It was only a month ago that Vogue Paris Hommes Executive Editor, Olivier Lalanne, said fur is a no-no. Yet, in the new Fall 2012 Runway Shows, it wasn't just the ladies who were covered in fur. It seems the influence of the fur industry's money is making major impacts on which materials designers choose to use. Even brands that previously did not use fur began using it this season, including some of the brands I've showcased on The Discerning Brute, like Loden Dager, Gilded Age, Duckie Brown, and Band of Outsiders. Raulph Lauren, who also committed to being fur-free in the past, showed a fur vest in their men's show (see below), and I hope it turns out to be a really good fake. Money talks, but I have to wonder how the designers who continue to use fur, or who have just started using it, are able to rationalize, compartmentalize, or ignore the horrible truth about how fur is produced. Likewise, the supposed "future-of-fashion", and an evolving fashion industry is held at bay when designers rarely invest in sustainable, cutting-edge textiles for fear of losing money.
In an interview I did with Gilded Age's Stefan Miljanic in 2008, Mr. Miljanic said, "Unless we enter New Ice age, fur is not necessary." Yet, fur trim, vests, and fur boots were featured in his show this season.
Clockwise from the top left: Loden Dager, Duckie Brown, Band of Outsiders, and Ralph Lauren.
Men's lines that rocked the runways without using fur were: Carlos Campos, Calvin Klein, G-star, 3.1 Phillip Lim, Adam Kimmel, Acne, Bally, Bespoken, Bottega Veneta, Comme des Garçons, Dior Homme, Edun, J. Sabatino, Jil Sander, John Varvatos, Junya Watanabe, Kris Van Assche, Lanvin, Marni, Missoni, Moncler Gamme Bleu, Moschino, Nautica, Number:Lab, Ovadia & Sons, Patrik Ervell, Prada, Petrou\Man, Richard Chai, Shipley & Halmos, Siki Im, Steven Alan, Tommy Hillfiger, and Y-3/Yohji Yamamoto.
It is difficult to imagine a fashion landscape where the influence of so much marketing funds from fur organizations like Kopenhagen Fur and Saga Fur does not have a noticeable impact, and later, a trickle-down effect. It is an epidemic where no one, other than fur interests, are offering comparable funds or free-product to designers. Not surprisingly fur appeared on the following mens runways: Alexander McQueen, Antonio Azzuolo, Baliman, Burbury Prorsum, Canali, Corneliani, Costume National, D&G, Diesel, Dsquared², Empirio Armani, Ermenegildo Zegna, Etro, Gant, General Idea, Giorgio Armani, Givenchy, Jean Paul Gaultier, Louis Vuitton, Maison Martin Margiela, Marc by Marc Jacobs, Marlon Gobel, Michael Kors, Moncler Grenoble, Neil Barrett, Pringle of Scotland, Rick Owens, Riviera Club, Roberto Cavali, Simon Spurr, Thom Browne, Trussardi, Valentino, Woolrich, and Yves Saint Lauren.
Billy Reid even snuck in some fur lining on the inside of a jacket.
The men's runways were also drenched in another form of fur - shearling, which is one of the major trends for next fall. Buckler used shearling, Berburry Prorsum, Versace, and many others used Karakul (fetal/infant lamb skin), Dries Van Noten used sherling-lined fur, and Hermes had a full shearling jumpsuit.