New York Fur - Letter to the Editor
To the New York Observer to
To The Editor:
While the recent article that touched on Michael Kors’ show during
the latest Fashion Week mentioned the protests over the designer’s use
of animal fur, it hardly gave the issue the attention it deserved.
The presence of protesters illustrates the continual need to educate
designers about the cruelty behind every fur garment, but while some
designers may be slow in evolving as moral individuals, government is
beginning to catch on.
In a move that drove another nail into the coffin of the fur
industry, the New York State Legislature unanimously passed a ban on
electrocuting animals raised on fur farms, and on August 28th Governor
Spitzer signed it into law. This is the first of what will hopefully
become a wave of state-wide bans on the cruel and inhumane practice of
genital, anal, and other forms of electrocution that have tortured
animals born and killed on fur factory farms for decades.
What’s good for New York is good for the entire nation and the
barbaric practice should be banned everywhere animals are being held
captive for their fur. Fur farming and fur trapping are terrible abuses
of wildlife and wildlife deserve our respect and protection from the
industries that seek to exploit them for profit. To learn what you can
do to help wildlife in New York and elsewhere, visit
Joe Miele, Vice President
Wildlife Watch, Inc
by Simon Doonan
Published: September 11, 2007 - The New York Observer.
“Out, damned spot! Out, I say!”
Fashion Week has left me feeling a lot like Lady Macbeth. All I can
think about are stains and spots. This obsessive state of mind is a
function of two things:
First, there’re my eating habits. Every time I gobble down a
between-show snack from ’wichcraft or Mangia, I end up with olive oil
blotches on my couture. The madcap whirligig of fashion has turned me
into a messy eater. People think I wear densely printed Liberty floral
shirts because I like them. I wear them because they hide the multitude
of sins and damned spots with which I seem doomed to bespatter my
The second reason I’m channeling Lady Macbeth relates more directly
to the spring fashion trends. Here’s why: The garments that unfurled
before my eyes last week were, almost without exception, terrifyingly
fragile. Every delicate blouse and filmy frock seemed to scream, “Hold
the dressing!” Some considerate designers like Derek Lam actually sent
out garments in pre-spotted prints. Most did not. It was lunch-lady
clothing minus the lunch. As I viewed the parade of crepes-de-chines and
diaphanous chiffons, they were intercut, in mind’s eye, with images of
Britney Spears wiping her greasy paws—as she is alleged to have done at
a recent photo shoot—on that Gucci frock. However, you don’t have to be
a reckless funster like La Spears to garf up the garments in question.
From the ivory sateens and organzas at Doo. Ri to the fragile white
cottons at Narciso Rodriguez, spring will be the season of the stain.
Invest in dry-cleaning stocks now.
Is there a malevolent agenda behind the promotion of such exquisitely
fragile stain-prone garments? Silly question. Of course there is: In my
mind there is no question that the designers are willfully and wickedly
widening the already gaping chasm between fashion and food. Naughty
designers! Isn’t the fashion flock cadaverous enough already!
Every season the dramatis personae of Fashion Week seem to get
thinner and thinner, with the notable exception of the brilliantly
talented duo Costello Tagliapietra. “How do two big butch hairy blokes
manage to produce such beautifully delicate frocks?” I asked Jeffrey
Costello and Robert Tagliapietra in a kind and caring way backstage
after their show. “With our big bear paws,” replied Robert, alluding to
the fact that these two handsome burly lumberjills are members of that
gay subculture, the Bear Community. In fact, Robert and Jeffrey may well
be this group’s most prominent celebrities.
And while we’re on the subject of furry animals …
“Gassing! Trapping! Anal execution! GASSING! TRAPPING! ANAL
EXECUTION!” These were the words—shrieked repeatedly at startled show
attendees by a large group of placard-wielding fur activists—that
greeted me as I arrived at the Michael Kors show at the tents in Bryant
Park on Sunday. “Michael Kors! Michael Kors! How did you get your fur
today?” they shrieked.
“I don’t think they know this is the spring collection,” said
photographer Piper Carter with a chuckle.
The fur-free Kors show was the very polar opposite of gassing and
trapping and was singularly devoid of any anal execution. Michael Kors
spring garments—a cavalcade of sherbert and white jet-set glamour—are a
siren call to a life of luxury and indolence. Remember: You cannot stain
your clothes if you are not actually doing anything.
Activity=stains. So wake up all you super-industrious overachieving
career gals. The times are a-changing. As I watched the lightweight lime
cashmeres and leg-accentuating cabana coats skip insolently down the
runway, I thought of the utter pointlessness of relentless
accomplishment, frantic BlackBerrying and messy salad-gobbling. Why be a
stressed-out freak, these clothes seemed to say, when you can be an
underachieving horizontale, lounging in a Biarritz cabana while some
gorgeous bloke in gold sunglasses rubs your tootsies.
Michael Kors was not the only designer telling us to lighten up:
“Screw work. I’m off to a tropical island,” screeched the clothes of
Diane von Furstenberg, a longtime proponent of the
Clearly fashion is flipping the bird to that mood of existentialist
gloom—no more anal executions!—which has dominated fashion since the new
century began. And so is Anna Wintour. The tents were abuzz with rumors
that the Vogue editor in chief had skipped the Philip Lim show to watch
Roger Federer. Quelle Horreur! Not. Trust me, this marks the beginning
of a new less-work-focused era. Putting aside the fact that La Wintour
has been tirelessly supportive of young designers—way beyond anything
they actually deserve—she should be applauded for her healthy, balanced
commitment to leisure pursuits. And moi aussi! If it hadn’t been for the
fact that my husband was recording Britney’s comeback on the Video Music
Awards, I would definitely have bagged Sunday night’s shows to watch La
Spears waddle endearingly through her big number. Judging by Brit’s
fabulously turgid, phoned-in performance, she too has caught the “I’m
sick of working” bug.
“How now, you secret, black and midnight hags!” I was praying that
Marc Jacobs would show all-black clothing for spring, thereby allowing
me to use this great line from Macbeth and thereby reprise my opening
theme and thereby finish this column and thereby go to bed at a
reasonable hour. I managed to get to bed before turning into a midnight
hag, but only just. And, here’s the real shocker, I never saw any
clothes. Yes, the late, the very late Mr. Jacobs did it again. I have no
idea what time the Marc Jacobs show actually started, but I’m sure that
when it did, it was perfectly lovely. All together now, “Gassing,
trapping and anal execution!”
P.S. Just asking: Does anyone know how much money Demi Moore, Maggie
Gyllenhaal, Mischa Barton, Hilary Swank and Clive Owen were each paid to
sit in the front row of the Miss Sixty show? Most fashion insiders seem
to be of the opinion that they received about one hundred thousand bucks
each, plus a lifetime supply of Miss Sixty garments. Thoughts?