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Feminine and Flirty Vegan Fashion from Vaute Couture
From feminine peacoats to comfy tanks, vegan fashion line Vaute Couture proves that compassionate, animal-friendly styles can be cute, chic and sexy.
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El Coat from Vaute Couture
El Coat in Blue
Inspired by the artwork of Dallas Shaw, this vintage silhouette has a long, extra-warm cut, wide shawl collar, inset waistband and A-line skirt. El Coat, $291-378

Fun fact: Actress Emily Deschanel wore this coat on her series Bones, in "The Devil Is in the Details" episode.

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    Vegan Fashion: Compassionate Couture
    Vaute Couture founder Leanne Mai-ly Hilgart
    Photo: Jon Cancelino
    No one planned on Angelo, a baby lamb, being born. His mother had been raised to produce wool for clothing, but, along with several other sheep, had worn out her usefulness. Though pregnant, she was loaded onto a transport truck with the rest of her flock and sent for slaughter.

    In the middle of the crowded transport truck, just a few short hours from being killed, baby Angelo was born. A woman shopping at an Italian market just a few doors down from the slaughterhouse approached the truck to get a closer look at the sheep as they were unloaded. She was shocked at seeing the newborn lamb and convinced the slaughterhouse manager to let her take him home. Today, Angelo lives at the Farm Sanctuary in Watkins Glen, New York, far away from the fate of his mother's flock.

    Vaute Couture founder Leanne Mai-ly Hilgart shares this story to help explain her passionate support of all things vegan—even in fashion. Angelo's experience taught her that there's so much more going on behind the scenes of fashion than people are aware of and that every animal deserves a chance at life.

    "Vegan isn't just what you eat," Leanne says. "It's also how you dress and live while hoping to harm less."

    This basic premise is what led Leanne to launch Vaute Couture, her own line of vegan clothing. While conscientious fashion—being mindful of the earth (eco-friendly fashion) and human workers (fair trade, living wage, sweatshop-free)—is nothing new, consumers aren't as well acquainted with vegan fashion and the need to be mindful of animals.

    As a result, there are several myths about vegan fashion that are leading to muddled definitions, false assumptions and general confusion about what it means to dress vegan. Are you falling victim to misinformation?


    See Leanne dispel the 5 myths of vegan fashion
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      2 Comments
      cara_sharon
      3 days ago
      See Oprah's article on Vegan fashion.  http://www.oprah.com­/style/Vegan-Fashion­-Myths-About-Compass­ionate-Couture
      cara_sharon
      3 days ago
      TYVM Oprah--you've done just right again! Mmmmwaahhhh! :D

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      O Celebrates Feel-Good, Animal-Friendly Fashion
      O's fall fashion shoot gets a little wild.
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      Each season O's fashion department, led by creative director Adam Glassman, takes the rest of the editorial staff on a guided tour of the trends that are about to hit the stores, the streets, and eventually (designers hope) your closet. This fall, for instance, we were told to expect an onslaught of teal. We would also see capes, trenchcoats, stiletto heels, tuxedo jackets, pleated skirts, structured handbags, lace motifs, feather trim, and fur—much fur.

      Though at O we strive to be stylish—and know our readers do, too—we encourage every woman to create her own definition of what that means. If you love your floral-patterned clogs (hello, Gayle King!), then they are a welcome part of your look, regardless of whether they're "in fashion." By the same token, wanting everything you wear to be au courant is wonderful as well. But all trends will never work for all people. And there's one that O has decided to skip, not just this season but in every issue since the magazine began: garments made of real fur.

      Of course, to wear—or not to wear—fur is a personal choice. For some women the stance is crystal clear; for others it's an evolution. "In the beginning, my thing was 'Have you seen Chicago winters? You need a fur coat in Chicago!'" Oprah told me. "But I had an aha moment looking at a sable cape in my closet." The cape's thick pelt gave her a visceral sense of how many four-leggeds had been used in its creation, bred specifically to be killed: "And that was it. I gave away all my furs 20 years ago."

