Working within the confines of the fashion stratosphere (yes, I know – my photo feed would hardly testify to such) – one does have an opinion on fur.
Stella refuses, Gucci has now contentiously said ‘no’ and Michael Kors and Jimmy Cho are the latest brands to profess to ‘fur-free’ future collections. Whereas Oscar de la Renta and Yves Salomon prevail.
Yet, forgive the imposition – but there’s a certain hypocrisy that exists within the fashion community: head-to-toe fur? Criminal. Head-to-toe leather? Tres chic and borderline edgy.
The current zeitgeist now is such: donning exotic leather? Ok. A new fur coat? Borderline felonious.
This ignorant duplicity recently projected itself within my conscious when an upset friend told me how she had been verbally accosted for wearing fur. It was a subtle fur pom-pom feature on the top of a beanie – in vogue at present – and to be honest, I really had no idea it was real fur – the tormenter in question evidently had a very fur-trained eye.
“That’s disgusting – how can you sacrifice a poor and helpless baby animal in pursuit of fast fashion,” the woman had screamed at my friend in the confines of a lift.
My friend had no words. No comeback or retaliation – for, she was guilty. She was wearing a fur adorned beanie. But, on closer inspection she noticed that her prosecutor wasn’t exactly innocent – an Italian Gucci leather handbag she carried.
So, here’s the thing: one wears fur, the other wears leather. An animal has been sacrificed for a sartorial repertoire in both cases – yet one is shamed and the other innocent.
Fur is a visual signifier that you’re wearing an animal, we can literally see the fur, and in some old-fashioned cases, its head or tail (or both). Leather is slightly more subtle and understated, and therefore elusive to Peta enthusiast threats.
My take on fur is such: wear it, love it and envelop yourself in it – just ensure it’s second hand. My fur coat is a grimly old thing I bought from Noting Hill Market. It’s from the 30s and is a little moth-eaten and weathered. Even now, I shy away from wearing it out. Ironically, the only place I really wear it to is to the markets, or Camden Town – everyone there seems to be equally as enrobed in second-hand chinchilla or rabbit.
But then again, I am a hypocrite, for a I always carry a leather handbag.
So, to fur or not to fur. Currently, that is the question on everyone’s fashion-forward and obsessed lips. Gucci’s not doing it, neither is Kors or Choo. Stella’s never done it (nor leather, so kudos to her).
Fashion and fur: a tempestuous and turbulent relationship. Fashion and leather: passionate and unwavering. How ironic: we celebrate leather and banish fur.
So, are you going to be wearing fur this season? Or -like myself- will you tentatively and briefly precure yourself to the fact that fur is only applicable to adorn at the Saturday bazaar, where other likeminded individuals successful work the vagabond-chic aesthetic.
That’s how I’ll be wearing my fur. As to leather, alas, that’s every day attire. How hypocritical, nonsensical. How, well…fashionable!
Fashionable Fur from the Archives
Mink. Mink. And more mink was the Edwardian philosophy.
1958. The era exuded glamour, and the fur was subsequently luxurious – and accompanied with pearls.
The 60s. Post-war Britain’s sartorial repertoire was far more relaxed and effortless – and the fur subsequently complied.
1983 – Lady Dianna dons fur, thereby cementing its fashionable status.
Queen of fur – Carrie Bradshaw in that fur coat.
Go bold or go home. Now, fur is less ‘classic’ and more edgy.