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As a vegan blog, I would be remiss not to have at least one post on the goodness that is Matt & Nat.

Beautiful bags. All vegan. The downside is that they’re not cheap; however, I’ve had my Matt & Nat bag for nearly 3 years and it has yet to see an un-stylish day; I still get a lot of compliments. Anyhow, I’m not feeling witty or pithy or smart tonight, so I’ll let photos speak for themselves:

And good news! Great sales.

I looooved Christopher Kane’s new collection. Loved. I thought it was original, smart, and a lovely modern take on traditional feminine looks (lace, florals, satins). And no pants in the entire thing!

Now, if the collection were vegan, affordable, and realistic, I’d be all over it. But, since it’s none of the above (I mean, I love dresses, but come on, it’s 33 degrees out today), I can only recreate. Well, I can’t. Because I’m not shopping for a while. But you can!

This:

Can be this! This dress:

plus this skirt:

plus these shoes:

I don’t have the lace print dress or the shoes, but I would wear them in a second. I do have the skirt (it doesn’t come with that green waistband, it’s just black), and it’s awfully comfortable and very versatile. All in all, I think it’s a wearable, affordable, nice vegan alternative. If only I were shopping.

Here, here, and here.

These were my birthday present to myself. I’ve been happily wearing them for a month and change now, and the compliments keep rolling in. Last weekend, a girl on the subway platform in Brooklyn Heights was wearing them too. Usually, I don’t like wearing the same shoes as anyone else, but that night, it just confirmed that these boots look damn good. Mmmm.

I confess: leather was fucking HARD for me to give up. I didn’t miss ice cream a bit, thanks to all the wonderful vegan frozen treats out there. I thought I’d miss clotted cream on scones (my mom’s English), but I’ve actually come up with a convincing sub (comment if you want the recipe!). Cheese was tougher, but it was worth it for the animals.

But getting rid of leather? That. Was. Hard. I remember one time, a few months after I went vegan, I went shopping. I don’t even remember what I wanted. But there I was, shopping, and I tripped my way into the shoe section. And I found some shoes.

And they were great.

And they were leather.

Now, don’t worry, this story has a happy ending. I stared at them for about 20 minutes, walked away, walked back, paced while two parts of my brain debated with each other (‘But perhaps if my DIET is vegan but my shoe wardrobe isn’t, I’ll still be helping the animals? You know, like, cause I’ll be mostly vegan?’ ‘No.’ ‘Ok, what if I only ever buy leather shoes this once?’ ‘No!’). I eventually had to leave the store. I just had to walk out and do my damndest to not walk back.

But now I’m over the leather withdrawal period, and I see that it was practically never necessary in the first place. For every stylish pair of dead skin shoes (like these), there is an equivalent or greater pair of vegan shoes! And oh, are they great.

Admitting to liking a web comic is all but akin to wearing an ‘All Your Base Are Belong to Us’ t-shirt. Fuck, admitting that I’ve even seen an ‘All Your Base Are Belong to Us’ t-shirt is admitting to being something of a nerd. But I confess. I like Questionable Content. I like it a lot. And this week, it’s on my radar.

I’m probably the last to report on this, but Lucy’s Cookies at Starbucks is pretty cool. Here’s how I feel about Starbucks. They’re not the first place I choose to spend my money. The first place I choose is the lovely local Boneshakers. But sometimes I’m on the road and I want caffeine and I want it to be reliably vegan. That’s where Starbucks comes in handy. Now, I don’t think that Starbucks is particularly committed to providing vegan options, but they do publish nutrition info and stocking vegan cookies is a serious step in the right direction. So: go Starbucks! Huh. That feels odd to type.

Clothed much. Great blog, seriously stylish blogger, and I love the post with the picture of her closet–she honestly doesn’t have a ton of clothing, and the fact that she works so elegantly with what she has is truly admirable. I acquire and donate clothes nearly constantly–partially because I like to shop, and partially because I’m uncreative. I get bored with what I have, I’m not very good at remixing, and I shop. This girl is inspiring me to curb my consumerism a bit, and become seriously stylish in the process.

Also, I just got this top and I love it something fierce:

Heh.

Remember playing Little House on the Prairie when you were little? What? (cough) Me neither. But if I had been one of those, um, nerds that did play Little House on the Prairie, it might have given me a hankering for these boots:

Astonishingly vegan.

Since it’s barely yet February, my longing for spring is tied up with a lot of guilt about global warming. Guilt: making sure you never enjoy yourself too much!TM. Because of my guilt, I will limit my picks to things I’m eyeing for early spring. EARLY spring. Like, March. Not right now, because I would feel very bad if it were 50 degrees out right now. ‘Kay Al Gore?

