Thursday, September 24, 2009

How do you Feel About.......

....fur? Vintage fur, that is? The wearing of fur can be a controversial subject, and starting a discussion about the pros and cons of that is not my purpose. This blog is, at heart, a teaching tool, but for the most part, I've been avoiding showcasing images of fur coats from the past so as not to ruffle any feathers. Personally, I do sell and wear vintage furs, as they were made at a time when doing so was acceptable, and recycling a coat from the past is far better than buying new. I do want to be sensitive to your feelings, though.

As an example, the image above is from 1965. That year, coats featuring fur linings were quite popular. This set by Branell features a simple shift dress in charcoal wool with a matching wool coat. The fur lining the inside of the coat? I never would have guessed it, because it's not actual fur pelts. This is fabric made of vicuna that has been woven to look like fur. Vicuna is now an endangered species, so any sale of this fiber must meet local and federal laws, even if it is vintage. But that is something I could teach you about another day.

So, dear readers, how do you feel about it? Should I do occasional posts about fur types and fur styles from the past? Or should I just continue to write about other things? Please leave a comment with your opinion, and I'll go with the majority.

28 comments:

puddin said...

There is nothing warmer than fur, and fur traders helped blaze a trail in early America.

Do it!!

WendyB said...

I have no problem with vintage fur. Give me a break. The animal is dead 40 or 50 years? People who cry about that are just irritating.

Deja Pseu said...

I'm OK with vintage fur.

alexkeller said...

i personally love fur. i had a rabbit fur in the 80s and told mom to give it away in my one moment of righteousness. but now i wish i had it. and especially vintage fur - i still miss that black Persian lamb my mom gave me. it suffered a terrible accident with one of my cats.

The Glamorous Housewife said...

I am torn with the vintage fur issue. On one hand I understand that it wasn't an issue back then, and if some poor animal had to die then at least let the poor thing be remembered by being faboosh.

On the other hand, by wearing fur, any fur, it condones that fur is acceptable, which in my opinion it is not. It also freaks me out to have a dead animal on my back or head. It just seems so barbarian to me. And yet so beautiful. *sigh* Maybe other comments will help me clarify my thoughts on the subject.

Thanks doll,
The Glamorous Housewife

Blythe Hopes Vintage said...

I wouldn't buy new fur - but I do wear vintage fur - it's COLD upstate lol. I figure the animal has been dead a long time - I don't want to waste it.

Sal said...

I'm also just fine with vintage fur. I've thrifted and inherited several pieces, and they serve me well when the weather outside is frightful.

Lisa E Staples said...

I am absolutely ok with it

Jitterbugdoll said...

I don't have a problem with vintage fur, and have several pieces that I do wear. I would never buy new fur, but I think it is wasteful to throw away vintage fur.

Since your blog is a teaching tool, I think it is important for you to discuss all aspects of vintage fashion history. Wearing fur was acceptable then, and even though our sentiments have changed we cannot change the past.

Maggie ~:) said...

I would never buy new fur myself unless I could prove that the animal also served as sustenance for someone before its fur was claimed. But I have no issue with vintage fur and I Love the way fur looks, so now that there are some advancements in the faux fur industry where some of it actually Looks like fur, I will be incorporating the faux fur into some of my costuming and wardrobe.

By the by, Burda asked this very same question on their blog yesterday. You guys must have the same blogging cap on, haha!

fabulous finds said...

great post!
i am one who adores fur...and i have many friends who "preach" their reasons as to why i should boycott it altogether...
i like what the glamourous housewife said...if the poor animal had to die...
i only have vintage fur...and wish i still had my first rabbit fur...but alas...i gave it up...not realizing how i would one day love vintage...
i live in an area that you could very easily be spray painted on...walking to and from an event...that bothers me...i don't have a problem with those who are against it...but let me make my own decisions...as to what i am against...or for...
elena
fabulousfinds-elena.blogspot

Matilda said...

I love my vintage fur... the only kind I have. Part of my love for vintage is the sense of "keeping alive" something of beauty that was treasured by others before. So to me, giving a vintage fur a new,good home is part of that. (I do think the furs with the heads and feet are creepy, but I'm curious why generations before liked them. As with anything, different points of view that I want to hear about) I also think it is educational to learn about some of these animals of the past - some that may now be extinct.... just as some of the couture sewing skills, seamstresses are becoming a lost art.

Ms. B said...

I too am fine with vintage fur. I think it's wasteful and also tragic for old beautiful pieces to just be thrown into a landfill because they are fur. The animal would have been dead by now anyway. I'm not too fond of new fur pieces but still think they are beautiful and struggle with that.

