A few years ago, I arrived at a cocktail reception wearing a lavender dress, with a fabulous matching lavender faux fur coat, a combination of Burberry and Whistles, an entire Brit ensemble. While I felt comforted by the fact that I was fur-free and not wearing a dead animal and patriotic in my selection, disapproving stares recoiled in complete indignation—oh my gosh she’s wearing a fake fur!
Perhaps finally, the stigma of a tatty-old faux (no, my faux was not tatty) that looks cheap and tarty (yes, Brit term for slutty with bad taste) is finally minimised. The most recent iterations of fur in their faux glory are praiseworthy imitable imitations—case in point below.
Stella McCartney’s stance on fur-free fashion and non-leather, leather styles, is the core-culture behind her brand; after all, she’s a lifelong vegetarian. Since founding her eponymous company in 2001, every season the ready-to-wear collection and accessories are designed with respect to McCartney’s authentic perspective. Fifteen plus years later, McCartney is predominately the only luxury brand that offers an entire collection of animal-friendly fashion.
That said, in recent months luxury brands have denounced their use of fur, opting for a more reverent attitude towards our furry friends. And the names to note who are now fur-free, with the latest announcement from Versace and Furla, also include Gucci, Michael Kors, Jimmy Choo, Ralph Lauren, Hugo Boss, Giorgio Armani, and Tommy Hilfiger. I imagine that many more will join this animal-friendly bandwagon.
This past fashion month of runway shows for Fall 2018 ready-to-wear witnessed faux fur styles (as above) from Demna Gvasalia at Balenciaga, Clare Waight Keller at Givenchy and of course Ms McCartney. Nods to changing times—we all need to think about the sustainability of our actions, our fashion purchases and the impact on our environment, and this hot fur topic is a significant step forward in addressing change.
While technologically advanced manufacturing methods of producing quality faux fur have improved, there’s still a long way to go replacing leather, or at least finding multiple brands that design quality and chic non-leather shoes and accessories.
But do consider that recycling of leather waste certainly assists the sustainability cause with brands such as Elvis & Kresse adding purpose and meaning to their company mantra. Actress Rooney Mara recently announced the launch of her vegan fashion line Hiraeth, and Chloé Mendel, daughter of Giles Mendel the furrier atelier, J. Mendel, joined the family business, but with a twist, the new collection is entirely fake, named Maison Atia. And, I’ve adored Brit label Shrimps for some time, a playful collection with faux fur at the heart of the brand. Also check out New York-based House of Fluff, an ethical, fur-free, cruelty-free lifestyle brand with hard-to-find options that satiate your humane conscience.
With spring arriving soon, many faux fur coats and jackets are currently on sale, so get ready for Fall ’18 now with a neat nod to fur-free fashion. Who knew the word ‘fake’ would imply such a positive connotation. Cruelty to animals is never fashionable, let alone chic, so get fake!