12 Feb 2014

Faux Fabulous

 Faux Fur Collage - Vicki Archer

I have a question I have been wanting to ask you for a long time…

Do you wear fur… or do you prefer the faux fabulous look?

How do you feel about that?

~ ~ ~

I willingly admit to loving the look, the feel and the luxury of fur… although I don’t own any… other than the occasional collar and cuff on a parka jacket… and whether it truly is fur, is questionable.

Emotionally and intellectually I’m not sure what to think… I understand in climates where the cold is relentless, fur is a must… fur becomes a practical matter for survival. Fur for fashion’s sake is altogether a different question.

Growing up in Australia meant there wasn’t much real need to wear fur… it wasn’t a part of my life… although I do remember the smartest department store boasting a ‘ fur’  department and I also recall a time when demonstrators created havoc with their psychedelic paint and  spray cans.

~ ~ ~

Faux has come a long way… it has become chic and a fashion statement not withstanding the texture or cloth it’s cut from.

I admit to loving faux…  regardless of whether you have the real thing or not… a little faux makes a stylish addition to the wardrobe.

French girls wear faux frequently… and from where I am sitting… they usually get it right.

 

Let’s chat… Fur or Faux? Or both… xv

 

 

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57 Comments

sharon santoni

I have a full length faux coat, a lovely grey colour that I adore for the coldest winter days, and I do have a real fur collar, that belonged to my grandmother, and that I sometimes wear over the collar of a black coat. I don’t feel bad about wearing that, and I have never had any unpleasant comments
Interesting to see what other people think

xx

Reply
Vicki

I do like the way faux has come into it’s own as a fashion piece… and I admit that I love a fur collar trim… it’s a very elegant addition to a jacket or coat…

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Anita Rivera

Faux or real, I love the look and feel. Where I live, a genuine fur coat would really help being out in the -30F temps we’ve had for 12 days in a row straight!

When I was much younger, I had jackets with real fur collars, and I loved them, HOWEVER, they shed. Usually made of rabbit, they were soft and lovely, but I never really had a desire to get real fur again for the fact that it shed! I remember being advised by the store where I bought it to keep the collar in the refrigerator during the summer, but I didn’t so that explains the shedding! But GIVE ME FAUX ANY DAY! And these fashions, with the booties, jeans and fur? I will wear that anytime, and here, it is justified, since Vicki, it has been unbearable! So yes, I love faux, and now I think I need to go out and look for some faux fur coats….see? You always inspire to the point of action!

LOVE! Anita

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Flora

I am in the Antipodes so I only wear faux fur. I totally understand why those in the Northern Hemisphere have to wear the real thing. I went to Paris once in the middle of winter and took a thick, shiny faux fur black shrug…it was like wrapping myself in ice. So I understand the need is not a gratuitous one. I have read some very upsetting information about the fur milling and skinning industry. So many pelts needed to make a coat…and cruel rearing conditions.I don’t need to go there. I support women wearing fur in cold winters in Europe. Boy, this a hard one. Someone once told me that reptiles are skinned semi-conscious so the skin removes easily. Good grief. There’s a lot of issues with fur, skin and leathers. Thank you for bringing this up. Xx

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Vicki

It is a tricky one… that is why I was interested to hear all your thoughts… Thank you for joining in, Flora…

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Natalia | Fashioned by Love

I love fur. I have it, but I don’t wear it partially because of the weather and partially because I know what kind of reaction this would cause. I know how people feel about real fur, but I have a few good reasons to love the real thing. x

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karen in va

.. I like the look, either way … but don’t wear it (a little bulky for me). And faux has become so lovely, it’s difficult to tell the difference.

I have no problem with the real thing, but there are limits. Mink is raised in the same way cattle is .. for consumption. But for me it stops there.

I try not to be judgmental …

Reply
P3

I have a real fur coat. I was a surprise from my husband. He told me I could buy a fur after he was dead! We were visiting Alaska, and we walked past a fur store at the end of the season and there were many deals to be had. Mine is reversible, with a water proof fabric which is the side I mostly wear. That shows a fur collar and cuffs. It is warmer, at least to me to wear the fur closest to the body. I wear it on the days that it is less than 20 degrees or below. With our days here in Michigan from 0 degrees to the teens, it really does come in handy.

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Tania Carola

I don’t know if the fact that I am French makes me feel that way but I have never owned real fur and never will! Even if I live in Milan where real fur is so common… I know it is not “logical” (as I do have leather shoes and bags) but real fur is so “real” that I have always felt that is “too much”… Plus faux fur is so chic… especially since real fur is now less and less expensive. Thanks Vicky, excellent issue.

