Wednesday, October 31, 2012

No Wear but Hide : Neanderthal Never Looked So Good!

No Wear but Hide : Neanderthal Never Looked So Good!

For millions of years, humans have relied on animal skins to protect them from the elements. This winter, fashion designers have taken our basic instinct to a new level, and the results are surprising, colorful, ultra-sophisticated, and extra-fluffy!

For those readers who find the age-old human ritual of draping oneself with the hides of species hairier than ourselves abhorrent, I apologize in advance. But we cowgirls and cowboys know that, well, a hide is a hide, and without them, we could not do much in the way of cowboying. No hide, no chaps, no saddle, no boots…No cowboys! It is difficult to imagine how the West could have been won without lots of leather and plenty of sheepskin. Nothing I know of can beat the warmth of a thick, sheepskin coat on a bitterly cold day.

This winter, the selection of furs stretches the imagination. There is plenty of calfskin, of course, but also colorful coats, vests and hand-bags made of Mongolian lamb and goat hair.

Antelope Dresses and Pony Pumps

Fox, beaver, and antelope abound, as does, and I always have a little trouble with this one, pony. There are many chic, faux-fur options for those who are squeamish, or cannot get their minds off those cute little ponies !  But while we’re on the subject, those of you fashionistas with tougher hides than Cruella Deville simply must check out the selection of leaopard-print shoes and boots from Vogue France’s November edition, they are simply to die for…er…oops, sorry!).
© Vogue France, November 2012

Fendi Funkiness

By far, the most colorful and inventive fur this season comes from the House of Fendi. Bright yellows, electric blues, and an Antelope skin dress, that absolutely blows my mind !

Historically, Fendi has always been known for its original fur designs. I like the business even more because it was founded in 1918 in Italy by Adele Casagrande Fendi, a strong woman who succeeded in a male-dominated business, initially producing luxury leather products, then adding fur. Karl Lagerfeld has collaborated with the brand since Adele’s death in 1965, and now works alongside her grand-daughter, Silvia Venturini Fendi.

Fendi Winter Collection 2012
Fendi Winter Collection 2012

Fur Vests and Accessories 

If the winters where you live are too mild for a big fur coat, consider acquiring a fur vest, a blazer (see model below right from Zadig &Voltaire), shoes or accessories ! I love the fur vests shown below from Emporio Armani and IKKS. You can dress them up, with long leather gloves, or dress them down with jeans and a t-shirt. If a ski trip is on the agenda this winter, Moncler's Mongolian après-ski wear will make you the fluffiest, trendiest gal on the slopes.

Fur selections from the Maverick

The Maverick offers plenty in the way of fur, and faux-fur this season. My favorite, must-have piece is a python jacket with beaver trim from Hoss Couture. For accessories, I am investing in the Tibetan lamb handbag. Tasha Polizzi’s Faux Mountain Wolf vest is the PETA-supporter's alternative to the IKKS fur one, and would look fantastic belted or open, with jeans and boots. Don’t forget Sam Edelman’s leopard-print ballerinas and booties !

Next week, we'll look at Stetsons, THE hat to have this winter!

- Lou Murrin-Honoré

Hoss Couture - Python Jacket with Beaver Trim

Tasha Polizzi - Faux Mountain Wolf Vest
Tibetan Lamb Handbag

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