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SeaWillow

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  1. The NFL IS huge - ask anyone about upcoming Super Bowl True, the athletes in the article are not 100% vegan, BUT that this was even attempted by an NFL athlete and reported in the WSJ is indeed progress from just five years ago. I like the article Rob provides on his site about the different faces of vegan. All roads lead to Rome, Sea
  2. Immediately thought of you, Rob, when I read about this NFL star. Here is a cut n' paste of article below. Check out the URL link from the article for great photos. Enjoy! Sea The 247 lb. Vegan NFL star Tony Gonzalez is out to answer a question: Can a football player live entirely on plants? By REED ALBERGOTTI January 25, 2008; Page W1 The protein-rich bounty of the football training table is supposed to grow the biggest and strongest athletes in professional sports. Kansas City Chiefs tight-end Tony Gonzalez was afraid it was going to kill him. "It's the Catch-22," says Mr. Gonzalez, 31. "Am I going to be unhealthy and play football? Or be healthy and get out of the league?" Kansas City Chiefs tight-end Tony Gonzalez So last year, on the eve of the biggest season of his career, Mr. Gonzalez embarked on a diet resolution that smacked head-on with gridiron gospel as old as the leather helmet. He decided to try going vegan. Living solely on plant food, a combination of nuts, fruits, vegetables, grains and the like, has long been the fringe diet of young rebels and aging nonconformists. Even the government recommends regular helpings of meat, fish and dairy. Vegans of late have gotten more hip with such best sellers as the brash "Skinny Bitch," and its more scholarly cousin, "The China Study." Both books argue vegans can live longer. But could an all-star National Football League player, all 6-foot, 5-inches and 247 pounds of him, live on a vegan diet and still excel in one of the most punishing jobs in sports? For Mr. Gonzalez, the stakes were high. He'd just signed a five-year contract, making him the game's highest-paid tight-end. Entering the 2007 season, his 11th in the NFL, he had a shot at breaking all-time NFL records for career receptions and touchdowns at his position. To do that, he needed top performances in every game. Mr. Gonzalez knew he was out on a limb. "I was like, 'I'm going to look like a fool if this doesn't work out,'" he says. Mr. Gonzalez joined a handful of elite athletes who have put the vegan diet to the test, either for their health or because they oppose using animals as food. But he was the first pro-football superstar to try. And the first to fail. Kansas City Chief Tight End Tony Gonzalez shows us how to make high protein vegan shakes that actually taste good. (Jan. 24) There's no evidence a vegan diet can improve an athlete's performance, says David Nieman, a professor of health and exercise at Appalachian State University. His 1988 study of vegetarian runners found they ran as well as their meat-eating rivals but no better. Although the vegetarian athletes in his study also ate eggs and dairy foods, he says, "there is scientific evidence that veganism, when done right, won't hurt performance." But, he adds, there is only anecdotal evidence that it can help. Professional athletes, especially NFL players, need thousands of calories a day. Many enjoy a high-protein, high-fat smorgasbord of steaks, chops, burgers, pizza, ice cream and beer. Mr. Gonzalez's tight-end job requires him to push around monstrously sized opponents. Occasionally, he gets to catch a pass. Mr. Gonzalez is famous for combining the brute power of an offensive lineman with the acrobatic skills of a nimble receiver. "My biggest thing is strength," he says. "If you lose that strength you get your butt kicked." Experts say athletes in training need as much as twice the protein of an average person to rebuild muscle. Their bodies also require a big dose of minerals and vitamins, as well as the amino acids, iron and creatine packed into fish, meat and dairy foods. It's fine to be a vegan, says sports nutritionist and dietician Nancy Clark, if you're willing to work at it. "It's harder to get calcium, harder to get protein, harder to get Vitamin D, harder to get iron," she says. "You have to be committed." TRAINING AS A VEGAN 1 Read a Q&A2 with nutritionist Lisa Dorfman about training on a vegan diet. DIETARY CHANGES Compare the standard3 Chiefs training table menu to Tony Gonzalez's