Are You Fur Real?

December 16, 2015

Fur real. Real fur. Either way, it works - no synthetic fibres for me, darling.

Am I Fur Real? My Thoughts on Wearing Fur

Once, I was all about faux fur - for that I blame university peer pressure. Do you know what a chore it is to go to school with dozens of ultra-liberal savants? - but over the years, a little bit of education went a long way towards my decision to wear only the real deal. Beside the heaving rail of minks in my boutique Regimental Vintage, my burgeoning collection includes a floor-length wolf fur coat, a fox fur coat of questionable origin, two impossibly silky-soft fox fur stoles I bought in St. Petersburg, and this beauty here: a rabbit fur coat dyed to look like cowhide.

Im wearing: Chanel Boy bag (similar here), rabbit fur coat (vintage), Dior sunglasses, and 
Stuart Weitzmann 5050 over the knee boots (similar here).
Wearing fur is a divisive topic. Personally I only buy, wear, and sell vintage fur or fur products from communities where animal hides are worn out of necessity rather than fashion, ie. Inuits and Siberians. The way I see it, wearing only vintage fur is my middle ground for reconciling my wish to see the end of animal cruelty for the sake of vanity and my desire for objects of beauty. Think about it: if everyone chose to wear only vintage fur - hence reducing then eventually completely removing the demand for new fur products to be made - the fur-for-fashion industry would go out of business. There are some that decry; fur is fur, vintage or not! Even faux fur glamourises the killing of animals of fashion, therefore anything remotely resembling the pelt of an animal is evil! I wonder, how many of those denouncers splurge their pay check on monthly Primark hauls then gleefully document it on social media? Fact: fast fashion is far more damaging for the environment and exploitative (who makes that £10 imitation silk pussybow blouse you’re wearing? Think, think) than a decades-old mink coat that had many an owner (essentially recycling as opposed to swelling land fills with cheap n' cheerful ‘flavour of last month’ fashion trends).
Buy Better, Buy Less. I'd rather have one vintage fur coat that will last me a lifetime than a high-street 'fun fur' that will fall apart at the seams after a couple of winters.

Tate Britain: 'Artist and Empire': Britain's glory or shame?

Speaking of contentious, these photos were taken when I went to the Tate Britain for their controversial new exhibition ‘Artist and Empire’ - a look at how colonialism shaped British art. The Telegraph criticises the exhibit as a textbook-bland study of what is either Britannia’s greatest glory or greatest shame. Maybe because the Empire feels like such a distant historical fact to me (despite growing up in a former colony), but I don’t agree that ‘Artist and Empire’ needs to be more provocative, shocking, or making a more blatant political statement. Although contemporary artist Andrew Gilbert’s wacky installation of what colonised Europeans might look like in an African museum - a medley of scarecrows dressed in red tunics, fetish boots, accessorised with tea bags and pineapples (the Hermes Birkin of the 1600s, don’cha know?) - did steal the show for its ‘that sh*t cray’ factor, the rest of the exhibits were no less captivating. I was especially haunted by the eerily lifelike oil paintings of Maori chieftains and the last moments of General Gordon’s ill-fated mission in Khartoum, with all its Islamic State connotations.  
Whatever your opinion* on the Empire, I strongly recommend a visit to the Tate Britain to see ‘Artist and Empire’. The exhibit runs till April 2016 and is £16 per adult, or free for guests of certain Tate Members. Hint; I’m a member and I want to revisit the exhibit, so if you want to join me as my guest, just ask!
*as far as I’m concerned, my Malaysian electronics fit into British power sockets so it’s all good. Yay, Commonwealth!

What do you think of  the British Empire?
Where do you stand on wearing vintage fur?  
As trappings of arrogance and apathy, or as relics of the past 
whose enduring legacy remain today as subjects of fascination and debate?
ps. when I asked a Malaysian-Chinese friend for his opinion on British Malaya he evasively commented: "Thank God my great-great grandparents fled China for the riches and oppurtunity of British Malaya.  If not for them I'd be in a factory somewhere in Shenzhen assembling iPhones."

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