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From Friend to Faux: The Journey of Fur






     The journey of animal fur as human clothing and fashion item is a fascinating one, and has happened in three steps. Our prehistoric ancestors would have seen a fur pelt as an essential garment for getting them through the depths of winter or surviving the cold nights of the Savannah. It would also have played an important role in showing strength and skill as a hunter. After all, if you could bag yourself a cheetah skin, you were clearly a good hunter and therefore a desirable mate, and gifting such a skin to the chosen one would show an ability to gather surplus, another desirable quality.

As we became domesticated, the need for fur purely as a survival means waned slightly, but something about the intrinsic value of it remained, possibly subconsciously. But by the time the twentieth century was under way, furs were the preserve of the rich, a mink coat being the ultimate luxury item of clothing. Furs of lesser quality would also have been saved up for by people lower down the social scale, and would become specified objects in wills. One of the most bizarre items of clothing in fashion history would fall into the fur category. The fox stole, basically a fox's head, legs, body and tail with all the insides scraped out, was actually worn as a kind of scarf in polite society. It's hard to imagine that taking off nowadays.

The third part of the fur as fashion story is the avoidance and imitation stage. Although furs actually had a place in the hippie wardrobe of the 1960s, this period was also to mark the start of the general public questioning the ethics of killing animals for fashion, especially when there was no need to do so. By the time the 1980s were in full swing, the anti-fur movement had gained the popular high ground, and although the super rich and James Bond honey traps would still proudly go fur-lined, they did not reflect the public mood.

If you wore a mink coat on the city streets and there was a chance it would have ink thrown on it, and the famous poster of a woman dragging a blood-dripping coat behind her with the caption "It takes up to 40 dumb animals to make a fur coat, but only one to wear it" was widely applauded. Trendy nightclubs started refusing to hang fur coats in their cloakroom, and in the 1990s, the poster equivalent was of naked actors and models, saying they would rather go naked than wear fur and most of us agreed. Although fashion designers still attempt to rehabilitate fur from time to time, you can't help wondering if it is more for publicity than anything else.

Nowadays the vast majority of the furry fashion we see will actually be faux fur, a synthetic version that has all the fluffiness and warmth but none of the ethical questions. Over the years there have been some beautiful examples of faux fur fashion, and vintage clothing stores usually have a super range of coats and jackets to choose from. For all its chequered history, there is still an innate desire in the human psyche to covet fur, and when we can have the best of both worlds, there's no reason to abstain any more.

Vintage fashion can be ethical too. Even though fir was a hit in the past it is faux fur coats that are sought after now in vintage fashion store. Craig looks at the changing trends in the vintage clothing market.

Vintage fashion can be ethical too. Even though fir was a hit in the past it is faux fur coats that are sought after now in http://www.rokit.co.uk/ and other vintage fashion stores. Craig looks at the changing trends in the vintage clothing market.




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Vintage fashion can be ethical too. Even though fir was a hit in the past it is faux fur coats that are sought after now in vintage fashion store. Craig looks at the changing trends in the vintage clothing market.


Posted on 2012-09-08, By: *

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