daily diet."Skinny Bitch" co-author Kim Barnouin is working on another book called "Skinny Bastard." "We want men to know that you're not going to be some scrawny little wimp if you follow this diet," she says. The book trashes meat, milk, eggs, cheese and sodas, saying men and women feel better and look better without them. "The more athletes who come forward and say, 'I'm doing this for my health,' the better," she says. Mr. Gonzalez had never heard of the vegan diet when he boarded a flight from New York to Los Angeles last spring, about a month before preseason training. His seatmate turned down most of the food offered in first class, and Mr. Gonzalez finally asked why. The man told Mr. Gonzalez about "The China Study," a 2006 book by Cornell professor and nutrition researcher T. Colin Campbell that claims people who eat mostly plants have fewer deadly diseases than those who eat mostly animals. The evidence was drawn from diet surveys and blood samples of 6,500 men and women from across China. MAC DANZIG Mac Danzig took a diet risk four years ago. The 28-year-old mixed martial-arts fighter had long wanted to spare animals by going vegan. But he was afraid his trainers were right: that he'd lose to stronger opponents. Last month, on a diet of brown-rice protein, beans, soy, nuts and vegetables, Mr. Danzig defeated the last of his challengers in Spike TV's "The Ultimate Fighter." Kim Barnouin, co-author of the vegan best-seller "Skinny Bitch," says she loves the "Ultimate Fighter" show and cheered Mr. Danzig's win. When fight fans learned Mr. Danzig was a vegan, some said they didn't think he'd have the strength, or the stomach, to conquer the ultra-violent sport, which combines kick-boxing and wrestling. "It's about animal rights," Mr. Danzig says, "not human rights."Mr. Gonzalez was intrigued. Earlier in the year, a bout with Bell's Palsy, a temporary facial paralysis, had focused his attention on health. He bought the book, and after reading the first 40 pages, he says, was convinced animal foods led to chronic illness. He was an unlikely convert. Mr. Gonzalez, who grew up in Southern California, says cheeseburgers were his favorite food. But he quit them, substituting fruits, nuts and vegetables. At restaurants, he ordered pasta with tomato sauce. Three weeks later, he walked into the weight room at the Chiefs' training facility and got a shock. The 100-pound dumbbells he used to easily throw around felt like lead weights. "I was scared out of my mind," he says. Standing on the scale, he learned he'd lost 10 pounds. Mr. Gonzalez considered scrapping the diet altogether and returning to the Chiefs' standard gut-busting menu. First, though, he called Mr. Campbell, who put him in touch with Jon Hinds, himself a vegan and the former strength coach for the Los Angeles Clippers basketball team. Mr. Hinds suggested plant foods with more protein. SALIM STOUDAMIRE Trainers for the Atlanta Hawks worried when shooting guard Salim Stoudamire decided to eat vegan at the end of the National Basketball Association season in 2006. Although the diet left him craving chicken, Mr. Stoudamire says, his biggest challenge was convincing coaches and teammates he could still perform on the court. Team managers forced Mr. Stoudamire onto a scale each morning of preseason training and wrote down his weight. After holding steady at 181 pounds, the bosses got off his back. Mr. Stoudamire says he felt better, and that his performance this season improved. So far, none of his teammates have joined him. "They all look at me like I'm crazy," he says.The Chiefs' team nutritionist, Mitzi Dulan, a former vegetarian athlete, did not believe that was enough. With the team's prospects and Mr. Gonzalez's legacy at stake, she persuaded the tight-end to incorporate small amounts of meat into his plant diet. Just no beef, pork or shellfish, he said; only a few servings of fish and chicken a week. Teammates nicknamed him China Study and razzed Mr. Gonzalez if he missed a block. But he wasn't ready to give up his new diet completely. After a preseason practice, he accompanied Mr. Hinds to learn a skill he believed as important as blocking techniques: how to shop for groceries. Mr. Hinds showed him nutritious fish oils and how to pick out breads dense with whole grains, nuts and seeds. "The best bread for you," says Mr. Hinds, "is if I hit you with it, it hurts." Mr. Gonzalez also learned how to make the fruit and vegetable shake he drinks each morning. He