An overwhelming amount of fluffy stuff, both real and faux presented itself as a major fashion force for fall. From cuddly shearlings to shaggy haired goats to slick fox furs, designers softened up a surprising array of shoes and handbags for the winter season. It's typical to see seasonal displays of fur being used as trims and touches on accessories, but this time around designers went whole hog, so to speak. Not only are entire bags crafted from fur, but really for the first time I can ever recall, shoes too are in on the fur game in a big way.
Houses as disparate as Gucci, Stella McCartney and Maison Margiela showed shoes that were fully covered in long mops of hair, almost as if the shoes sprouted their own glorious manes. The fuzzy stuff also appears in the guise of totally unexpected, delicious details. Just look at Gucci's logo clogs and loafers, each with long, unruly locks of fur lining their foot beds. Not only is the fur visible but it's exploding out, nearly long enough to drag on the floor. Something else to contemplate, these shoes were worn by both the female and the male models.
No longer a hidden luxury, this is full-on fur making a brand new statement, commanding attention in new ways, shifting its status. I love Francesco Russo's treatment of hair calf on his stiletto sandals , a singular strip of fur jutting out on the back of the shoe like a mohawk. That's one way of adding edge to an otherwise classic high heel.
Whether or not you think wearing real fur is ok, you can't deny that fake fur looks equally inviting. The technology behind the faux is so advanced, you don't have to drape yourself in the real thing if you don't want to anymore, it's really that good now. Take for example the collection from The Shrimps, a line founded on the concept of faux fur that is so very obviously fake wtih crazy colored coats, bags, stoles and shoes fashioned in wild shades and kooky combos. Their quick success with the younger, trendsetting crowd proves the continued interest and adoration in the look and texture that fur can provide, moving easily through generations of women. Stella McCartney, a staunch animal rights activist won't even use leather in her collections, but condones going faux for fall. Just check out her major shag-o-delic black booties. They are quite an endorsement for the luscious look.
There is something about the everlasting mystique of fur that makes it so appealing. Perhaps it goes back to our cave-woman days when it was simply a necessity. Prehistoric trendsetting aside, its charms continue to draw us in. Clearly our shoes and handbags don't need a mink or fox or goat fur coat, but they most certainly are beautiful to behold when they do.