Hollywood Stylist Tara Swennen Awarded at Vegan Fashion Week

Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images

Mena Suvari, Moby, Kate Nash and Emily Deschanel were among the crowd celebrating a vegan lifestyle.

After debuting in L.A. earlier this year, Vegan Fashion Week returned for its second installment, this time starting with a takeover of the former United Artists Theatre at the Ace Hotel on Oct. 10 for an awards ceremony that included vegan presenters such as Moby, Mena Suvari and Persia White and an energetic performance by Icon award winner Kate Nash. Other Hollywood attendees included actress and animal rights activist Emily Deschanel (recently named to the advisory board of New York-based film and television eco company Green Product Placement), Christine Elise McCarthy, Melanie Liburd and British actor Elliot Knight.

The fashionable fête also honored Hollywood stylist Tara Swennen (whose clients include Kristen Stewart, Melissa McCarthy, Matthew McConaughey and Allison Janney), who took home the Best Vegan Fashion Stylist award. Swennen — who recently shared her favorite vegan brands and covered Vegan Fashion Week's spring event for The Hollywood Reporter — arrived onstage straight from LAX in an airport-friendly striped tee, black leggings and sneakers. "I literally just got off a plane, with marinara sauce on my shirt, and rushed over here!" she told the crowd while accepting her prize. Later, she shared with THR, "There was definitely a growing attendance this year! Hopefully it will continue to grow in scope."

Other award winners included best vegan fashion designer Nicole Blue of up-cycled fashion label Wasted L.A., best vegan hairstylist Thomas Silverman, best vegan makeup artist Madrona Redhawk and best vegan street artist Constantin Le Fou.

 "I love this man and I love his work, and I see his Vegan Club posters everywhere — every country, every continent," Moby said as he presented the award to Le Fou after sharing his own vegan story with the crowd. When the musician quit meat and dairy in 1987, he said that people weren't even sure how to pronounce the word "vegan." He continued: "Now in 2019, there are more vegan restaurants in Silver Lake than there were in the entire world in 1987." (In 2015, Moby opened the vegan restaurant Little Pine in Silver Lake.)

Suvari, sporting a two-piece ivory look by Enda and black heels by Cult of Coquette, also shared how she decided to go vegan beyond diet: "I walked into Little Pine with my high-end designer leather purse. ... Fashion has been something that I’ve been passionate about my entire life ... so I quickly got rid of everything [made with animal products], but then that really left me in a space of not knowing where to go and not feeling like I could find amazing alternatives that I felt were just as cool and creative as some of the designs that I’d seen. It’s been such a special thing for me to be a part of this Vegan Fashion Week. I attended last year for the first time and seeing this come to fruition, I think is so beautiful, so needed, so incredible."

Onstage at the awards ceremony, Vegan Fashion Week founder Emmanuelle Rienda, also behind creative agency Le Frenchlab, noted that the fashion industry must also consider the carbon footprint of animal-free materials. The four days of festivities included a performance by Björk-esque musical artist Vōx and a runway show featuring over a dozen looks from designers such as Patrick McDowell, who cut his teeth at Burberry and whose pieces are beloved by Rita Ora and M.I.A., and Ran Enda, who previously worked at Ralph Lauren. There was also a two-day Vegan World conference and an immersive market at California Market Center in downtown Los Angeles. 

The event marks the increasing strides towards cruelty-free materials and sustainability in fashion, long championed by designer Stella McCartney, Livia Firth's Eco-Age and its Green Carpet Fashion Awards, and Suzy Amis Cameron's Red Carpet Green Dress initiative. Companies from luxury conglomerate Kering Group to Amazon have recently pledged commitments to full carbon neutrality.