stocked his pantry with tubs of soy protein powder and boxes of organic oatmeal; soy milk and Brazilian acai juice crowded the fridge. His favorite dessert became banana bread topped with soy whipped cream from the vegan cafe near his home in Orange County's Huntington Beach. Mr. Gonzalez soon recovered his lost pounds and strength, but prospects for a record-breaking season were still in doubt. The team lost its starting quarterback, Trent Green, in a trade, and the Chiefs' star running back was tied up in a contract dispute. As the season progressed, the team lost more games than it won. But Mr. Gonzalez managed to stick to his diet and hold onto the football. He broke the touchdown record before midseason and was within reach of the career reception record. "I was like, 'OK, this is working,'" he says. "I have so much more energy when I'm out there." His wife, October Gonzalez, was astonished her husband could play the season without ordering a single cheeseburger. "I thought he'd cave," she says. Mr. Gonzalez entered the final game against the New York Jets needing four catches to surpass the record held by former tight-end Shannon Sharpe. The contest turned into a sluggish defensive struggle with the Chiefs trailing the Jets 7 to 3. Still, Mr. Gonzalez made three receptions. With 2 minutes and 29 seconds left in the third quarter, Chiefs quarterback Brodie Croyle was fleeing defenders when he threw a 9-yard pass to Mr. Gonzalez, who scampered for a first down and a spot in the NFL record book. Write to Reed Albergotti at [email protected] URL for this article: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120122116182915297.html Hyperlinks in this Article: (1) http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120118808355913521.html (2) http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120118808355913521.html (3) http://s.wsj.net/public/resources/documents/info-enlargePic07.html (4) mailto:[email protected] Copyright 2008 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved
  3. Lotus, You may want to the following recipe. It’s from Living Cuisine: The Art and Spirit of Raw Foods by Renee Loux Underkoffler and Woody Harrelson. While the cocoa powder and maple syrup are not technically “raw,” you may choose to substitute or use sparingly. Chocolate Mousse 1/2 cup soft dates (without pits) 3-4 T maple syrup 1 T cold-pressed coconut butter (optional) 1 1/2 T vanilla extract 2 1/2 cups mashed avocado (try using 3) 3/4 C raw carob powder 4-6 T cocoa powder Soak the dates in 1/2 cup fresh water for 5-10 minutes to soften. Drain the soak water and set aside. In a food processor, blend dates, maple syrup, coconut butter (if used) and vanilla until smooth. Spoon in avocado and blend until smooth. Add a few tablespoons of date soak water if necessary to aid in blending. Spoon in carob and cocoa powder and blend until smooth. Have fun, Sea Edited to add: Lotus, here's a link to Woody's site. Scroll down the page to "Chocolate of the Gods Mousse" for more details and suggestions. http://www.voiceyourself.com/09_dakinekitchen/09_easy.php#5
  4. Hey Rob! Thanks for your lovely message. I apologize for not responding sooner. Right now, I plan to be in Maryland for awhile (ie: job, house) - although life may bring other changes. My daughter is moving to Seattle next month! After visiting the Emerald City 2x this past year, she knew it was just a matter of time. (I'm glad/sad) / On the bright side, the west coast will soon have another stellar resident -AND I'll have major motivation to get out there for a visit. Looks like she'll just miss VegFest but I'll forward the info on the Oregon gathering - she has expressed a strong desire to visit Portland. Everything else here is status quo - still vegan and recently became very high raw (coffee and chai soy lattes are still my weakness). It's so good to be back in touch with you all. The stars of "Vegan Fitness" DVD made a genuine impression on me and it's been a thrill to see you, Tonya and Brendan developing new projects. Talk to you soon Sea
  5. Really appreciate this link, Michael. This is a good intro for beginners to raw eating. Agreed, it got a bit random at times, but that's the beauty of spontaneity. The speaker made efforts to follow an outline - questions from audience kept things going in different directions - but hey, at least they're asking. And yes, the fact that she's a raw vegan gave me bias Thanks for sharing this, Sea
