In times of an economic downturn, the fashion world looks to ways to renew our desire for luxury. It may seem contradictory but in many ways it stands to reason that fur has played such a prominent role on the runways for several years running; luxurious and glamorous, faux and real, yet warm and practical, the resurgence of fur continues strongly as a fashion trend in fall 2011 and beyond as a part of 2012’s fashions.
Read on to find out more about where the fur and how to style it in 2011 and 2012. And don’t forget: if you’d like to keep up to date with all the latest fashion trends, then subscribe to Fashionising.com’s newsletter or RSS feed.
Find out more:
- Real or faux fur?
- Recent evolution of the fur trend
- Fur in 2011 and 2012
- Fur coats and trims
- Fur sleeves
- Brightly colored fur
- Fur accessories
- How to wear fur
- Picture inspiration
The purpose of this article is not to comment on the fur debate, but rather to report an element of fashion that, in spite of the efforts of groups such as PETA, has swept the runways. Of course it wasn’t all genuine fur; plenty of designers from Chanel to Stella McCartney to Topshop have produced countless fake fur offerings. The choice to wear or not wear fur is entirely up to your personal beliefs; what we would say is that any of the on-trend styles in 2011 and beyond can work in either real fur or faux fur, as long as the latter is of quality.
Faux fur at Topshop Unique A/W ’11
When fur clothing recaptured the runways in 2008 and 2009 it rode in on a wave of vintage elegance and bohemian luxury, meaning there was everything from classic fur stoles to rock-chic fur chubbys and all with more than a hint of Russian influence in the mix. As it continued to evolve we saw fur find its way onto everything from hats to bags to boots, before it branched off into primitive pelt-like styles as the fierce fashion warrior marched onto the scene in 2010.
There were certainly those who imagined that fur, with all the controversy it generates and all the violent opposition it receives, would quickly pass as a trend. But the exact opposite has happened. The popularity of fur, whether genuine or imitation, has stayed strong on the runways and on the streets.
As the Fashionising.com team jetted from Copenhagen (who opened their fashion week with a catwalk showing dedicated to real fur) to New York to London, Milan and Paris, barely did we go a day without seeing fur on the autumn / fall 2011 runways. But the evolution was such that it was more of an accepted and ingrained part of a collection rather than the focus of it. In short, for winter 2011 and into 2012 fur clothing is all about statement fur coats, whether the coat is made completely of fur or simply accented with it.
But a fur coat alone isn’t the whole of the trend. In fact, fur in 2011 and 2012 is all about the way it’s used to interpret the season’s other dominant trends.
For the immediate future the the return of 70s fashion is the major influencer upon fur. When Gucci’s girls sauntered down their autumn 2011 runway it was in luxuriously fluffy furs that were died in bright jewel tones and paired against the unmistakable 70s glamour of felt hats and retro leathers. On other catwalks fur jackets were designed in such a way that they might as well have have come straight off the backs of 1970s icons Maryanne Faithful and Anita Pallenberg.
If we were to peek beyond the immediate future and take a look at the influence of 2012’s fashion upon fur, what then might we see? The 1930s and 1940s tie in closely to the sophisticated takes on seventies dressing, and 2012’s potential for a 1920s fashion revival is also bound to have an impact.
But they’re all styles of fur that are on the horizon and may yet come to dominate. Whereas these are the styles that are dominating now:
Long, short, thick, fine, real fur or faux – fur coats as a winter 2011 fashion trend have few rules. On the runways, however, they’ve been mostly to the classic side, leaning to either all-over fur or outerwear with fur trim.
For the latter the most common trims are fur collars and fur cuffs, though on the fall 2011 runways we also saw fur edging on the hems of jackets or skirts.
Fur chubby at Michael Kors, A/W ’11
For your full dose of picture inspiration, featuring dozens of fur, faux fur, and fur trimmed coats on the runway, head to the inspiration gallery.
In recent years the dominant style was the boho fur gillet; a sleeveless vest where the fur covered only the torso. In 2011 that style has been replaced by the inverse: a jacket with full fur sleeves. This creates an entirely different look, a sudden burst of volume that can turn the wearer into some angelic, winged creature. This style works fantastically well when paired with structure and tailoring and is a hark back to the fur fashions of the 30s and 40s.
Fur sleeves at Rebecca Taylor A/W ’11
For more picture inspiration of fur sleeves on the runway you can click through our inspiration gallery. Follow that link to head straight to the fur sleeve examples, or for the full fur gallery click on the thumbnails at the bottom of the article.
Natural fur colors are still the most prominent, from snowy white to grey, brown to black. But 2011 has also heralded in the aforementioned trend of brightly colored furs. Dyed to unnatural colours like bold shades of purple, green, red or blue, these are furs that stand out doubly much.
Bright blue fur at Gucci A/W ’11
For more of Gucci’s brights along with other coloured fur examples, see our inspiration gallery. Follow that link to skip to the coloured fur images, or view the full gallery below.
Outerwear may reign supreme when it comes to fur in 2011 and 2012, but fur accessories can still be found aplenty. Whether a furry Cossack hat, fur neck-warmer or scarf, fur lined boots or gloves, you can add a cosy touch of fur to any outfit without having to go for a full coat or piece of fur clothing.
A removable fur collar at Christian Cota A/W ’11
From fur hats to collars and scarves, you can see more fur accessories on the runway in the picture inspiration gallery. Follow that link to skip straight to the fur accessories pictures.
Here are the 6 ways to wear fur in 2011 and 2012.
- Take it back to the 70s by wearing a pair of flared jeans with a belted fur coat or a cropped fur chubby.
- The swinging sixties will be capturing our imaginations as we move further towards 2012. A fur coat with a mini skirt screams 60s chic.
- For a powerful, masculine-inspired look influenced by the 30s and 40s pair a luxe fur coat with some tailored wide-leg pants.
- For a feminine take on the same era you could opt for a fur stole (though we haven’t seen as many of these in 2011) or a longer coat with fur trim.
- Fur and leather go naturally hand in hand; so any pieces or outfits that mix fur with leather clothing will work well.
- Faux or real or not at all – it doesn’t matter. Fur is (and always will be) controversial. If you’re not comfortable wearing it, don’t feel that you have to. And if you are comfortable wearing it, enjoy it whether its real or reproduction.
Think fur as a runway trend has only been for women? Think again. While nowhere near as prominent, fur for men did feature on many a fall 2011 menswear catwalk. Lagging a little behind womenswear, 2011 showed hints of the primitive pelt styles for men, spotted at the likes of Qasimi Homme and Balmain. And while full fur coats had their time on several runways the takes most likely to translate to the street are the pieces of outerwear with fur trim, like parkas with fur-lined hoods or fur-collared overcoats. If you’re looking to venture into fur coat territory as a male however, we’d recommend aviator styles as the key in 2011; fur can work as a trim in place of shearling.
Men’s fur at Balmain, A/W ’11
After more visual inspiration of how to wear fur in 2011 / 2012? Or more examples of the types of fur being shown on the current runways? For examples of all the styles mentioned above click on the thumbnails below and peruse the full fur trend picture gallery.