This is actually one of my favorite lists of all of the year-end lists. Every year, PETA compiles their list of the “worst-dressed” celebrities. It has nothing to do with fashion, though. It’s all about who wore fur or any kind of animal skin. Call me a hypocrite, but I think it’s totally unnecessary to wear fur, but I don’t see why people (or PETA) get worked up over various leathers. Leather is okay in my book, which means that a half-dressed PETA representative (probably a totally drunk and jacked Pamela Anderson) will be picketing my house in ten seconds. But fur? Why do people even wear fur anymore? Yeah, it’s cold. Put on a lambswool sweater. NOOOO!!!
Kate Moss, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Elizabeth Hurley are used to dominating society’s best-dressed lists. But this week they will find themselves topping a more dishonourable fashion list.
The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) Foundation has drawn up a roll call of the fashion world’s Worst Dressed Celebrities based on their penchant for pelts. The Duchess of Cornwall and Shirley Bassey will also grace the list, as will football Wags Coleen Rooney and Alex Gerrard, and the singer Rihanna.
The “winner”, to be chosen in an online poll, will be announced in February by Stella McCartney, a vegetarian who refuses to use any leather and fur in her designs.
The award is considered to be a powerful weapon in the fight against fur. Last year Paris Hilton and Christina Ricci announced a change of heart about wearing it after being nominated. “I never meant to hurt nor anger anyone with my insensitivity,” said Ricci. “For what it is worth, I have received the message loud and clear and will not be wearing fur in the future. I apologize for my offensive actions.”
Moss is hot favourite to win this year in recognition of her collection of fur coats, sealskin Mukluk boots, rabbit-skin bedspreads and sheepskin rugs. Elizabeth Hurley is also tipped as a likely winner after agreeing to pose in a selection of mink coats for fur house Blackglama.
“Among the most vulgar offenders this year is Catherine Zeta-Jones, who can’t seem to leave her room in New York without covering herself head to toe in the dried-out skins of several species – not just fur coats but leather pants and crocodile bags,” said Dan Mathews, vice-president of Peta. “She looks more like a serial killer than a star. We’ve written to Rihanna in the hope that the furs she’s been flaunting are fake, but it seems the cat’s got her tongue. The Duchess of Cornwall, not to be thwarted by the fox-hunting ban, has gone hunting in her grannie’s wardrobe. Then there’s the old guard like Shirley Bassey, who has a skin-crawling fashion sense. Elizabeth Hurley’s wardrobe is now as dead as her film career.”
A growing list of fashion icons have sworn off fur, from Carla Bruni and Michelle Obama to Pink and Lady Gaga. But times have changed since the early 1990s, when supermodels such as Naomi Campbell declared they would rather go naked than wear fur.
Now Campbell fronts a campaign for the furrier Dennis Basso – and campaigners admit that, on the catwalk and the high street, the trend is hotter than it has been for years.
Fur coats made an appearance during the New York, London and Milan fashion weeks. Karl Lagerfeld covered motorcycle helmets with mink and chinchilla. Dolce & Gabbana added bright pink fur sleeves to jackets. Fur also featured prominently in the collections of Louis Vuitton, Fendi and Prada.
Last month French Vogue featured the Brazilian supermodel Raquel Zimmermann in a flurry of fur. Keira Knightley attended an awards ceremony in a karakul lambskin coat and Jennifer Lopez makes no secret of her fondness for mink and chinchilla.
Anna Wintour, editor-in-chief of American Vogue, is unapologetically pro-fur, running positive editorials and fur-themed photo shoots. “Fur is still part of fashion,” Wintour said this year, “so Vogue will continue to report on it.”
Celebrities’ enthusiasm for fur has seen sales rocket. In 2007, fur sales worldwide totalled $16.5bn, up by 11% on the previous year, following nine years of continuous growth. Last year the fur trade contributed $21bn to the global economy.
Campaigners admit they are concerned that the industry is winning its fight to redefine fur as something worn by chic, edgy kids rather than the sort of moth-eaten, fusty choice made by traditional grandmothers.
“Young people are more comfortable showing their love of fur,” said Mathews. “Hopefully, our Worst Dressed Award will wake these cold-hearted celebs up to the truth about fur.”
[From The Guardian]
Sigh. My mother had a rabbit’s fur coat. I remember it vividly. It wasn’t the prettiest thing, but it was crazy warm. I think she ended up giving it away several years ago, but that was just because she wanted more space in her coat closet. Anyway, my favorites of the offenders are the people who used to swear they wouldn’t wear fur, and now do. Can you really love fur that much? Think of the bunnies! And the other little furry woodland creatures. Sob!
Rihanna in December, performing in fur in New York. Catherine Zeta-Jones on December 20, 2009 in New York, wearing mink, maybe? Kate Moss on November 13, 2009 in London. Elizabeth Hurley on December 13, 2009. The Duchess of Cornwall on November 25, 2009 (I couldn’t find a photo of her wearing fur, but I just liked that picture). Credit for all: WENN.