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Dressed To Kill (January 2010)

Brigitte Bardot News

Dressed To Kill (January 2010)

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Thursday, 26 May 2011 Dressed To Kill (January 2010) A s temperatures dropped to Baltic sub-zero temperatures this winter fur coats have once again become de rigueur. The trend is no doubt fuelled by the excessive use of pelt on the Autumn/Winter runways. It was everywhere from faux leopard overcoats at Isabel Marant to the shaggiest of goat hair at Givenchy. However it was in Milan, where fur is synonymous with luxe and glamour, that we saw the most lavish, excessive and unapologetic use of fur. D&G took us to the opera with their decadent mink caplets and Frida Giannini sent her models prowling down the catwalk in opulent furs of jet black and midnight blue at Gucci. But where does this fur come from and can we morally justify its use? In the fashion world it has broken friendships and strained business loyalties. Fur has the ability to divide designers and the models and celebrities who wear their clothes like no other issue. There is, however, the rare few in the industry with a strong ethical conscience. Like Stella McCartney, who famously turned down a job offer from the fabulous Mr Tom Ford because he simply wouldn t agree to stop using leather.As the most conscious designer around, it is written into her contract that she will never work with fur. When quizzed on why her colleagues feel it is ok to use fur she answers, They are heartless. They must be! Why on earth would they use fur and leather otherwise? There’s no excuse for fur in this day and age. Baby kids are boiled alive. Foxes are anally electrocuted. If that’s not heartless, what is?”. And she has a point. It s not as though the climate of the UK necessitates the warmth of a thick fur coat. It is completely unnecessary. A major coup in the war against fur was scored in 2004 when Topshop, the most highly respected and loved fashion chain in the UK, announced it was going fur free. A spokesman for the company said, “Topshop has a long-standing anti-fur policy. We feel very strongly about the use of real fur in fashion and believe that the breeding of animals for their skins cannot be justified.” Designers who do use fur face the wrath of PETA who are notorious for their fashion week hijacks of top designers runway shows. This season was the turn of Burberry, who featured rabbit fur snoods in their collection. Young protesters stormed the stage with banners proclaiming Burberry: Fur Shame and chanting fur is dead . Yvonne, a PETA supporter and dedicated anti-fur activist, was shocked that there was such outrage from the fashion insiders One would think they’d be expecting us by now, I mean we’ve hit all the biggest fur pushers Dior, Lagerfeld, Oscar De la Renta, Cavalli, Gaultier, Prada so they really shouldn’t have been surprised to see us there. Burberry is not the only British label who should be hanging their head in shame. Young designer Julian Macdonald is among the worst offenders and has caused huge outrage with his excessive use of fur. McDonald was critisised heavily for his shameful, prominent use of fur in his Autumn 07 collection. His response to the backlash was, “People who don’t like fur can piss off. I love fur. In the past he has simply stated, fuck animals. PETA have also targetting celebrities known for a shameless love of fur. Beyonce refused to watch undercover footage of the fox fur industry in China. It shows a defenseless fox being skinned alive- you can see it blinking in shock after it has been reduced to a bloody pulp. The animal rights group has contacted stars such as Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes asking that they not wear Armani clothes after the designer repeatedly broke promises to end his use of fur. Perhaps it is due to an old-fashioned opinion that fur represents glamour and can be used as an ostentatious display of wealth or status that many women today still choose death and pain to maintain and image of luxury. I disagree with one fur trader who described her pelts as beautifully feminine , it s barbaric and unevolved to still be wearing the same clothing as our Neanderthal ancestors. There is no way around it the fur trade is a cruel and murderous industry and maybe the way celebrities such as the Olsen twins and Keira Knightly justify it is by avoiding the horrendous facts. I wonder if Miss Knightly knows her Karakul Fur Coat is a particularly brutal kind of fur in which the mother of lamb is killed just before the birth and the fetus is removed from the dead body. The fur of an unborn lamb is particularly prized as it is said to be of the highest quality and have a silk like sheen. Although fur factories were banned in The United Kingdom by Tony Blair s government, eighty-five percent of the fur industry s skins come from fur factory farms. The animals, thousands of them, are housed in unbearably small cages, in states of fear, stress, and disease as well as other physical and psychological afflictions, all for the sake of an unnecessary global industry making billions of dollars each year. The slaughter methods used in fur factory farms are designed for maximum profits, always at the expense of the animals. The pelts are kept intact in exchange for the extreme suffering of animals. Methods range from having or rods forced into animals mouths or anuses and being painfully electrocuted, to being poisoned with strychnine, which suffocates them by paralyzing their muscles with painful cramps. Gassing and neck breaking are other common and equally appalling slaughter methods used on the farms. As well as ethical issues there is also the environmental one. Contrary to fur-industry propaganda, fur production destroys the environment. The amount of energy needed to produce a real fur coat from farm-raised animal skins is approximately 15 times that needed to produce a fake fur coat. Nor is it biodegradable, due to the chemical treatment applied to stop the fur from rotting. The use of these chemicals also causes further damage through water contamination. But perhaps there is a light at the end of the tunnel and perhaps some credit should go to the British sense of style. Editor of British Vogue Alexandra Shulman thinks it is- “There is a very different attitude to the wearing of fur in Britain than in the rest of Europe and in the States, here we tend to have more reservations about the wearing of fur than they do. There are a large number of people ethically opposed, and in general, style in Britain is less ostentatious and flaunting than in many other countries. Very few shops stock fur, and at Vogue we feature very little of it.” There was also the recent birthday message to one screen siren to another, who both turned 75 in the same week. Sixties sex symbol Brigitte Bardot has spoken out against her fellow screen legend Sophia Loren s adoration of fur in the past, accusing her of wearing a cemetery on her back . Her message this year however was more of a plea than an attack she said, “I wish a happy birthday to Sophia Loren, my splendid twin, and I ask her to stop wearing fur – that is the best gift she could offer me”. On top of this was the incident in New York City last year which saw supermodel Naomi Campbell refused entry to a nightclub because she was wearing fur. The owner of the club summed the fight against fur up when asked why he refused such a glamorous celebrity into his club- I really love animals, and I wanted us to be the good guys. Posted by Annie About Me Things I like: Fashion, Music, Models, Art, Youth Culture, Punks, Films, Bette Davis, i-D Magazine, Books, Inebriation, Vegatarianism, Mods, Belle & Sebastian. View my complete profile Blog Archive

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Dressed To Kill (January 2010)


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