Monday, 17 August 2009

The Skin Game: Summer Furs...Summer Blog-off with Bitching and Junkfood Continues

The Story so far…

Since last week ManAboutWorld and Bitching and Junkfood have been hanging out and chewing the fat in our not-so dusty archives. We’ve pulled together key images from London’s underground club scene, this year’s graduation catwalks and the coolest streets in the capital and we’re producing a run-down of the hot trends we’ve been seeing on our travels. If you haven’t already, check out last week’s posts and blog-backs on Men’s Makeup and Post-Apocalyptic style.

Above and below: the inimitable and highly creative Zack Holland at Disco Demolition last Saturday with his trademark suspended short/leiderhosen/skirt; this time in colourful real fur.


While I was hunting and gathering shots for last week’s Armageddon post I realised that within that trend I had enough shots to warrant a whole post on one part of the trend which is particularly hot (in all senses) right now: summer fur. As with the blanket/layering/shawl trend and most other fashions which emerge at the opposite time of year from when it would normally be expected, the popularity of fur’s likely go through the roof once it’s natural season of Autumn/Winter starts in earnest.

Above: Fake fur luxe jacket outside Slave to Fashion
Below: This combination of bare chest and quilted bag suggest the post apocalyptic and luxe feel of fur both in the same look

As a politicised vegetarian for 17 years of my life, fur isn’t something I’ve had a great deal of personal experience with. I’m fascinated with the fact that it symbolises both the ultimate in luxury, after all where else in fashion apart from jewellery and haute couture will you find standard items costing tens of thousands of dollars? Yet at the same time it takes us back to our caveman roots, pointing to a time both before the existence of Selfridges, Bloomingdales etc as well as a post-apocalyptic future when all things civilised have been wiped from the planet. As such it walks a difficult tightrope between high sophistication and simple subsistence.

Above: Another party goer at Disco Demolition
Below: Fur collar at a Film Noir's June Dalston Superstore party

These extremes are mirrored in the way fur is branded by the industry which reminds us that it’s the material of choice for the high culture of opera goers and aristocrats versus the anti fur campaigners who remind us of the barbarism of the production of the skins. Personally I feel more comfortable buying second hand as I believe it’s a way of using the fur that’s already out there without really supporting the industry in any negligible way. One thing’s for sure, with so many designers from Alexander McQueen to Ann Demeulmeester offering fur this winter we should be ready to see much more of it as soon as the thermometer starts to head south.

Above: Jason Mui Graduation Show (Nottingham Trent University School of Art and design)
Below: Holly Russell Graduation Show (Manchester Metropolitan University/Manchester School of Art)

Above: Nathaniel Parchment shows fur after a night at Vogue Fabrics
Below: My £3 fur collar from an unofficial trader at the Brick Lane street market

If you’re interested in reading more about how the fur reaches the racks, take a look at the propaganda-heavy Campaign to Abolish the Fur Trade website or this article in the Independent which appears to give a more balanced account.

Club credits:

Disco Demolition, hosted by Dan Lismore and Henry Conway, every Friday at 24, Kingly Street

Slave to Fashion, every Saturday at Beach Blanket Babylon

Film Noir, occasionally at Dalston Superstore and every 4th Friday of the month at Ghetto, Old Street

Punk, various parties. Check out for the best ones

Vogue Fabrics, occasional parties. 666 Stoke Newington High Street, Dalston



  1. I think you're right: fur will be huge this winter! Sheepskin was already super-pop last year.

    Love the crazy blue fur!

  2. Looks like the free skins and pelts that the big fur houses have been throwing at young designers have stuck.

    Sigh. I still can't help thinking of that line. fur - worn by Beautiful animals and Ugly people.

  3. I think it's very interesting what you've said about fur simultaneously representing ultimate luxury and basic needs. I think fur is HUGE right now and this will just grow for AW. Back to the apocalypse again, it's about seasons shifting and reflective of global warming. I reported a few weeks ago from hackney wick. Gathering my rabbit feet to comment back at ya this eve. xx

  4. Innana: thanks for that. Yeah, I heard the fur sellers have been particularly on it in terms of pushing to students whereas the guys making the really interesting tech fabrics let the students do the leg work...

    M: Global warming, the Mayan calendar AND THE RECESSION... It's had people reaching for the luxe blow-out items in a two-fingered gesture as well as people wallowing in the depression and enjoying the self-flagellatory, end-of-the-world headlines...

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