Fur Hypocrite: Melanie Rickey

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While Melanie Rickey isn’t a household name, she is most definitely an important fashion journalist in the UK, who acts as Fashion Editor-at-large for Grazia magazine (one of the countries most popular fashion magazines.) A few months back she wrote a post (wrote is actually not the correct word here), she regurgitated a letter written to her from PETA. I find it highly distressing that a so-called respected journalist would simply re-copy a letter from a very biased organization, without actually having done any research into the facts.

Melanie Rickey, fur hypocrite, fur coat

Melanie Rickey, Grazia's Fashion Editor at Large.

The letter (see the blog post here) stated the usual fur industry lies, and then some, followed by a slew of comments. As expected there were comments of support, but the worst came when she responded to the comments. Here are a few of her utterly hypocritical responses.

“I occasionally eat meat, and do wear wool and leather but that works for me and most people as we wear these animals and it is part of the natural order.”

Hilarious that you can justify wearing some types of dead animals because it “works for you” and is part of a “natural order.” Perhaps Ms Rickey would like to see how the “natural order” works in the North of Canada, where people live off the fur trade, and often eat the meat. This type of inarticulate response is the last thing we would expect from a successful journalist.

eskimo, fur hat fur coat, fur hypocrite

When mentioned that the leather trade is, in many cases, worse than the fur trade, Rickey responded with:

“I don’t know enough about the leather industry to comment. I need to know more.”

I’d like to suggest that she do some research, instead of claiming ignorance. I would expect this from a blogger or someone who comments on fur posts with their anti-fur remarks, but for an established journalist to avoid dealing with a topic by simply saying she doesn’t know enough is very sad. Melanie Rickey, you are a fur hypocrite.

Read about more Fur Hypocrites:
Janice Dickinson
Alexandra Shulman and British Vogue

Images sources:
Eskimo image
Catwalk image
Melanie Rickey

Fur on the Catwalk: Dsquared Autumn Winter 2011

The wild west gets a fur treatment with beautiful fur collars and coats at Dsquared2 this winter. Canadian designers Dean and Dan Caten bring together their tried and true western themes, with an added touch of luxury in gorgeous collars, trims, and full-length fur coats.

Dsquared, Fall Winter 2011, Milan Fashion Week, Fur Coat
Dsquared, Fall Winter 2011, Milan Fashion Week, Fur Trim

There’s more great fur to be seen! Click here to see the rest of the photo set!

Catwalk images from Style.com

Fur on the Catwalk: Alexander McQueen AW2011

The Alexander McQueen show for the Autumn/Winter season featured quite a bit of fur, worn in a range of different ways. From pure white coats featuring fur cut outs, to S&M inspired dresses trimmed in fur, the collection showed breadth of the house’s design aesthetic, while still maintaining a cohesive look.

Alexander Mcqueen, AW2011, Paris Fashion Week
Alexander Mcqueen, AW2011, Paris Fashion Week
Alexander Mcqueen, AW2011, Paris Fashion Week
Catwalk images from Style.com

Fur Tips: Buying Vintage Fur

vintage fur, fur coat, fur tips, buying vintage fur, fur care

Vintage fur is a great alternative to new fur, as the designs can be very unique, and it is often a lot less expensive. But vintage furs need to be carefully selected, as it is easy to buy a “bad” vintage fur. I bought a beautiful vintage leather coat with chevrons of white fur (I believe it was fox) and one of the chevrons tore when I was out at a party. Within hours, the coat had torn in about eight more places. I freaked out, as the coat had cost me $100, and this was the second time I was wearing it. I took it into Pappas Furs, in hopes of getting it fixed. Unfortunately, I was told “Dry rot, throw it away.” They told me it wasn’t even worth making into a blanket. I won’t ever make that mistake again.

vintage fur, fur coat, fur tips, buying vintage fur, fur care

Here are some tips I got from Walter, the master furrier from Pappas Furs, about what to look for when buying vintage fur.