      That is not to say you won't find exotic animal skins and feathers in O's October issue; it's just that they're still attached to the living creatures that grew them. For a glimpse of how gorgeous that look can be, check out our annual roundup of stellar winter coats, modeled this year by Elaine Irwin—and Obie, Flash, Peaches, Legs, Ollie, and Woodstock (a Bengal tiger cub, Hamburg rooster, Vietnamese pot-bellied pig, albino python, Andalusian horse, and Ural owl, respectively). Adam and his team are also enthusiastic about the newest faux furs, which no longer resemble the Muppety bath mats of yore, cost far less, and are, in many cases, every bit as silky as the real thing. In fact, this month O's fur-free fashion team went one step further: "There aren't even any leather bags in this feature," Adam reports.

      Too extreme—or extremely cool? That's your call. (After playing with these beautiful animals all day, we vote the latter.) Please share your insights with us in the comments below.

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        I'm Tall—Where Can I Find Clothes That Fit?
        O's creative director, Adam Glassman, tells you what your best friends won't.
        Adam Glassman
        Photo: Robert Trachtenberg 
        Q. Short and plus-size women are getting a lot fashion attention. But at six feet, I can't find clothes for me. Where's the help for tall women?

        A. Right here. Stores have limited floor space for special sizes, so online sources are often your best bet.

        Longer pants (36-inch inseams) are available from J.Crew, Banana Republic, and Gap; find leggy jeans at Paige, Lucky Brand Jeans, and tallcouture.com (for labels like 7 for All Mankind, Hudson, and Fidelity Denim).

        Little heels (one to one and a half inches) make legs look better than flats, whatever your height. If you have large feet—many tall women do—try Nordstrom for up to size 14 or barefoottess.com for up to size 15.

        Horizontal lines—belts, stripes, shoulder details, waist-length jackets—counteract a beanpole look.

        Too-short sleeves are a nonissue if you go for above-the-wrist or elbow length.

        High-contrast colors are good. Petites have to go monochromatic to look longer and leaner; you don't.

        Walk tall— none of this will work if you slump. Don't hide your height, take pride in it.

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          O's Make Me a Ten Fashion Makeover
          To gear up for O's tenth anniversary in May, we're kicking off a series of reader makeovers, taking on outdated wardrobes, mixed-up finances, and acres of clutter. First up: a woman who lost 140 pounds, eight dress sizes, and any excuse to avoid shopping. O's creative director, Adam Glassman, helps her find a chic new style to call her own.
          Lisa Lucchese makeover for O, the Oprah magazine
          Photo: Jeffrey Westbrook/Studio D
          Want to see the results? See the photos of Lisa in her new clothes!

          Until recently, Lisa Lucchese, 44, took no pleasure in fashion. "I dressed to not be naked," she says. She wore the same thing every day to her job as a private nurse—dark tank top, sweats, and big, dark shirts she thought would mask her hips. "I never looked in mirrors," she says.

          Lisa was severely overweight and had been for years: "I went on my first diet in high school to try to lose 15 pounds. After I got married and had kids, I started to put on weight. Food was the center of my universe. I ate when I was bored, when I was stressed, when I was down. I tried every diet. But I was so big—285 pounds—that the thought of losing 140 pounds was overwhelming."

          She finally realized that dieting alone wouldn't work for her: "I remember thinking, 'I have no life. I can't move. I'm out of breath.'" Her mother had undergone gastric bypass surgery in 1998 and lost 180 pounds, and her sister had the procedure in 2006 and took off 160 pounds. In the fall of 2007, Lisa had surgery, too. Eleven months later, she reached her goal weight of 145 pounds, and with the help of two support groups, she's kept it off. Now she wants clothes to match her personality. "I want to look as good as I feel," she says. "I don't want to dress blah."

          When O magazine's creative director, Adam Glassman, visits Lisa at her home, he notices that her wardrobe makes her look as if she's in mourning—lots of black, brown, and navy (in other words, blah). Going through her closet, they find a number of giant-sweatpant outfits and pairs of "mommy jeans" (high-waisted, pleated, ample in the rear). The remaining pieces are a mishmash of bright fabrics and prints, a departure from Lisa's go-to dark colors.

          "As I lost weight, my sister gave me hand-me-downs," she explains. "She's a little flashier than I am—she's an artist—so her pieces don't really fit with mine. But I never like to spend money on myself. My kids need stuff, so I buy for them."

          "Lisa has always put herself last," says her mother. "I think she was intimidated by her older sister." It's true, Lisa says. "One thing I'm hoping to get out of this is to discover my personal style. Not my sister's."

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