A few weeks ago, I wrote a piece celebrating Nigella Lawson's milky curves, applauding her good sense at not conforming to the diktat that women must be thin and young to be beautiful.Why? Well, Nigella had the nerve to endorse the wearing of real fur. Though from the sound of it, her real error was to disregard the opinion of people like Liz, who make a living from telling everyone else what to wear:
Well, I take that article back.
What is particularly galling is that while I might expect a model, fashion designer or actress - such as Gwyneth Paltrow, who has a contract with Italian leather goods label Tod's, one of the worst fur offenders - not to appreciate the danger of condoning this industry, I expected more from a grown woman with an Oxbridge education and sufficient wealth never to be in fear of being dropped by anyone.Yup, note the casual way she dismisses the people who help her earn a living as either clueless morons or cowardly go-alongs, yet an educated woman didn’t agree with Ms Jones on what to wear!?! *Swoon*
….I find it very hard to sit in the front row of fashion shows where fur is paraded inches from my nose.Perhaps you should try another job then, Liz? Are you even qualified for anything else?
Protesters from People For The Ethical Treatment Of Animals (Peta) stormed the catwalks of Roberto Cavalli and Burberry in Milan a few seasons ago.Yes, fancy that. A major event in your ‘job’ went ahead instead of being disrupted by publicity-hungry cretins and people were happy about that? Does not compute!
I was disgusted when the protesters, mainly young girls, were dragged from the catwalk by security men, and all the glossy magazine mavens cheered when the show was able to resume.
While most British glossies have a strict 'no fur' policy for editorial photographs, they are happy to take adverts from labels that use fur.Oh noes! Harsh realities of the world of business!
When editor of Marie Claire, I mooted the idea to the magazine's publisher that we bar all adverts from such labels, but was told this would be financial suicide.
Joining in the harpy chorus is Melanie Rickey, ‘Grazia’ fashion editor:
It's the fur debate and in my mind the answer is simple. In this country, and in the climate we live in, there is no excuse for us to wear fur at all. On a practical level, we don't need to. It's not cold enough. The practice of farming fur was banned in Britain in 2000.I wonder what car Rickey drives? I’m pretty sure it’s a good one, loaded with all the latest gadgets. Bet she’d squeal like a stuck pig if someone came along and swapped it for a Ford Cortina, though, on the grounds there was no need for heated leather seats and sat-nav on a practical level.
And because we have banned fur farming simply means it’s moved abroad, to places like China, where regulations on animal welfare are sometimes lax or even non-existant. Not sure that helped, Mel. But then, the perfect has always been the enemy of the good.
And yet whenever there is a cold snap, out come the furs. This year, it seems more fur than ever is being strutted around town by young, fashionable women. Some of them are even walking their dogs - an irony perhaps lost on them.Yup, when it gets cold, people wear fur coats! Who knew…?
They would do well to sit down and seriously question their morals in order to form an educated opinion, and then take a stance on whether or not they should wear fur. Wearing one canine - a fox - while walking your beloved four-legged friend is just wrong.When Mel says ‘form an educated opinion’, she really just means ‘agree with me’.
The fact that they may have formed an educated opinion that wearing chemical-based acrylic instead of a natural, farmed substance isn't better doesn’t seem to have occurred to her. An educated opinion is only educated if it agrees 100% with her own outlook.
On Wednesday, at the tea party thrown by Katie Grand to celebrate her new magazine Love, I bumped into model Agyness Deyn, the owner of two small dogs, swathed in an Arctic fox coat. It looked fantastic, yes, but that doesn't make it right.Actually, she doesn’t. Not in the slightest.
'I was freezing,' she told me. 'I didn't think it would be as cold in London as it is in New York, so I had to dash into a second-hand shop and saw this fur for £100. It's not bad to wear fur if it's second-hand, is it?' she asked me with genuine concern.
I didn't want to cause a kerfuffle, so I said: 'Well, at least you are recycling it.' But I wish I had given her a kindly lecture. The thing is, if you are going to wear fur, you have to be able to justify it to yourself and others.
That’s what really causes your hackles to rise, isn’t it, ladies? Not the ickle pwetty fluffy bunnies? The fact that some people have heard and rejected your arguments…