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Fur At Fashion Week

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The temperature finally fell past freezing and far enough to find all the fab fashionistas and femme fatales frolicking in their furs at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week. Vests, coats, bags, hats and shoes -- it was a virtual fur fest! The most paraded piece, both on and off the runway, is the ubiquitous fur vest. This fashionable fleece glamorizes any look from jeans and tee shirt, to pencil skirt and soft blouse, to a little black cocktail dress. And in fact, the chicest way to wear the versatile vest is over a sleeveless sheath, baring arms and sporting elbow or tea length gloves in black leather. This is a seriously fabulous look for those blessed with toned arms. For the rest of us, there are more than many ways to skin this look. What was once considered "Apres Ski" is now apres or avant anything! We have even been known to throw ours on over running gear for a brisk lap around the reservoir. Joanna Hillman, senior market editor at Harper's Bazaar owns this front row look at MB Fashion Week and on the right is one from GlamourpussNYC.

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We have declared February to be Fur Month and why not? It is the best time to wear it and to shop it. Just after Valentine's Day there will be sensational sales and with our unseasonably warm winter, a splendid selection. We must say that the new furs don't look anything like the old ones. Side by side, can you see the difference? Hint, the one on the right is from the luscious Dennis Basso Collection Fall 2012, just on the runway.

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We understand that the precious pelts may not be everyone's PC choice, which is exactly why God invented faux fur. In fact the fauxs have gotten to be so gorgeous, it is sometimes hard to tell the difference. Noted designer Stella McCartney has a no animal policy, meaning that she doesn't use fur or leather and is committed to ethical fashion like the Maison Martin Margiela Faux Fur Shrug.

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What is it that makes fur feel so good, and us feel so good in it? As fur is one of the oldest forms of clothing, perhaps it is a primordial urge to conquer the harshness of our surroundings. What began as a survival necessity has been transformed through centuries to a product of incomparable luxury, while the sense of well being inherent in the fur remains. So whether you are committed to fur or faux, you show your dominance by simply slipping on a skin. And that is the extraordinary power of fashion.