So last week, blogger and veil-haired founder of ‘A Shaded View On Fashion’, Diane Pernet – she who channels the kind of look you see at a Victorian funeral, or in fact, any funeral – caused a stir when she was photographed by the Associated Press in a coat made from a Gorilla pelt, not such a clever move for the purpose of inviting streetstyle paps, when you consider that three of the world’s four gorilla species have been deemed ‘critically endangered’.
Her decision prompted a story in Britain’s Top Newspaper – the one where every article belongs in the museum of non-stop laughs – The Daily Mail, which called Pernet out for publicly flaunting the wearing of such pelts in Paris during Menswear Fashion Week.
Unsurprisingly, her decision to wear the coat prompted hate mail telling her to “disappear off the planet”, a bit like the gorillas are doing huh?
So in response to the hate and Daily Mail, Pernet released a video via the ‘Paristododia’ blog, in which she issued a non-apology for wearing the coat because actually she couldn’t produce a f**k if she tried about the story, and it went a little something like this:
“I have not eaten red meat in decades but the way I feel about it is, I would never wear fur that was just killed for my own vanity. But when you’re wearing a vintage coat that’s 80 years old, that’s been worn by generations, I consider that sustainable fashion. It’s your decision, everybody should decide what they want to do and what they feel comfortable with. I don’t feel politically incorrect wearing a vintage gorilla coat.”
That’s like saying I murdered a man 20 years ago and stole his wig, but it’s ok that I’m still wearing his wig, because it’s now considered “vintage”, despite the fact nobody knows how I killed him or where the body is.
I called Sigourney Weaver’s ‘Gorillas in the Mist’ hairline for a reaction to Pernet’s statement, but it’s currently too busy filming ‘Avatar 2’.
Laws regarding the use of gorilla pelts vary but it’s banned from many markets across the globe, including here in the UK, but not in the US. Naturally, animal rights activists, PETA, were appalled by the news about Pernet, and issued a statement saying:
“It’s a sickening promotion of a violent, bloody industry that still gasses, strangles, and electrocutes other animals for nothing more than a ridiculous look.”
“Whether the animals were killed yesterday or decades ago, wearing their fur sends the damaging message that something totally unacceptable is somehow excusable—but it’s not.”
Back in 1994, you’ll recall that five of the world’s biggest supermodels posed with an “I’d rather go naked than wear fur” placard, which became the high point of the anti-fur campaign. Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford, Christy Turlington, Claudia Schiffer and Elle Macpherson all used their clotheshorse status to influence people to join the anti-fur protests. During that time, the act of wearing fur became such a social no-no, that many wearers were attacked or abused by strangers in the street.
Then in 2006, The World Society for the Protection of Animals joined the calls for action in the boycotting of fur, when Peter Davies, the charity’s then Director General, blamed the fashion industry for fuelling a rise in sales “by flaunting it all over the catwalk”.
Fast forward to 2014, and it seems fashion still hasn’t learnt its lesson, as nearly 70% of fashion designers used fur in their Autumn/Winter 2013 collections, and Naomi’s been spotted wearing it again, tut tut.
Celebrities such as Kanye West also offer a one-finger salute to the people who criticise his support of fur, which he was seen wearing during his recent trip to Paris for Givenchy’s menswear show. Ironically, post his and Kim’s engagement announcement, PETA issued this statement, “hope springs eternal, and so the group is sending Kimye a beautiful faux-mink throw to celebrate their engagement.”
Although his coat indeed did look like something you would throw on your sofa for the dog to sit on in Winter (no offence Kim), I’m thinking ‘faux fur’ and ‘Givenchy frow’ are two phrases Kanye’s not very familar with.
Miley Cyrus has also caused a stir, and not just for flashing her crotch, but for wrapping her body in real fur, which is just as ugly as the time she dressed as Lil Kim for Halloween. Beyonce and designer Isabel Marant also teamed up to design a pair of signature wedge sneakers which involved skinning several zoo creatures, surely leaving most of us asking the question, just how many animals died to make her feet look that ugly?
And of course, Lady Copy & Paste herself (Gaga) regularly throws fur on her carcass and proclaims that “fur is art” – yes my eyeballs have rolled into the next room too.
Even turning 40 doesn’t mean Kate Moss is any wiser, as she rocks up just about everywhere in fur – poor old Stella McCartney, with friends like that, who needs enemies?
Fashion’s influencers ultimately inform our subconscious of what’s ‘on-trend’, but as for pushing fur up the agenda, that’s one trend which should be ripped right off the catwalk, quicker than Gaga can rip off Madonna’s entire video archive.
Personally I don’t care if you’re wearing a Fendi shaved mink coat in geometric patterns which cost over £10,000 – it still looks like the type of get-up a middle-aged hooker in the Bronx would wear while knocking back Bourbon on a park bench. Or Liberace, and his passion for fur still gives me nightmares and constipated cat face, just like Rob Lowe’s in “Behind the Candelabra.”
If you want to channel Alexis Carrington or Cruella de Vil while you do your weekly shop, then that’s your choice – I won’t come after you with a pot of red paint, but I will laugh out loud when PETA does.
No, I’m comfortable in my own skin thanks.