Outerwear with Inner Glow: NYFW’s First Ever Vegan Fashion Show!

The clothes were beyond fabulous but the adoptable bow tied pups from The Humane Society of New York and Bad Ass Brooklyn Rescue stole the show! (Image: cnn.com)

This week, history was made. A 100% vegan label showed at New York Fashion Week for the first time. Vaute Couture, created by vegan and long-time animal lover Leanne Mai-ly Hilgart, launched in 2008. With a line of stunning high-end winter coats, Vaute Couture was an instant game changer. No more hemp or flimsy eco-unfriendly poly blends. These coats are made from super warm, waterproof, environmentally sound, and of course 100% vegan materials.

My date, the fabulous Laura Collins (right) of Pansy Maiden Vegan Bags, and me!

At the fashion show, Vaute Couture debuted Hilgart’s first-ever ready-to-wear line showcasing dresses, skirts, tees, sweaters, blouses, pants, leggings, and don’t forget her oh-so-popular coats. There was even something to entertain the fashion indifferent: adorable adoptable pups in bow ties from The Humane Society of New York and Bad Ass Brooklyn Rescue who were led or carried by the models.

The Sailor Moon super hero behind the line, Leanne Mai-ly Hilgart!
(Image: Gregory Vaughn)

On Vaute Couture’s blog, Hilgart says her line is inspired by 1990’s Japanese cult classic cartoon Sailor Moon “whose fit & flare, in-your-face style I’ve always been in love with but, even more, whose story of an ordinary earth girl saved by a magical cat to become a soldier of love & justice for all beings of the universe, makes me, um, pretty happy.”

Apropos of its inspiration, the show featured cutesy dresses with heart cut-outs, big hair styled with bows by Salon Champu, glittery makeup by DeVita, and sparkly shoes from the Love Is Mighty collection. The new Vaute Couture line also features harder edged motorcycle jackets, waxed pants, and jumpers in neutral and dark colors. My favorite was a pair of recycled blue satin pants paired with a black waxed canvas jacket. It’s great for an elegant day-to-night style and is the perfect combination for a soldier of love & justice.  Check out the looks below and let us know your favorites!

Night & Day
On the left: Charcoal Moleskin Nightfall Coat with Zip Off Skirt
Front and center:Recycled Satin Magical Heart Dress with Removable Bow.

My favorite look on the right!
Standing still on the left: Ramie Star Tee with Organic Velvet Pants
On the go, on the right: Recycled Satin Pants with Ramie Tee and Waxed Canvas Motorcycle Jacket
(Image: Gregory Vaughan)

Lilac Dreams
On the left: Organic Lilac Shooting Star Coat
On the right: Organic Velvet Starshine Fit and Flare Dress 

Vaute Couture

Fierce Models
On the right: Cobalt Mercury Moleskin Coat with Bow
On the left: Organic Elephant Blouse with Washi V Cardigan and Organic Velvet Skirt

A winning combination: male models + rescue dogs
Organic Star Party Button Down with Washi V Cardigan
(Image: Discerning Brute)

MEOW OR NEVER Organic Cotton Sweatshirt

Puppy love
Left: Organic Velvet Whitman Coat, Organic Sherpa Turtleneck, Waxed Pants, and Shoes by Brave Gentleman
Center: Recycled Satin Magical Heart Dress
Right: Waxed Jumper, Ramie Leggins, Washi Sweater Tee

Leave a comment to tell us your favorite look!


  1. Amazing! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Krystal Ouriaghli

    These are some of the ugliest clothes I have ever seen. The only thing worth looking at was the the lavender/purple dresses but their style and cut was abysmal. The entire collection ca be summed up with the word DRAB… Kudos for making history with vegan based materials and a big yech for designing clothes that look like they belong in communist Russia circa 1960. Dogs as accessories was cute.
    Yours truly,
    Krystal O.

  3. Marie

    Of course everyone has their opinion and my is the opposite from Krystal. I loved the Recycled Satin Magical Heart Dress and the Lilac Shooting Star Coat. Both are really cute.

  4. I have to admit, I was excited to read that there was a vegan fashion show, but the images above don’t excite me. However, I visited Vaute Couture’s website and saw a lot more that I liked, especially the coats. I hope the above clothing came across stronger in person, since they are representing the Vgean message. A lot of great styles are vegan without that intent behind them, so I appreciate the extra step this line takes.

    • Cat

      Good points! Sometimes, the pieces that are selected for a fashion show don’t actually represent a designer’s best work. I think that can be true for most fashion designers, and I’ve heard some other people make similar remarks about the Vaute Couture show. We may have mixed feelings about the clothing they selected for the show, but there’s no doubt that the show did a lot to bring awareness to the world of vegan fashion. Heck, it was even featured on CNN. Pretty cool!

  5. Penelope Low

    I loved the blue paisley boy and dog with bandana. Also the retro Russian look ;)

  6. Jana

    This makes it clear that Vegan fashion can be High fashion! Cheers to all involved and let there be more of this all over the world….

  7. darcy

    Nice that there is Vegan High Couture! Unfortunately I could not afford to buy any of it. So looks like I will have to stick with my polyfil and poly blends in order to avoid animal suffering. It saddens me that veganism has such a long way to go before it becomes an affordable alternative for the poor and middle class. None of my vegan friends could afford a 300.00 or more coat. But nice to see that it is starting to get into the main stream media like CNN. The purple coat and dress are really cute!

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