For the past three days, I’ve awoken to a thermostat that has consistently read 0°F. Yes, you’ve read right… 0°F!! It’s so cold that when I blink outside, I may suffer from having my eyelids frozen shut. Holy ISH, it’s COLD in the mitten! For my national and international friends, at this moment, I am willing to comply with your affixed perception that Michigan is precisely akin to the frigid Arctic climate. For years I’ve tried dispelling your asinine beliefs that Michiganders: live in the North Pole, ice fish with polar bears and have pet penguins –mind you, this debate was common when I resided in Boston. But, for this hyperboreal week, geography aside, the Arctic climate convictions are not so asinine.
Back to the unbearably, icy, cold temperature- it has sparked my desire for all things warm, cozy and especially, furry. This winter I’ve been alternating between my Alice+Olivia ‘Kyah’ wool double-breasted fur trimmed coat (pictured above left) and my Add Down Goose down fur-lined hood coat (pictured above right). Both function as brilliant statement outerwear pieces and keep me comfortably, bundled warm from the frostiest of temps.
Banana Republic (F/W 2012)
This winter season I've gravitated to almost all things adorned with fur – collar/hood trimmed coats, hats, earmuffs, vests and scarves. Perhaps it's partially (or more so) due to my current infatuation with 19th century Imperial Russia. I recently finished Tolstoy's "Anna Karenina" and watched Joe Wright's "Anna Karenina" (Oscar nominated for Costume Design) which have catapulted me back to a time of opulent, luxurious fashion (or at lest dreaming of it). In the film, the women's costumery is beyond breathtaking and divine – lush taffetas, chiffon, brocade, lady-like lace, velvet and LOTS of plush fur! Not only was I inspired, so was Banana Republic's fall/winter 2012 season collection.
The resurgence of fur continues strongly after dominating the runways of Paris, New York and Milan for Fall/Winter 2012-2013 – indubitably in outerwear. From keeping it neutral with likes of St. John, Michael Kors, J Mendel, Iceberg and DKNY to bold, vibrant pops of color and graphic pattern via Giorgio Armani, Jean-Paul Gaultier , Meadham Kirchhoff, Moschino Cheap and Chic, and Iceberg. It was a delight to see the play in variation of lengths, cuts and styles. Michael Kors' long, thick, fringe-cut coat adds a playful and modern twist- it breaks up the heaviness in length. Jean-Paul Gaultier breaks away from the boxy structure by belting the waist to accentuate the silhouette. Regardless of hue + style, they all share finesse and sophistication as a common theme.
So, now you're probably wondering where to begin? How and where do you choose a fur piece? What is the fur criteria? Firstly, you should begin by choosing the proper furrier (fur specialist), whom can be found in a department store, such as the Fur Salon at Saks Fifth Avenue (Somerset Collection in Troy, MI) or a local fur salon, Ceresnie & Often Furs (181 S. Old Woodward Avenue, Birminham, MI 48009 – 248.642.1690) and Dittrich Furs (39515 Woodward Ave, Bloomfield Hills, MI 48304 – 248.642.3000 & 7373 Third Ave, Detroit, MI 48202 – 313.873.8300). According to Dittrich Furs, in regards to choosing the type of fur, "Consider how you'll wear your fur. If you want an everyday fur, mink, beaver, raccoon or coyote may be your best choices. If you prefer a luxury or dressy fur, mink, sable, lynx or fox may suit you better. In any event, it's difficult, if not impossible, to buy a fur that will be appropriate for all occasions. So select the one that will suit your overall lifestyle best." It's interesting to note that warmth isn't gauged on fur length- outer hair. It's determined by the dense underfur. The different types of fur are for aesthetic appeal. FYI, Dittrich Furs is currently celebrating their 119th Clearance Sale -Every Fur Reduced 50% or more!nPlus, 1000 Fur Fashions tagged for an EXTRA 10%, 20% or 30% OFF! The sale runs until Saturday, January 26th! If I were you, I'd run, not walk, to this epic clearance!
If a full-on-fur coat is too overwhelming, think of introducing it through accessories and adornments. You may not be entirely ready to jump into this trend,which is perfectly fine, but might be interested in dabbling in the style. I would suggest looking for a coat or jacket with a fur trimmed hood or collar. Other options include a fur scarf, fur-trimmed handbag, fur-lined boots and a fur hat (Ushanka- Russian style; my personal favorite). You can become one with the trend per the power of accessories! It will add just enough panache and sophistication as its larger counterpart. Remember, fur is timeless, re-styleable and environmental friendly (it's a sustainable and bio-degradable resource). In order to maintain a fur's timelessness, make sure to take proper care of it by annually cleaning it via a fur specialist (ask your furrier for a local cleaner) and to store it properly in a dark space to avoid sun damage- direct light will wreck the original hue. Regardless, on what you decide, wear it with confidence, make sure to take proper care of your newfound fur prized possession and stay warm!
DVF Fox Fur Collar – $495
Saks Fifth Avenue Collection Fox Fur Headband/Collar – $225
Cole Haan Black Sheepskin Shearling Long Coat – $1,799 (Bluefly)
Blue Duck Silver Fox Fur Jacket – $850 (Nordstrom)
Pajar 'Kayla' Down Parka with Rabbit & Coyote Fur – $398.65 (Nordstrom)
Sachi Genuine Fox Trimmed Hooded Coat – $199.90 (Nordstrom)