 percent of us love clothes a lot, and 100 percent of us take a lot of care to ensure that what we wear reflects our beliefs as much as what we eat. Also, because this is a “living guide” as well as an “eating guide,” and you can’t say you’re really living if you don’t look good.
*Problematic, this one. She’s the only major designer I can think of who doesn’t use any leather, and of course she doesn’t use fur, but she does use wool and silk. Presumably from well cared-for sheep and goats, like those of the Hudson Valley Fiber Farm, but I can’t find confirmation.
Product review: Vaute Couture Coats! »
Um, I can’t really review these because I haven’t tried them on but Vaute Couture has some hella super cute vegan winter coats. As any vegan lady knows, those are as hard to come by a baby robin at a Cute Baby Animals Convention. Just not happening. Plus, Vaute Couture is the baby of Leanne Mai-ly Hilgart, a rocking vegan lady who is doing it to it and she definitely deserves our support. Oh and the proceeds from the Vaute coat go to Farm Sanctuary! Pretty. Awesome. <— see how I did that?
The coats are available for special pre-order right now (which means that you can get them for as much as HALF OFF THE RETAIL PRICE)! They’ll arrive in October, just in time for you to not wear that ugly North Face windbreaker all winter! Woohoo! Note to all (read: Jonas): I <3 the gray pea coat with the vintage buttons.