Last winter designers dared to dabble in fur, but this fall it is all out skin city. The looks filling those designer racks are fur filled. To my eye, it has always been Fendi, J. Mendel, Dennis Basso (in that order) who have been the masters of designer fur-craft. Fendi was the first to modernize the use of fur. It was Fendi decades ago, who transformed squirrel as light as silk into what we would now call a gator. Fur gators have since become a staple for me, and Furs by P.K. does them for me in sheared mink, rabbit and lamb.
Now, scores of other ready-to-wear designers are now sculpting in fur. It's not just collars and cuffs... there are purses, phone pouches, house slippers, boots, suspenders, and leggings... in fur. Was it the New York City street vendor who started this fur freefall? Last fall the vendors were pushing bubble gum pink rabbit Davy Crockett style hats. And that look stuck when lines for teens started showing shaved rabbit vests in mainstream malls stores which also showcased faux and real fur gloves and trimmed scarves.
Fur has become the texture of the moment. Non-furriers such as Chanel sent their fur message from iceberg strewn runways under the glass dome of Grand Palais in the heart of Paris... there's no need to hold back... Politically correct Chanel was all faux fur and they went full on shagging up fur pants, sweaters, skirts, boots and accessories. Faux fur is easier on the purse strings and no doubt easier on the conscience.
Other designers shaved, sheared, flattened or lightly blended fur in the mix with elements like trims. Donna Karan gave just a touch with trimmed hoods and thick black collars. Lynx fur coats spilled out skirts at Tory Burch where the more moderate use of fur also included sleeveless vests. And Michael Kors was fur all around from a simple hood to long fur coats and furry bags.
It seems this fall designers go fur for fashion's sake, forgoing decades of fierce debate. The plush fall styles even smirk boldly in the face of recession. Designers just refuse to be limited...