  6. Darn! That's what I get for being away from these forums! You guys were in MD and I missed ya. Good to "see" everyone thriving Sea
  7. OMGoddess! If this is what eating watermelon does. . . give us a truckload! This photo impresses me as an example of genuine, uncontrived, just-awakened beauty. Michelle, you are naturally gorgeous! Sea ps: love the freckles! edited for typos
  8. . . .and the whole friggin Vegan Fitness Team! Her journaling is EXCEPTIONAL! She writes like my daughter speaks. If I had to recount one of their stories, I'd mess it up. But whenever I hear my daughter chattin' it up about some recent happening or read one of Tonya's entries, I'm thoroughly moved and feel rather awed! Tonya's contribution to the (FABULOUS) Vegan Fitness DVD totally convinced me to reconsider going raw again. I'm at about 75% now and feel positively transformed. Rob, I thank you. You've turned me on to so many good things and great people. [/b]
  9. Rob, Thanks for posting this. About 25 years ago, I was in a health food store looking for some alternative answers to my mother's arthritic problems. The owner, a sage in his own right, immediately asked me if my mother consumed a lot of dairy products (she did). Before he would suggest anything, he suggested she eliminate the dairy as soon as physically possible. He refused to sell me on anything before trying that. Through the years in my own spiritual/vegan journey, I had experienced skin rashes, breakouts, allergies and overall sluggish feeling when consuming milk. Even with all that discomfort, the ONE thing that eliminated dairy from my diet was when I was ready to learn the truth about the animal foods industry. Since then, I could not imagine en-JOY-ing ANY food delivered to my table as a result of some animal's misery. I guess folks just have to find the one good reasons that speaks to them and encourages a better choice. *Stay sparkly* Mama Sea
  10. Shelby, Congratulations!!! Not an easy course but something tells me you'll master it. I have watched one of my nieces and several classmates follow their bliss and return to school for nursing. It is nothing short of lifechanging! And they are all making such a positive difference. Good on you, Girl! Mama Sea
  11. Won't make this year's event, but who knows - maybe it's in the cards for 2007 It's encouraging to see meat-eating alternatives growing. While I personally don't care for analogs, it is more humane than the animal food industry. A dear fellow veg, Roxy, sent me this article: http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/food/262010_vegfest08.html --------------------------------------------------- Wednesday, March 8, 2006 Sink your teeth into Vegfest Celebrate the meatless bounty at flourishing event By KRISTIN DIZON P-I REPORTER It's a good time to be a vegetarian, or just veg-curious. Andrew Saeger / Seattle P-I This weekend brings to Seattle the fifth Vegfest, billed as the largest vegetarian festival in the United States. Last year, more than 9,900 people attended this celebration of meat-free eating, a big increase from the 2,000 who came in 2002, its first year. The festival venue at Seattle Center is doubling in size this year. Food makers and restaurants plan to give out more than 400,000 samples of 650 different foods. The number of local vegetarian and vegan restaurants also is growing, giving plant-eaters more dining options. Grocery stores and restaurants have become a lot more vegetarian-friendly in recent years, a contrast to the days when vegheads had few options other than natural food stores or co-ops. Many fast-food outlets, including McDonald's and Burger King, now offer veggie burgers or other meatless options. And there's a bounty of meat-replacement products, including Fakin' Bacon, Foney Baloney and Tofurky. Meat alternatives are made from wheat gluten, soy, compressed mushrooms, lotus root, sesame and more. Also, plenty of serious carnivores are incorporating veggie food into their diets. There are no precise estimates of how many Americans are vegetarian, but in a 2003 national survey by Harris Interactive, 2.8 percent of adults (more women than men) said they never eat meat, poultry, fish or seafood. A larger group -- 6 percent -- said they never eat beef or pork. Part of Vegfest's success lies in its open-arms attitude, focusing on the pleasure of food rather than anti-meat polemics. "For a lot of people, tasting is believing," said Stewart Rose, president of Vegetarians of Washington, the group behind