Saturday, February 2, 2013

Fur Fashion

I know I'm just warranting a whole mess of trouble by even opening the fur in fashion debate and it's ethics- but when the weather turns cold I just want to have the warmth and fluffy softness of a bear. And I loved to cuddle my companion bunnies in rainy weather so I guess it's just mental association for me. Not a real bear with teeth, claws and fluffy fur; that idea horrifies me and shocks me. I'm peeved that some designers still insist on using real fur in their clothing and accessories since it just seems to breed on economy built on cruelty, but luckily some forward thinkers are using faux or at least offer the alternative. More and more people are requesting vegan leather which I think is awesome, but usually I'm not fussed by that specific hide/ skin. It's when I imagine a cute little bunny being sacrificed to make a blend for my sweater that my skin crawls and I smack my head against the nearest brick wall for being a horrible person.

Anyway- here's an old collection of stuff I scored from google for street style searches and also Deadly Ponies, who are a New Zealand brand that make the most decadent of accessories and they have their new range out already. Which means their last season stuff is up for sale on eBay from money-grubbing people who have oodles of disposable income or just don't cherish their items for life. Which suits me just fine- I wouldn't be able to afford it anyway. Also the weather is very cold all of a sudden and I am wishing for fur finished collars, raccoon tail bag charms and luxurious fluffy coats to brighten up my day. Instead I have treasures from the thrift store and my father's large fisherman styled jumper to keep me feeling cosy. I just want to feel glamorous like Marilyn Monroe- OK?

I've been looking for a new handbag muse ever since I started trawling through old fashion blogs I admire, and also this is a neat way to clean my hard drive of old images. I have a fabulous magenta leather handbag that I barely use, but as always ambition has taken over my life like a hungry demon and it screams for MORE. It's alright though, the eye candy I am sharing is still ultra fabulous and when you find something that is timeless the beauty is that it's amazing forever. I've been eyeing fur embellished collars to add to basic tops and dresses for a while now, but my first phone bill came in and it's over one hundred dollars so all the confidence of feeling financially superior have been sucked out of me like a Dementor to Harry Potter on his wedding day to Ginny Weasley. (I'm having nerd withdrawal). If you know where to look then they can be as cheap as chips and since I've yet to find any in real life vintage stores or thrift stores it's online hunting for me. I love the wild and pastel colours- the advertise that the fur is fake and no animal was harmed. I also imagine that PETA marauders that stalk dark alley ways armed with buckets of paint will know the difference and that they aren't trigger happy when it comes to naming and shaming fur abuse. That is just one of many reasons I don't like to wear really nice and expensive looking clothes in the city- also my mother refers to what we do as "slumming" so I'm expected to wear pants that kind of look bad.

The next alternative is a personal favourite of mine: bag charms that look like severed tails. I know, I know, my appraisal sounds gory and awful but they can be made from wool and over synthetic fibres and transferred from bag to bag which makes it a lot cheaper to update something you already own. When I have my Deadly Ponies Mr Lure attached I wag it around and play with the bristles mindlessly chatting away with my gal pals and it's a really therapeutic experience. It's either that, or I am a mindless zombie/ reincarnation of a poor wounded animal that really did lose its tail. Either or. I've seen some great colour combinations mirroring that of the Cheshire cat from Disney's Alice in Wonderland, you know the one with pink and purple stripes and I own one made from sheep wool but I kind of lust for more. I've never had a fondness for scarfs tied to bags and I prefer the more quirky and tangible touch. On the down side, I can't wear sunglasses and tie a scarf around my head like a 1940s bombshell but I think for a more modern accessory I will live.

The idea of a fox fur necktie hasn't crossed my mind since I last watched Wes Anderson's 'Fantastic Mr. Fox', and even then I was more intrigued with the music soundtrack and the wry plan of the animals to outwit the outraged farmers. In this case I wish I had the Y chromosome and could dabble within the realms of men's fashion which just seems to be so much more dapper and accessory dependent. A good pair of sunglasses, a thick scarf knotted in the middle and some suspenders and you have a serious contender to the role of Coolest Person Spotted on The Street. It's a pretty lofty title as you can tell from the capital letters- so if you can pull it off with a gorgeous blazer and a sweet printed sweater underneath I'm all for it but maybe this look isn't for you. It certainly has practical applications in staying warm and keeping the chill out, but what could possibly cover more skin then the humble necktie? Well, how about a whole jacket of furry goodness to wrap you up?

Fur coats have this long history of being necessary articles of clothing out on the icy tundra for ancient warriors such as Vikings, but are they necessary in the twenty-first century in the iron girder jungles of New York? I don't see why they shouldn't be worn, but I do wish people would open their minds to fake fur or woolen blends that imitate fur; which are usually cheaper anyway and when made with masterful techniques there's no noticeable different from afar. Well, it all depends in how they treat and dye fur in the first place and how far you are willing to go to imitate original mink, but I think when worn with a skirt and a pair of tights fur coats make a bold statement and act as an excellent buffer between you and the next person squashed onto public transport. There are just so many wonderful applications I have yet to explore other than wondrous eye candy on the streets.  Finally, they make cosy guardians for your car keys, smart phone and credit card holder. Yes, some designers are so bold as to make bags and clutches in the fluffy medium.

If I ever had a particularly hairy handbag I think I would name it 'Hagrid' in tribute to the biracial giant from Harry Potter... since he's the keeper of the keys and all, which leads to an impressive and comprehensive resume. I've got a few usual suspects in mind to look for, but at the moment it's a matter of circumstance as to whether I could in fact purchase it. Then I remember rather sadly that I don't have a lot of expendable money for anything and the last few purchases I have made have been on someone else's behalf or have been at the thrift store exclusively. It's back to selling things second hand for me I'm afraid and also scouring busily on the Internet for the perfect furry companion on troubled journeys and errand running. If I can weigh out the cost of shipping with a bargain, then I know I've done right but sometimes it's just not possible. So now that you've hear my say, I'll leave you all to muse and think over what your stance is on fur and fur substitutes and their application in modern fashion.

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