Faux Fabulous

Fur is a touchy subject, no pun intended. Ten years ago when I worked as fashion editor for Russian Vogue in Moscow I was asked to do a fur shoot for the November fur issue. I had just gotten the job a month before that assignment and didn’t feel entirely comfortable telling my editor I had been a vegetarian all through high school and college and was pretty anti fur most of my life. This was around the same time that Stella McCartney had become very visible and vocal about her anti-fur stance, even when Gucci, a fur loaded brand, purchased her name sake label in 2001. I can’t deny that I always loved the way fur looked but I could never really get comfortable with the cruel side of it. While fashion may be filled with lots of contradictions (“the ugly side of beauty” etc…) this was something else.

In regard to my assignment, well this was Russia after all, the land of fur and admittedly if any country had a legitimate and practical use for fur it would be Russia. I chose to quietly opt out of the shoot and instead assigned it to one of my junior editors who gleefully accepted her first shoot as a stylist on her own.

Earlier this year there was a full on fur parade down the Fall 2010 runways during fashion week (month…) which was a little jarring. It was however comforting to know that there were brands producing gorgeous faux fur pieces like Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel. For those that can’t afford Chanel there is Imposter, which is also done beautifully. Full disclosure, I had a beat up rabbit fur vest that I bought many years ago, before there was amazing faux fur to be had, at some used (not vintage) clothing store in the East Village for $15. I wore it many times during fashion weeks past because I loved how it looked and found some justification and minimal comfort that it was used, not new. Not sure what happened to that thing though it may still be somewhere in that black hole of a closet I have in the East Village…

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