Vegfest. "I hear guys, who are dragged there by their wives, turn around and say, 'You know, this tastes pretty good. I think I could do this.' Food is a very fundamental pleasure in life." Besides the usual food tastings, cooking demonstrations, book selling, speaker appearances and health screenings, this year's Vegfest is introducing a kids section. Children can fill out report cards (with smiley and frowning faces for the very young) after tasting products such as Earth's Best baby food or the Sesame Street line of organic snacks and cereals. Vegetarians of Washington has more than 1,500 members. They come to the group for diverse reasons. There are Jains, Buddhists, Seventh-day Adventists and others whose religions encourage a vegetarian diet. Others are attracted largely by health or medical reasons, environmental or animal-welfare concerns. Some simply may not enjoy the taste of meat. "I don't eat any flesh of an animal," said Caryn Pierce, a group member and Vegfest volunteer coordinator. "And I was raised that way. I've never had the meat of any animal." Well, there was a close call when she got a bite of chicken hidden under a lettuce leaf in a salad. "It was just the most gross feeling ever," said Pierce, of Redmond. "It was like I had bitten my own finger." Pierce, 33, a fourth-generation vegetarian on one side of her family, is a Seventh-day Adventist, a denomination that encourages vegetarianism as well as living without alcohol and tobacco. Pierce said Adventists are health focused and they look to the first chapter of the Bible for guidelines on how to eat. They cite a passage in Genesis in which God says to Adam and Eve: "Behold, I have given you every herb-bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in which is the fruit of a tree-yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat." Sure, Jesus and other biblical figures ate meat, but Adventists look to plant sources as the ideal, and they report lower rates of illness and increased levels of energy from a vegetarian diet. "Our texts say that your body is the temple of God, and taking care of your body, whatever you eat or drink, is for the glory of God," Pierce said. The local growth of other ethnic and religious communities -- particularly in the suburbs -- also is fueling the opening of more vegetarian restaurants. "We get people who come regularly from Seattle, and they're begging us to open a restaurant in Seattle so they don't have to cross (Route) 520," said Manpreet Dha, who runs Preet's in Redmond, which makes vegetarian Punjabi food. "There's definitely a market out here." Lyle Wong, who runs Teapot Vegetarian House on Capitol Hill, said the vegan restaurant and its new Redmond sibling attract a lot of Buddhists and young people choosing a vegetarian lifestyle. "Vegetarian food is so well done these days, that you need not even say, 'Oh, it's not meat,' " Wong said. "The texture can be uncannily like meat and it's just as full flavored." Teapot also is one of a growing number of vegetarian/vegan restaurants that also are kosher, requiring that a rabbi inspect and certify the kitchen daily. Wong said there's room for all of the newcomers. "Everybody has something different to offer," he said. "(But) there's still not a lot of vegan restaurants." The Northwest also is home to innovative vegetarian food manufacturers. In Oregon, there's Tofurky, Turtle Mountain dairy-free frozen desserts and, until recently, Gardenburger, one of the largest makers of frozen veggie burgers, patties and prepared foods. (Gardenburger moved to Utah a few years ago.) Washington state is known more for small to medium-size producers focused on handcrafted, artisanal foods. David Lee, president of The Field Roast Grain Meat Co., sells his hand-formed vegetarian meats, including roasts, sausages, meatloaf and deli-style slices, across the country in urban centers. But Lee, a veteran of Essential Foods Co. who also started Fare Start, a restaurant and food service training program for homeless people, said Field Roast isn't an attempt to imitate meat. The wheat base is seasoned with flavors including lentil sage, smoked mushroom and sun-dried tomato. Field Roast, started in 1997 in Georgetown, retails for a little over $5 a pound. It's also a popular option at many local restaurants, including the Elysian Brewing Co. on Capitol Hill and Smarty Pants in Georgetown. "This dualistic idea of you're a ravenous flesh eater or a total vegetarian is getting outdated," said