  1. Look at the fur, if it is oxidized, you shouldn’t buy it. If the fur has a yellow tinge, then it means it is oxidized. Look for the yellow tinge on the areas that are exposed to the sun, for example the shoulders, and the sleeves.
  2. Touch the fur and its leather, if it is brittle, forget it. The fur should have a soft, supple feel. If it is brittle and crunchy, it means it has dried out, or has dry rot.
  3. vintage fur, fur coat, fur tips, buying vintage fur, fur care

  4. Another way to test for dry rot is to pull on the leather a bit (the underside of the fur.) If there is no elasticity, then the fur is nearing end of life.
  5. Another sign of dry rot is rips, If there are several rips in the coat, chances are the fur is dried out. Check areas like the arm holes, shoulders, and neckline for rips.
  6. If the fur is shedding quite a lot, it might be infested with moths. Keep in mind that some delicate furs can break (for example rabbit or chinchilla) and most furs shed a little bit but if there are a lot of hair coming off the garment, or the hairs are coming out in clumps, then do not buy the coat.

Thanks to Walter from Pappas Furs in Vancouver, who kindly supplied me with these useful vintage fur buying tips.

Read more fur tips:
Repairing Tears
Dealing with Moths
How to Store a Fur Coat

Images from here, here, and here.

Vintage Fox Stole Spotted on the Street

Perfect finger waves, bright red lipstick, and a stole complete with paws and all! This beautiful fox pelt completes the 1920’s styling. I love stoles that still have the little feet and faces attached, it adds a touch of whimsy and romance that is not often seen in a modern fur.

Image via The Sartorialist.

The Art of Luxe: Color, Color and more Color!

knitted fur, pink fur, purple fur, fur bolero, fur poncho

Color, color and more color! Bolero by Paula Lishman, poncho by Belle Fare

Nothing more exciting than a spectacular runway show, when sipping wine and reminiscing about the Naffem VIP tour! I attended  the Art of Luxe fashion show which celebrates fur designers such as Paula Lishman, Zuki and young creators sponsored by Kopenhagen Fur. I was seated in the front row, and was immediately submerged by the passionate violinist’s performance. This musical piece by Dr.Draw was a brilliant way of presenting the craftsmanship we were about to see. Backstage I could tell emotions were running high for last minute preparations when suddenly the bright lights snapped on, the music set the mood and names of designers appeared on a giant LED screen.

dr draw playing at NAFFEM

Dr.Draw captivated the audience

As models made their way down the catwalk we could not help but notice the striking contrast between dark furs and the model’s bright outfits. Andy Warhol would of been proud of the outstanding visual influence his Pop Art had over the theme of the show. The interpretation of Warhol’s work (powerful & electric colors) was gracefully translated on Naffem’s runway.

Paula Lishman, canadian designer, fur poncho, lilac fur, pink fur, fur poncho

Canadian designer Paula Lishman, inventor of knitted and washable fur

Seeing is believing, this expression comes to mind when gazing upon the magic of a colorful Lishman beaver poncho at the Naffem show. It’s incredible how fur can captivate your senses and make you escape to a world of fantasy were color, fur and glamour are personified. We’ve certainly come a long way from grandmas old fur coat! What would you think about being able to wash your beaver knitted poncho after you’ve worn it? Guess what? You can! In contrast to the typical Mexican urbane poncho, this renewed version is not only glamourous but also practical.

Canadian designer, Zuki, flower, fur,


I felt my pulse rise when Zuki runway model walked before me with a sublime flower coat. The contrast of vibrant lilac, blue and red flowers on a soft black fur with fox trim created the perfect miss match. The difference of textures between the fluffy trim and the black shiny body also stood out. My only regret from this experience is that I could not leave the show with one of these magnificent fur coats!