Reply
Vicki

Thanks Tania and great to hear a real “French ” opinion… The Italians do design fur beautifully… and Milan is a wonderful showcase for all that is fashionable…
I am glad you agree that faux is chic… :)

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Gigi Thibodeau

Faux! I live in a very cold place, but I will never wear real fur. I don’t eat meat, either, so for me it is largely an ethical choice. I don’t have a problem with people who wear fur, but I do have a major problem with the luxury fur industry’s practices.

(I say this, but I still wear leather shoes–faux leather shoes are awful. I try to buy the highest quality shoes possible, and from companies with the best ethical practices, and then I have my cobbler–who I’m convinced is a genius–resole/reheel all my boots so they’ll last for ages. It’s not a perfect solution to my dilemma, but the best one I’ve found so far.)

That said, I think faux fur is fabulous! I’m loving the coat–and the boots–in the bottom right photo, Vicki! xoGigi

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Vicki

I loved her look too, Gigi… When I saw these women at NYF week… that’s what started me thinking about faux and how fabulous it looked…

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Jean Rowland

Unless you are an Eskimo, living in Siberia or some such freezing place, faux fur it is! Have you looked at Helen Moore’s fabulous faux fur? (helenmoore.com) I live in a city so feel I don’t need an animal to die or suffer in order for me to keep warm, so find the idea of that abhorrent.
I always enjoy your musings!

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Margaret

I have a white faux fur stella coat. I love it because it’s not serious – kind of looks like the dog’s slept on it and no way it can pass for real. Plus it’s very cosy and I like a bit of volume sometimes…

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Suzanne @ Le Farm

Faux for me! I love it… and also love the real thing when I hug my cats and dogs!
(One of my cats, “Cindy Crawford”, smells like the real fur coat my mom used to wear…she has the signature mole, too!)

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gayle english

Beauty comes from within! The cruelty in the fur industry is beyond belief. So, why indulge in this. The winters are freezing here in Chicago, with the windchill off the lake. I am always warm in faux fur and wool. There are so many options for faux collars, coats and hats that are truly beautiful!

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Penelope

Vicki,
I was given a beautiful Fur Stole that my grandmother purchased in the 1960’s from Cain Sloan Department Store in Nashville, Tennessee. This is why I treasure it, though I have never worn it. She was a school teacher, born in 1909 and died in 2008. She enjoyed dressing up in pearls and nice clothes when she had the opportunity, although most of the time she was busy helping children or the poor in our community. In her closet the fur was still hanging in the Cain Sloan bag and she had sewn a draw string cover for its protection. This told me she treasured this so I am honored to have it. My #2 daughter lives in Los Angeles and wears a fur for evening sometimes. She is in her thirties. To me, it is personal choice but always fun!!!!

Reply
Vicki

How fabulous Penelope, to have such a beautiful reminder of your grandmother… I would treasure that… And yes, it’s all about personal choice…

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Scribbler

I have always worn faux — until last year. We went to Santa Fe, NM for an extended stay last winter and I knew the coats I owned would not be warm enough. (We live in Alabama) I ran across a great fox jacket at an estate sale and I bought it. It came in very handy out there, especially in the evenings when the temps drop like a rock (it is a desert). I received many compliments, along with some comments from total strangers to the effect that “I hope someone doesn’t throw red paint on you!” I was hoping that same thing, but the coat is very warm. As one of the other commenters mentioned, it sheds like crazy though.

Reply
Vicki

It seems that the colder it is the more fur becomes a welcome addition to the wardrobe… I have never lived in a freezing cold climate… England and France are cold, but not that cold…

Fur seems to be quite a divisive subject… with some strong opinions… It’s great getting everyone’s viewpoint…

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une femme

These days…faux. Though it’s rarely cold enough here to warrant. Between the inherent cruelty of trapping and many “farmed” fur operations (not all, but how do you know?) and the quality of faux these days, it’s a no-brainer for me.

Reply
Vicki

I’m sure weather makes a lot of difference to our opinions… Faux is fabulous, i agree… :)

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Elaine

The fur industry and their practices are appalling, period!!
Shearling, check into Ugg’s practices, unreal!!

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Karena

Vicki I love my vintage furs and also have a faux fur vest (so great over jeans and sweater!)
xoxo
Karena
The Arts by Karena

Reply
karen in va

… Hi Vicki … since this is such a hot topic, I decided to check back in to see comments. Not as ‘hot’ as I might have expected. Just a quick follow-up.