Lee. "One night you might eat steak and the next night, tofu." The company employs 10 people and makes about 40,000 pounds of Field Roast each month. "We are experiencing a growth spurt right now, especially with the sausages," Lee said. "We're getting them into mass-market stores like Safeway." Phil Spiegel, an electrical engineer by training, started making tofu for his family before opening Small Planet Tofu as a business in 1992 in Newport, about 40 miles north of Spokane. What started as a few hundred pounds a week has grown to nine employees putting out nearly 5,000 pounds of medium-firm tofu every week. Spiegel, known as "Tofu Phil," said he's still educating people about tofu. "Ten years ago, people hadn't heard about it," said Spiegel, whose tofu comes in five flavors and a baked variety. "Now, everybody's heard about it, but they don't know what to do with it." Rose of Vegetarians of Washington hopes Vegfest will help answer those kinds of questions. "Sometimes people struggle between doing what feels good and what's healthy," he said. "We show them that you can have healthy food that's delicious." IF YOU GO Vegfest is Saturday and Sunday at the Seattle Center Exhibition Hall, 225 Mercer St., 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Admission is $5, free for ages 12 and under. For more information, see www.vegofwa.org/vegfest/. NEW VEGGIE SPOTS Vegetarian and vegan restaurants have been sprouting up all over the region recently. Here's a list of the ones we know of that have opened within the past two years. Chan Ho Vegetarian Restaurant, 18124 E. Valley Highway, Kent; 425-251-8818. Serving vegetarian and vegan Hong Kong style cuisine. Open daily, 11 a.m.-8:30 p.m. Dosa Palace, 730 N.W. Gilman Blvd., Suite C-107, Issaquah; 425-369-2343. Southern Indian vegetarian food. Open daily except Monday, 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. and 5:30-10 p.m. Lakeshore Veggie House, 15 Lake St., No. 103, Kirkland; 425-889-2850. (Recently changed from the former Lakeshore Cafe). Chinese vegetarian cuisine. Open daily, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Namasthe Cuisine of India, 16650 Redmond Way, Redmond; 425-558-7858. North Indian vegetarian cuisine and kosher. Pabla Veggie Cuisine, 1420 N.W. Gilman Blvd., Suite N3, Issaquah; 425-392-4725. Punjabi and kosher cuisine. Open daily, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. and 5-10 p.m. Preet's, 8440 160th Ave. N.E., Redmond; 425-867-9400. Open daily, noon-3 p.m. and 5:30-9:30 p.m. North Indian food. Teapot Vegetarian House, 15230 N.E. 24th St. # H, Redmond; 425-373-1888 or 425-747-8881. www.teapotvegetarianhouse.com Vegan and kosher menu includes cuisine of Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Japan and China. Open daily, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Teapot Vegetarian House, new Seattle location: 345 15th Ave. E.; 206-325-1010. Same Web site. Open daily, 11 a.m.-10:30 p.m. Vegetarian Bistro, 668 King St.; 206-624-8899. Serves dim sum and Chinese cuisine. Open Monday-Thursday and Sunday, 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m., and Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. DIFFERENT KINDS OF GREEN EATERS The lexicon of vegetarianism can be a little confusing, so here's a basic guide: Vegetarian: No meat, poultry or fish Vegan: No eating or consumption of animal flesh or products, including eggs and dairy; often excludes honey too (dietary vegan: only follows the food rules) Ovo-lacto vegetarian: A vegan who also eats milk and eggs Lacto vegetarian: A vegan who does dairy Ovo vegetarian: You guessed it -- a vegan who eats eggs Pescetarian: A vegetarian who eats fish Flexitarian: Someone who eats a largely vegetarian diet, but gives in to the occasional desire for say, bacon or a hamburger Pseudo-vegetarian: A person who claims to be vegetarian, but isn't Raw foodist: Vegans or vegetarians who consume only or mostly raw and living foods that are uncooked (never heated above 116 degrees), unprocessed and usually organic. (Within the raw food movement, there are those who focus on one type of food, including fruitarians, sproutarians and juicearians.) P-I reporter Kristin Dizon can be reached at 206-448-8118 or [email protected]
  12. Wow! Looks like there is more to Seattle than just good coffee Mad, Rob, Your (very swift) responses have my psyched! I'm sending them to my daughter. I am continually amazed at the resources and support found here. Thanks so much!