Stay tuned for my discussion with Eddie Maleterre about his inspirations for hair & makeup.

euroline, natural furs international, mink patchwork

A mix of furs to add texture. Coat by Euroline, vest by Natural Furs

Natural furs, BluesArt, seal fur

Tailored fur coats by Natural Furs and BluesArt

Kopenhagen fur, naffem, fur innovation, mink, pink fur, fur bag

Kopenhagen Fur luxurious outerwear

Fur on the Catwalk: The Row Autumn Winter 2011

Ashley Olsen and Mary Kate Olsen, masterminds behind the high fashion label The Row, delivered an exceptionally beautiful Autumn collection. The clean lines and structured tailoring pair nicely with comically large hats and boisterous fur collars. Every piece is well planned, each detail carefully thought out and precise. These girls aren’t ready to bow to PETA’s threats any time soon, and prove so with the beautifully crafted, and ethically-sourced, fur pieces in this season’s collection.

The Row Fall Winter 2011
The Row Autumn Winter 2011
The Row Autumn Winter 2011

Catwalk images via Style.com

NAFFEM – Fur Fashion meets Innovation

 marie-victorin, fur school, design student contest, naffem,

“Luxury must be comfortable, otherwise it is not luxury.” Coco Chanel  

I was admiring an award winning fur piece displayed at the 2011 Naffem show, when these words resonated in my mind. Comfort and fluffiness seemed to be key characteristics for these students when transforming garments mainly used to keep warm into fashionable items. The amount of talent and creativity exhibited for the public’s enjoyment was surreal. Before me was this beautifully handcrafted white fox coat mixed with a knitted wool pattern which gave it an urban style. Marie-Victorin College students redefined youthful expression through the fur fashion craftsmanship. Every detail meticulously stitched and sewed resulted in endless possibilities for their luxurious creations.       

Marie-Victorin fur collection display at NAFFEM

I was given a guided tour of Naffem, one of the most prestigious North American fashion trade shows and I was glad to be surrounded by generations of fur trading traditions. From a novice perspective, I had the pleasure of exploring the various layers behind the fur industry. Our “tour guide”, Tony Jay from www.yourKloset.com, explained the different stages of production that make this a unique industry. The cooperation between trappers, farmers, designers and retailers, creates a premium quality product. Every year the Exibition Hall of Place Bonaventure in Montreal is filled with international manufacturers that display their collections for buyers to see. Naffem is the most anticipated time of the year for buyers to shop for Fall and Winter outerwear that will be sold to fashionistas around the globe.       

naffem, raincoat, mink, reversible raincoat

Fellow bloggers Lisa Sim and Todd Kingston Plummer admire the Kopenhagen Fur reversible raincoat

Innovation is synonym of branded designers such as Zuki, Beautifully Canadian, Kopenhagen Fur, Gliagias and Jean Crisan to name a few. These visionaries not only redefine elegance but have left their blueprint by carefully using different properties of fur. For instance, if we admire the rain coat by Kopenhagen Fur collection, you are immediately seduced by it’s beauty and practicality. Who says you can’t look your best under the rain!

Have you ever seen a girl walk the walk with exquisite Zuki flower mink coat and not get a single tear of excitement? Learn more about who else made the catwalk of the Opening Night Fashion Show in an upcoming post!

Kopenhagen, cell phone pouch, mink, fur heart, pink heart, naffem

I was delighted to receive so generously from Kopenhagen Fur these accessories which are natures true gifts. Everything the heart desires!




Christian Dior Autumn Winter 2011

Sorry for the lack of posts people! We have been busy with NAFFEM. More on that in the days to follow!

Despite what some may have to say about John Galliano, there is no arguing the fact that the man is a brilliant designer. The Dior Autumn Winter collection was a testament to his incredible vision and talent, and he will be missed by many in the coming seasons. (For those not in the know, go here to read the full Galliano story.)

This collection was all about texture. Feathers, fur, tweed, and chiffon were all layered together to create beautiful looks. Each piece on its own is unique and completely ready-to-wear, but the styling and layering of the garments are what bring this collection together on the catwalk.

Two completely different, yet cohesive looks.

This two-toned coat looks fantastic with knee high boots.

This fur scarf paired with a green tweed trench-style coat is a perfect example of impeccable styling. And those earrings! A great little addition to a beautiful coat.

Have you ever seen so many dissimilar textures work together so well?

This one is my favourite! Had to include a detailed shot of the thin, delicate layers of chiffon inbetween the layers of fur. So beautiful!

All catwalk images from Style.com