Last summer my sister and I were routing through an antique mall, and she found an old mink jacket, not very big at all. It was $125 from some fur store in Richmond in the 50’s. She wore it New Years Eve with this darling outfit, and said she was SHOCKED at how warm it was. Neither of us have ever worn fur before.

I do love to see real fur on other people, but as I said, only mink. Good vintage mink doesn’t shed. If you love fur, it might be the way to go.

Wearing fur isn’t new. My ancestors appear to have been fur traders near Manhattan in the 1600’s.

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Donna Baker

Why wear real, when faux is so lifelike? They skin animals alive and it takes 10 minutes for them to die. Why would people support that by wearing real fur? Barbaric even if they are farmed animals.

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Marsha @ Splenderosa

Vicki, this is a very good question to ask your readers. I have a beautiful YSL full length mink coat with a gorgeous fur hood with a long tassel. I think I wore it last when it was snowing in NYC, maybe about 20 years ago. Or maybe in Chicago too, as it is so so cold there with the winds off the lake it’s simply impossible to go outside sometimes. Now, I have fox flings, 2 of them, which I drape around my coats. They are glamourous and they are sufficient. I would not purchase a fur now for anything. Texas doesn’t have cold winters as you know. However, I see girls in the grocery stores with their short furs. I am way too animal conscious now to accept wearing their skins. My kids feel the same way. BTW, I have been working hard on the anti-trophy hunting ban. Good news to report which will be on my blog. Loved reading all these comments today. xx’s

Reply
Vicki

Times change Marsha and so does our feelings about certain things… Your coat does sound pretty special… :)

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Lynn@thevintagenest

I inherited a gorgeous long real fur swing coat years ago…a dark fur which I love dearly but have only worn several times…mostly on a cold New Year’s Eve. I purchased a faux fur hooded vest while in Chicago this past Christmas and have had so much fun wearing it with jeans. Great subject Vicki

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Vicki

Sounds gorgeous Lynn… I notice more and more people wearing them… especially in Europe…

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sheryl getman

I will keep it simple. We are in the mountains of Montana. An cherry orchard & vineyard, destination place. Trappers are devastating our wild animals. Pets are being killed by baited traps on walking trails. Please don’t help these very harsh men by supporting real fur trade. My husband’s old high school friend owns a mink farm. You wouldn’t be able to stomach one word about it. I hate to see a resurgent fur trend. Our winters can be well below zero. Down and cashmere do a beautiful job of keeping us cozy and lovely. I would never wear a fur.

Reply
Vicki

Thank you Sheryl for your “on the ground” comment… That’s the trouble, so much of what goes on in these industries is not visible…

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B-ren

I’m a faux girl all the way unless it is a vintage piece from long ago. I do own a fur collar that was my Grandmothers. After seeing specially bread dogs in China being skinned whilst they were still alive and thrown into a pile in agony until they died made my physically sick. Their fur looks like raccoon and trims many new parkas. Every time I see one I shudder and wonder if the owner is aware of what they are wearing. Faux is a great alternative although everyone is entitled to their own choice.

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Virginia

Really interesting reading the comments…

I have a couple of vintage faux fur jackets from the 1950s…one has an amazing label “wear with love and pride as if this were a real rabbit”…it must have been pretty out there for the 1950s, when animal rights were not discussed much in the mainstream.

Like Marsha, I have evolved, as I become more educated and aware, of the practices involved in farming leather and fur. I would have never been comfortable purchasing (or receiving) a real fur, but had not made the logical jump to avoiding leather shoes, belts, purses and handbags. Now I do, and my goodness it is hard to find decent products which are vegan leather and gorgeous…but it is getting way better all the time…and determination will win out. As for faux fur, that seems to be streets ahead of the faux-leather in choice and availability, and there are so many fab products out there that it’s easy for the thinking shopper to shop well.

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Karen Bradsell

I tried a real fur coat on at auction one day and promptly started sneezing! So I am in the no fur category. I understand it for cold climates, but not where I live in Alabama. Since I am a consumer of leather, ie shoes, purses, belts, car interiors, I really can’t pass judgement on anyone else. It is a sensitive issue and a great question for discussion.

