The cats –
and British Shorthairs – are real, but the fur is fake in this winter shoot by
, styled by
. Fashion friends are faux when it comes to fur and all the retail giants from H & M,
and M & S to Marni and
are offering a rowdy mixture of snug comforts in false hides and hairy fabrics. There are herds of shaggy furs, chubby furs, multicoloured and monochrome versions for coats, gilets and jackets, many with a look of vagabond luxury when mixed with floppy hats. (Left: Fur jacket, €1,999, trousers, €159, blouse, €209, Basler Brown Thomas)
Faux fur is everywhere: it's the cats' meow on the catwalk (where JW Anderson even brought back muffs) and on the red carpet. Elsewhere furry marabou feathers that make a glamorous trimming on knits are even set to be a summer trend thanks to Simone Rocha.
Such exuberant excess of fakeness obscures the fact that top international designers including DKNY, Christopher Kane, Lanvin and many others – barring a few exceptional names like Stella McCartney, long a foe of leather and fur – are associated with the resurgence of real fur. Animal-friendly west Hollywood, which took the pioneering step of banning retailers selling any furniture or clothing made with fur in 2011, recently had their ban upheld constitutionally. Many argue that wearing faux only serves to whet the appetite for the real, while others counter that it's a cheap ethical alternative to animal skins. The arguments are complicated by complaints that fake fur is made from environmentally unfriendly polymers and petroleum.
Whatever the pro and anti arguments, faux fur and feathers are flying this winter. While the faux fur gilet is the shape du choix of the fall season, chubbier coats and fantasy fakes are best left loose and unbelted or slung over jeans, while a sharper mix of wool with fake fur trim for a parka or jacket has more shape and definition. It would be easy to tire of monster block fun furs particularly in colours that deliberately don't ape the animal kingdom, but leopard print, tiger and black and white stripes will always be street favourites and the most popular fluffy cover ups for the season.
PHOTOGRAPHS: ANITA SADOWSKA, ANITASADOWSKA.COM MODELS: GRACIE @ 1ST OPTION, RASMA @ ASSETS STYLIST: CARMEL DALY, DALYSTYLING.COM MAKEUP: ROY WONG, ROYWONG.IE HAIR: GLEN CULLEN, GLENCULLENHAIR.IE WITH SPECIAL THANKS TO REYES DE SELVA CATS REYESDESELVA.COM