Where I grew up, the temperatures in a winter often plummeted to -30. Warmth was highly sought after. When the world went to sleep under a meter of snow, out came furs- minks, foxes, rabbits and shearlings.
Warmth was seen as cultural and geographical right and no one questioned whether wearing fur was ethical or not.
Weather in London of course doesn’t justify wearing it but sometimes, just sometimes in the darkest, deepest January my black vintage rabbit fur makes an appearance.
I got it some years ago from my mum. “OMG, I cried when I first put it on, I look like a gorilla!”. And I did. The jacket was too big, making me like an extra from “Gorillas in the mist”. But I’ve a very skillful team around me and the jacket went from gorilla to sleek black panther in a matter of week.
I love how it’s light on my shoulders and how it can effortlessly glam up a simple knit and a pair of skinnies without being in your face. However, for this particular shoot Trish and I decided to play up to a certain cliche hence the shiny red toy, furs and over the knee boots.
Some things are so wrong they are right and leopard print coat falls into this category. For years it was associated with Pat from East Enders (UK based readers will know who I’m talking about) and relegated to Essex but I’m glad it’s firmly on the fashion map again.
It’s so classic it can in my opinion be safely classified as neutral. I think we have Carine Roitfeld to thank for. Her take on leopard print is particularly feminine, if on a sexy side but no one would accuse her of looking crass, would they?
My coat is almost a decade old. When I bought it I had Sophia Loren in mind. I’ve always thought that’s something she would wear thrown over a low cut black lace dress. Someone called it “a call girl coat” (you know who you are) but on the whole it got many complements over the years.
I even had a girl at the dry cleaners trying to convince me to sell it to her. I completely understood- even though I didn’t sell it.
My latest acquisition is a white and grey fake fur jacket. I say acquisition but really it was my mother who bought it a few years back and kept it in “for later” cupboard, waiting for it to become fashionable (She tends to anticipate trends well in advance. By the time they come around she has already moved on to 2017).
It reminds me of Fendi collections, fun, young and not serious at all.
And that’s the thing with fur- it looks best when worn with a pinch of irony and a sprinkling of fun. I often wear it with my old Converse.