  13. My daughter and I are planning a trip to Seattle, WA this June (2006) to scout for possible relocation. She is interested in attending University of Washington (so am I!). The duration of our trip will probably be about one week. Any suggestions for good (clean & economic, yeah, I want it all) hotels, restaurants and any suggested points of interests (even those to avoid) would be very much appreciated. Also, we'd also be interested in learning more about the real estate in the Seattle area (apartments, houses, condos, yurts) All ideas appreciated, Thanks! Sea (aka Jean)
  14. Thanks Tarz. I retract my disappointment with Stella. It's Courtney who gets a bop on the head with a carrot!!!!! The press clip I received "conveniently" left out the preceeding reference to Ms. Love. I WAS wondering if Stella was also a "singer" too. I appreciate your questioning this. I apologize to Stella and the forum for not thoroughly researching my source. Sea
  15. By Joelle Diderich, Associated Press Writer | March 2, 2006 PARIS --Italian designer Stefano Pilati returned to the venue where Yves Saint Laurent bid farewell to couture to present his ready-to-wear collection for the French label on Thursday. Globe front page | Boston.com Sign up for: Globe Headlines e-mail | Breaking News Alerts Saint Laurent took over the massive hall of the Pompidou modern art museum in 2002 for a career retrospective lasting close to two hours -- an eternity by the standards of modern fashion shows. Pilati went for a different record: that of the world's longest catwalk. Models marched down a narrow room that ran the length of the building -- 166 meters (yards), to be precise. The YSL display capped a day of autumn-winter presentations in Paris that also included Celine, Stella McCartney and Emanuel Ungaro. The shade of pink plastered over the walls and chairs was lifted from the packaging of Saint Laurent's fragrance Baby Doll, and the collection also paid homage to the house heritage. Nods to the master included pussycat bows, done in everything from plush mink to supple leather, and an ample knee-length coat with two thin leather strips crossing in the back. Not content to stroll through the archives, Pilati looked all the way back to the ancient civilizations of Byzantium and Greece. This showed in the heavy gold chains that curled across cut-out panels on a sleeveless top, or a jewel-encrusted gold collar on a navy chiffon evening dress. He gave the full Midas treatment to a boatneck shift that shimmered with gold sequins. If parent company Gucci was looking to reassert its confidence in the designer, the message came across loud and clear. Gucci Group chief Robert Polet firmly dismissed recent rumors that Pilati was about to be replaced. "I think the show was fantastic and Stefano is here to stay -- for a long time," he told The Associated Press. Meanwhile, Croat designer Ivana Omazic has settled in nicely in her second season at Celine. Her collection was inspired by the author Nancy Cunard's 1930s allure. "An assertive woman, who never relinquishes her femininity," was how she summed it up. A skirt in rectangular strips of black organza split open to reveal a nude slip for an "undressed" effect. Cocktail dresses in black panne velvet shimmered like an Arabian horse's coat. Omazic showed plenty of opulent looks, from a stiff mahogany crocodile leather coat to a caramel mink wrap. Wide lapels on belted coats arched away from the collar to sculptural effect. McCartney was also in confident mood. The British designer's recent collection for Swedish retailer H&M was a sellout, she has launched a new tennis range with Adidas and her own label is on course to turn a profit next year. Working with a refined palette of taupe, indigo and dusty pink, McCartney sent out shawl-necked cardigans that swathed the body over matching opaque tights and towering ankle boots. Sweater dresses and super-skinny jeans tapped into fashion's obsession with the 1980s. Like her late mother Linda, McCartney is a strict vegetarian and refuses to use leather or fur. Front-row guest Courtney Love said she did not fully support the ban on animal byproducts. "I'm really anti-fur and my daughter is as well. My daughter's godmother is Drew Barrymore and whenever I get tempted I think, you know, Drew would probably kill me," the singer told The Associated Press. "But leather: I'm rock -- I have to do leather." © Copyright 2006 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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