Although we don't know anything about fashion, we'd like to make a claim about Gareth Pugh's ratty mink coat, as seen in the latest W: It's the most subversive anti-fur protest we've ever seen, and as such, we think it's brilliant. The coat plays on the classic fault lines of outsider and insider - the "anti fur" stance in fashion is often stuck with the "outsider" label, thanks largely to PETA and their disrespectful and immature protest tactics. Okay, Christy Turlington once said she'd rather go naked than wear fur - but she's still modeled for houses that use it. And although Stella McCartney is a vegan designer, her parent company is the Gucci Group, who would skin zebras and kittens if it meant the latest It Bag. Meanwhile, the "insider" name gets tagged to Fendi and J. Mendel - both houses whose fur legacy continues, thanks to ingenious design. But that's where Gareth enters the picture. He's a fabulous fabric architect, so he can build a great jacket. He's also a master prankster, in the vein of Tim Burton or Damien Hirst, and his exploration of grim grins is part of his blackly beautiful style. His rat mink "passes" the style bar because it's well built and terrifically terrifying - it references Isabella Blow at her darkest and hottest. It reflects the Grey Gardens sense of beautiful decay. It looks like Johnny Depp would dig it. But the joke is really on the wearer. It may be a beautiful and historically rich piece of fashion - but it's also a pile of dead rats. Which you're wearing because you think it makes you look powerful/ beautiful/ rich/ It. In fact, it's just gross. So is fur, unless it belongs to a living animal. Thank you Gareth.
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