Friday, November 13, 2009
Think Mink, Or Don't?
True confession: I've got four furs in my closet.
A full length mink, bought off a friend (who was downsizing her mink collection).
An old-school charity shop astrakhan (also known as curly lamb or karakul).
A princess-line glossy fur, sheared, possibly beaver or (gulp) seal, which I found amid a heap of garments on a wrought iron fence: "give me a tenner, love." (That's about $17).
And my favorite, this blond mink capelet owned by one Madame M. R., which I reckon was made in the early 60s, though I highly doubt manufacturer Rossellí actually had branches in Paris and Milan (just as Victoria's Secret has never had a single outlet in London.)
Anyway, I love all these furs, but only ever wear the second and third one, at best once or twice a year.
1) It never gets bone-chilling dry-cold in London like it does in Chicago or Moscow, so fur's undeniable insulation isn't as necessary here.
2) Anti-cruelty advocates are active and vocal in this town. Since I ride public transport rather than a blackout window sedan, I'd be a walking billboard for the anti-anti cruelty brigade.
3) I much prefer to flaunt under the radar than in somebody's face.
Last weekend's Sunday Times Style magazine had a trend piece claiming that vintage fur was in some way more acceptable, less vulgar, than new.
True, it is reclaiming a garment that might otherwise go into a landfill, but less vulgar? Not so sure. And of course there is the ongoing debate of whether real fur or synthetic is more environmentally friendly--though authentic vintage fur seems to come up tops in the argument.
I wonder how many others are out there in a similar circumstance: buying vintage fur because it's affordable, and gorgeous, then making a relic of it rather than have it--or ourselves, by association--misinterpreted.
I'd love to hear your thoughts.