Wingham has a great Vinnies op-shop on the main street, and just as we were leaving my friend Kim asked if they had anything out the back that they thought we might like.
The helpful shop assistants came back with three racks of vintage furs (real and fake). The fake ones were a bit matted, but the real ones (all circa 40s-50s) were in pristine condition - i've never seen real furs that well looked after.
And they were all $25-$30 each. Shops in Sydney sell vintage fake fur for $80+ - these were the real deal.
Ethical crises ensued.
I'm a vegetarian, and feel that farming and killing an animal just to wear its skin is wrong (i'm not talking about indigenous populations or feral pests here). Modern fur is pretty hideous (Lara Bingle, i'm looking at you), we should know better. Fake ones look authentic and glam.
But vintage, thats a different kettle of fish.
But then a friend told me about 'vintage' shops in the UK recreating vintage looks with modern furs - is that true? I'm pretty sure it doesn't happen in Australia as our desire for fur isn't that huge, but the thought it may happen is a bit stomach churning.
"Somehow having a beautiful vintage fur coat cut-up and used for animal beds or seeing it clogging up a landfill doesn’t seem to honor either the animal who gave its life or the designer or seamstress who toiled for hours to create the garment" - Ethical Style.
I bought two of the Wingham furs - a fox stole and a wallaby (i think?) capelet, both from the 40s/50s. When I put them on, I thought of the woman who owned them 60 years ago - how they might have been a present from a husband who's always away but adored his wife.
I wondered how they ended up in Wingham! I bet the owner looked glamorous (if not overdressed) at the Country Women's Association Christmas Ball...
|Vintage wallaby capelet|