Karen

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Melissa Hebbard

I have a faux fur coat that I love, but I firmly believe it is the duty of everyone to wear as much feral fur as they can.
In many countries introduced animals are a huge problem and many of them have lovely fur. In New Zealand the Australian brushtail possum was introduced and is a dreadful threat to the native birds as it eats eggs. I now own a lovely possum fur hat and scarf. They also spin the fur with merino wool and make beautiful knitwear. In Australia, the fox and rabbit are a dreadful problem and I think it should be everyone’s duty to wear rabbit trim , Akubra hats made of rabbit fur, and fox fur wraps. In Canada the beaver is also a problem and is culled each year. This divine fur should also be worn with a clear conscience.
Vintage fur is another acceptable fur, but I don’t support fur from non feral animals and I think the farmed fur industry should lift it’s game and give the poor little critters a pleasant and ‘natural’ life where they can exhibit their natural behaviors and a humane death before I would approve of wearing them.
Vintage or not, I would never find it acceptable to wear fur from any animal now endangered as I feel wearing even vintage furs of these animals is encouraging poaching.
Thanks Vicki for bringing this topic up for debate.

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Pamela

When my husband and I were first married in the UK as he was a post-grad student we had very little money. Coming from tropical Queensland I was so feeling the cold of the
English winter. One day he saw a huge Harrods advertisement in The Times: Half-Price Fur Coat Sale, with several pictures. Way back before the anti-fur lobby was well-known. Hubby’s face lit up and he said “I’m going to buy you a fur coat in the sale. Then you’ll be warm.” Sadly I had to disillusion him. On student’s income we couldn’t have afforded half a collar, even at half price. Ten years later back home and living in Australia’s coldest city (we’re still talking about 30 years ago – and agree it’s never as cold as many parts of Europe or N America) he bought me a beautiful black rabbit fur jacket with a fox collar (would never have had an endangered species fur, even back then). In Oz, rabbits and foxes are regarded as vermin: introduced species that eat the precious grass – this is a drought-ridden country – of our livestock and native animals. I wore it happily for years. He’d bought it in our top department store, really good quality and didn’t shed. I don’t wear it any more (chiefly because back then I was a smaller size) but I still wear leather and eat meat.

I very much respect vegetarians and vegans and their strong ethical codes – and support their rights to those beliefs. But for others (particularly those who throw paint over fur wearers) I often wonder if their anti-fur thing is largely an envy issue. Can’t imagine anyone with strong ethical beliefs thinking it right to throw paint or other substances over people, whatever they’re wearing; or even just being rude to them. Have also read that many faux fur/leather products are manufactured using practices that are not environmentally sound (I think, petrochemicals etc but can’t remember exact details). So it’s a very difficult issue – and we should respect each others’ choices. Cheers, Pamela

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Jo-De

I don’t wear fur and I never will. Google “animals skinned alive for fur” or watch videos of those adorable harp seal pups being clubbed to death… I have supported an anti-fur platform since I was 18, and that was 48 years ago… I’ll admit that it does feel luxurious – I always played dress-up with my grandmother’s, and I’m sure I’d love the feel of a fur wrap right now in the middle of our snowstorm, but when I discovered the cruelty in the industry to the animals, the laborers, and the environment, I changed my mind – without question – it repulses me.

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miss b

I have grown to love faux fur over the years probably because the quality has improved so much. It’s so popular now and there’s something to suit all budgets as you have shown in your lovely selection. I have a coat which I bought a couple of years ago and a couple of collars which come out when the temperature drops. The Kirsten Blake little jacket would be a lovely addition to my wardobe!

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ragazza

I love the look and feel of fur–but frankly I love how it feels with a warm, living body underneath it much more. I eat meat but now fur just seems sad to me. If it’s vintage, fine. But I would not buy new fur, even as I sigh over some gorgeous accessories. I do wear faux fur though.

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Leota Mayr

I am from the German Alps and lived there for a few years when I was in my 20’s. There is nothing that keeps you warmer than a fur; the wind does not cut through it and you are warm and dry. A few years ago I bought a fur at the end of season at a consignment shop. It is a 40’s style and in excellent condition; I love it but rarely wear it. I live in New England so I have opportunity but feel uncomfortable wearing it “out”.
It is not the idea of wearing a fur that makes me uncomfortable; I wear leather shoes after all, to me it is the same thing. What gives me pause is the way animals are treated and farmed for a specific purpose. Are they treated humanely, respectfully, honorably? Or are they viewed only as the most beautiful fashion accessory? My coat was made before I was born and when I wear it, it is with gratitude and honor for the creatures that gave it to me. That is the best I can do now.
I am glad that people are more mindful about what they are wearing and eating and bringing focus on to the wellbeing of the animals that provide for us – it has been a long time coming. As with most movements, it is very passionate and at times extreme. But the important point is that it shines a light on to something that needs our attention – something that needs to be fixed.

Reply

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