Laughing Magpie said...

I have a couple fur pieces - all hand-me-downs from family - and I harbour a deep desire for one of those '50s cashmere/mink cardigans.

I view fur like I do meat or leather or other animal products. I acknowledge that I use animal products, and if at all possible I choose those from unendangered animals that were raised humanely, killed quickly, and used wisely.

I honestly see no difference between fur and leather or meat, and sometimes at least fur means the animal lived outside a factory farm...

Of course fur is much more obvious than the fact that I ate bacon for breakfast. And I can't help but feel self-conscious the couple times I've ventured out in my aunt's '60s coat with mink trim, even though I know by wearing second-hand, vintage clothing in my everyday wardrobe that I'm probably doing a good deal more for the environment than by boycotting fur.

But there's nothing wrong at all that I can see in learning about vintage fur.

Belle de Ville said...

I have no problem with vintage furs...in fact I've bought a bunch of them...not that I get much of a chance to wear them in Southern California...

Shrinky Inky said...

I have no problem with vintage furs. As Puddin' said, fur trading was an important and critical part of the development of the United States. Vintage fur should be preserved.

Gladys said...

I have wanted a vintage mink or chinchilla jacket for years. Every vintage store I go into I fondle and oh and awe over the furs. Unfortunately I live in SOCAL where I would only be able to wear it in the house with the a/c turned down to 32 degrees.

Audi said...

Add me to the list of supporters. I'd never buy new fur, but vintage is fine.

Bonjour Madame said...

I have a lovely vintage fur piece that I adore. It's beautiful. I like to see vintage fur coats too.

Couture Allure Vintage Fashion said...

Thanks so much all of you! I truly appreciate the feedback, and since you are overwhelmingly supportive of seeing some vintage furs on the blog, I'll get right to it!

Parisienne Farmgirl said...

Hmmm, I am not totally educated on the subject but I throw my two cents in...
I don't have a problem with vintage fur and have some pieces myself.
I have to say, I don't know that I have a problem with fur "today" either - only because if I did it seems I would be a big hypocrite since I continue to wear leather and eat meat (though I do prefer free range). It would seem silly to be opposed to fur made in any decade unless one was a totally sold out, head to toe vegan. And that is so not happening!.... I mean, come on- what would life be like without goat cheese...and vintage fur of course.
Great post!!!!

catherine_sr. said...

I'm OK with vintage fur. IMO, it makes more sense to take care of these items and use them again than to toss them away.

Saarah said...

I am comfortable with vintage fur and I love fur..

Erin said...

I am a vegetarian and consider myself seriously conscious of where any animals in my life come from. But I would still buy and wear vintage fur, because more than anything letting that animal go to waste, instead of giving that fur the longest possible lifespan, seems more criminal to me than the reason it was originally killed.

Also, I am new to your and I love it very much! So thanks!

Emily said...

I'm fine about fur - but just like with the food I eat and the other clothes I wear, I think a bit about where it comes from. I'm not wild about factory farmed mink done in a really unpleasant way, like I won't eat battery farmed eggs. But I eat lamb so it would seem a bit inconsistent to refuse to wear its skin. I have a lovely chocolate coloured beaver lamb coat from eBay that is so warm and cosy! And vintage fur - if the choice is wear it to its last legs or throw away? Surely better to wear it than waste it?

Rachel said...

the only thing i would object to endangered animals. otherwise i don't see how its much different than eating meat.

honestly since moving to the east coast i really see the point of fur! nothing else keeps you as warm!

Jenifir said...

I have bought and wear vintage fur and I am happy to do so. Of course, I also live in one of the coldest capitals in the world, Ottawa! Possibly more important to Canadian history than any other resource or industry, the fur industry is still one area where some of our first nations people can still live by traditional methods and is more environmentally responsibile than the manufacture of many synthetic fibres. I enjoy finding new life in old things. Thank-you for your informative blog. I have been a student of fashion for over thirty(maybe forty) years and have learned quite a bit from your blog. I have noticed some vintage retailers (on etsy, etc.) not getting periods and other details correct. This could be very frustrating to someone new to vintage. Education will benefit all.

Tara's blogs said...

Hi,
I just found this post, but it helped to clarify about a coat I bought last year: A leather coat stamped "Devon Nappa Made in England", completely lined in muskrat fur, with a huge raccoon collar (as a furrier told me). Good to know it's mid-1960s! :)

That being said, I'm fine with vintage fur, and other items made from animals. However, I wouldn't buy those same, or similar items, today since some are endangered, but I neither mind nor have a problem with what I have since they're 50-80 years old, if not from the 20s.

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