First up. Nail polish. I am not a colored manicure girl. In fact, for auditions, I nearly always try to have clean, short, shiny, plain nails. And since there’s always and audition around the corner, I almost never do colors. And if I do, it’s grey. And grey is not a color. So. No colors.

Except for this one. Essie’s polish in Neo-Whimsical has me salivating. It’s perfect. It’s pink without being demure. It’s lilac without being childish. It’s neon without being hipster. Also noteworthy: it’s not shimmery. The shimmer in some brands of nail polish isn’t vegan, so if you’re not sure, you might want to stick to flat colors. And I’m not sure about the new matte colors either (though if anyone does know, I’d be interested to learn). But plain, shiny, beautifully colored Essie nail polish? VEGAN! And gorgeous. Ricky’s NYC, I’ll see you tomorrow!

Next up: overpriced J. Crew jeans. Yeah, the ones I mentioned in my last post. I’m not a J. Crew girl (anymore). If I’m going to spend scads of money, it’s probably going to be on Built by Wendy. Maybe on Marc by Marc Jacobs. But J. Crew? Highly unlikely.

And yet.

I love them. I LOVE them. I love them 125 dollars. And so I’m going to do them. Tomorrow, if my boyfriend will let me.

And I’m going to wear them. Tomorrow, if my boyfriend will let me. With that very same chambray shirt, some spot-on black pumps, and a vegan iteration of that little woven bag. And between my non-punk zippery jeans and my non-hipster bright nails, I will be the cutest damn not-punk not-hipster vegan brooklynite around. Tomorrow.

Mmm. It’s hard not to be a happy blogger with a vegan walnut muffin and a chai latte in front of me. In fact, it’s harder still not to be happy at my favorite ever corner cafe, where everyone knows my name (“Norm!”). The guy beside me is reading a Mark Twain novel I’ve been meaning to read for ages; the group across the way is playing Uno. The kids behind the counter are looking terribly stylish in neutral colors and cyclist’s caps (it’s chic in person, I swear. I renewed my lease specifically because of this place. It helps that my lease is relatively cheap, too.

On to fashion. I’m about 5 seconds away from buying an expensive pair of J. Crew jeans, which brings me back to my highschool years when I worshipped at the Altar of J. Crew. I specifically had quite the thing for their tissue tees. In fact, I still rather like them, though they’ve gotten a bit gimmicky lately. But why pay $40 for a whisper thin piece of cotton when Forever 21 delivers for $5.80? I don’t know that F21 has a name for them, but I do know that they’re lovely and thin and they hold up well:

Another look-for-less staple for me is Topshop jeans. They fit well, fade well, and look a lot pricier than they are. My black jeans are from Topshop, and while I have 3 pairs of grey jeans, countless pairs of blue jeans, and two pairs of turquoise jeans, my Topshop jeans are the only black ones I need:

Oh, look. That’s my outfit today. I mean, I’m wearing shoes and earrings, too. But there you have it.

Two of my longtime favorite designers are Philip Lim and Alexander Wang. I had an old Development Philip Lim tank top from my pregan days, and I cried when my mother decided to put it through the wash (it was, of course, dry clean only). Needless to say, I won’t be replacing it–it was silk, and I don’t have $300, but I was still interested to see what Philip Lim did for Fall of 2009.

I felt like he had a sort of Napolean-in-the-70’s vibe, with shrunken tailored suits, histrionic details like tailcoats and neck ruffles, and a healthy dose of disco. I liked his colors better than his black & whites, and I especially loved his pink flapper-esque dress (see it here–it’s probably silk, so I won’t post a picture directly). I won’t buy a piece of it, given how animal-heavy it is, but I will recreate the look with shrunken double-breasted blazers from H&M, and this pleasantly 20’s-esque dress from MK2K:

dropwaist1

Alexander Wang, knitwear king, didn’t have as much whimsy as he used to. I found his collection to be edgy and rather ‘high style’, but the monochromatic palette bored me. The part of his collection that I’d most like to recreate was the oversized motorcycle jacket. I would recreate it (and probably will, if I can afford it) with this motorcycle sweater.

bomber

It’s from Victoria’s Secret. Whoda thunkit?

It’s hard to comment on fashion week in a vegan blog–I used to go crazy with commentaries, pictures, my own amateur reviews, etc, etc, etc. Now, sure as I am that all the collections are full of wool and silk and leather, it’s harder to address. No matter how amazingly adorable some of the collections may have been, I just don’t want to laud piles and piles of animal materials.

What I can do is discuss, and post vegan alternatives as well, so fashion week will definitely be on my radar.

And, of course, there’s always Stella McCartney!