FASHION & STYLE: DENMARK HAS SOMETHING TO SAY ABOUT FASHION AND FUR
In Copenhagen, a new exhibition in the National Museum is not taking a political stand against the wearing of fur in Western societies. Titled “Fur: An Issue of Life & Death”, it explores our immediate feelings on wearing skin that once belonged to living, breathing creatures.
Upon entering the exhibit, visitors are invited to try on luxurious, donated coats ranging from ocelot to mink that has been intentionally splattered with blood. A striking mannequin dons a large fox coat, while staring placidly at a stuffed fox trapped in a glass display case.
“It’s not our purpose to tell people if they should be pro or they should be con… We want to show the possibilities and the different voices,” said Ulla Mannering, an anthropologist and senior researcher at the National Museum, to WWD.
Diverse viewpoints from both fashion industry icons and animal rights groups are represented in a multimedia presentation that juxtaposes the luxury and historical utility of fur against the cruel killing of animals. Designer Karl Lagerfeld is quoted critiquing the debate over fur as contradictory in a world where leather products are so readily produced; however, Stella McCartney urges people to shun fur completely.
Anthropological perspective is also included, detailing how indigenous Arctic peoples depended enormously on animal skins and fur, though their frugal assembly differed enormously from the sumptuous high fashion creations by Jean-Paul Gaultier, which are also on display.
Denmark’s hosting of this exhibit has special significance: the country owns 30 percent of the global mink trade, breeds over 17 million of the animals per annum and profited over 2 billion dollars from mink last year.
Text reference via WWD/Images via The National Museum, Copenhagen