Autumn/winter 2017 is a sweeping French staircase carpeted in violet fake-astrakhan fur kind of season. At the Miu Miu show back in March, sliding down the matching fuzzy purple bannisters at Paris’s Palais d’léna would have given you carpet burn. On the clothes, plume-like collars exploded from canary yellow fake-furs and classic denim jackets, and corduroy pea coats tipped with shaggy sheepskin cuffs and collars. So far, so fuzzy.
As all good supermodels should, Adwoa Aboah is embracing the trend off the catwalk as well as on. She photographed herself for The Chain, the Guardian and Google Pixel 2’s fashion project in a tufty, tobacco brown, double-breasted Balenciaga coat.
From Alexander McQueen trimming leather jackets with shearling, to The Chain’s Aboah walking down the Miu Miu catwalk in a 70s-style block-colour anorak, capped with a luxurious poodle-permy, fake-fur stole – fashion is feeling all the feels. The season’s muse meets somewhere between Margot Tenenbaum and ALF, the 1980s’ favourite TV alien. Burberry does it with towelling bathrobe-inspired coats, and Bottega Veneta gives it the full Chewbacca. The message is that outerwear has got big and hairy.
At Diane von Furstenberg, Jonathan Saunders crafted a powder blue balletic robe-cum-karate jacket from shaggy shearling. Chloé twisted it up with spotted alpaca jackets, and Acne coats went big or went home. Ashley Williams showed an acid-yellow, single-breasted style, and Aboah wore shearling to close the Topshop show. Burberry and Miu Miu presented enormous, calf-grazing fake-fur coats, although more sophisticated with softer palettes than before – think wilted raspberry and caramel colours over My Little Pony.
When it comes to fur we’re talking faux. Faking it is the way forward and it looks like that message is getting louder. Stella McCartney pioneered Fur Free Fur in 2015, Armani followed suit in 2016, and this year, Gucci announced that it would go fur-free from 2018, auctioning off all its remaining animal fur items.
It’s not just about the coat. Fashionably fuzzy feet have been avoiding wet weather since Céline launched its fur-lined Birkenstock sandals back in 2013. At the time they were seen as eccentric – now the look has been adopted and adapted into animal-friendly versions by both luxury designers and high-street stores. Shrimps has collaborated with Danish brand Ganni to create leopard-print backless loafers and trainers wrapped in shell-pink shearling, while Simone Rocha’s velvet and fake-fur pumps come with a Perspex flared heel. Anya Hindmarch’s furry flats even came with sheepish eyes – here’s looking at ewe.
Miuccia Prada could have spoken for all of current fashion when she said that her show was “about the madness of glamour, in front of an uncertain future”.
True say. A sartorial silly season yes, but one that’s indulging the senses and soothing the mind. Glamour, as Prada knows, won’t help an uncertain future, but it’s a nice distraction. And if it feels like a teddy bear, all the better.
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