Winter is already here and we didn’t even have the time to see it coming: as usual we went from tees to coats in less than two weeks. This year for my usual closet’s cleaning when the season changes I thought that it was time for me to drastically cut the number of coats hanging in my wardrobe. I decided to leave one coat for each color and style: a black one, a camel one, a navy one, a warm parka, a cape, a military jacket and…my fur!
When I saw it I started thinking of my eternal dilemma about furs.
First point: is it ethical (especially for someone like me who doesn’t eat meat) to wear fur? Considering that I wear leather and I eat fish I am a pure contradiction! Why do I always feel so guilty about fur? And why do I still love it? I must say that I own a vintage faux-fur shearling for the very cold times that I bought in Paris last year at the Salon du Vintage and a retro inspired animal print faux-fur from Topshop. I had real fur jackets and coats in the past but I sold them all not only because I didn’t want real fur in my closet but also because I don’t feel like they really suit my body.
Which leads to the second point: are fur coats (real or not) for everybody? I cannot help but feeling huge every time that I wear one. I can see it on models or friends and I really like them; I can even remember when Carrie Bradshaw made her first appearance in the first Sex & The City episode waring a vintage fur, I totally fell in love with her outfits! But on me I just feel overcharged! Maybe it is my guilty feeling showing under a different form!
If we look back at the history furs first appeared on screen in the American divas' movies in the 30’s and 40’s just when Americans lived the Great Depression and then a second world war. But movies where a way to escape from a sad reality and they were all about luxury that normal people couldn’t afford. Wearing a fur at the time was a sign of elegance, luxury and the biggest desire of almost every woman.
Many fur stoles and coats from the ‘20s and ’30s were made with the animal’s heads, feet or tails and this cruel trend didn’t really fade until the mid ‘50s.
Throughout history, different pelts were trendy at different times. The use of a particular species changed due to not only to the trends but also to placement on the endangered species list. For example, when Jacqueline Kennedy wore an Oleg Cassini leopard coat in the 1960s, demand of this type of fur spiked until production was prohibited as leopard was placed on the endangered species list in 1970.
Even if fashion shows and catwalks are still full of furs this trend is more and more accused by animal-rights activists, who have spent the past three decades campaigning against the use of fur in fashion.
But let’s be honest, when we start talking about ethics in fashion we are all living in a sort of limbo. So what to do when you love both animals and furs? Well, it seems that going vintage is the only solution: old furs don’t make modern fur farms richer and they impact much less on the environment. They are incredibly cheaper and no animals will be killed to keep us warm.
As I feel more relieved about this thought, I will keep looking for a vintage fur that will suit me…if it exists!
See you next month with a new story of The Vintage Series!
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