14 February 2011

Fashion Week: NYPD goes undercover, Tim Gunn and friends have anti-fur party

Fashion Week is in full swing here in New York City, but unlike Norway, which has pledged to go fur free for their fashion week, there are a plethora of pelts draping hungry looking models parading down runways.

What isn’t going on is protests. Maybe the protesters read that the NYPD is taking extra precautions this year, including planting undercover officers amidst the stylish crowd in and outside of the tents, to guard against disruptions, like tofu pies being slung at that Prada wearing Devil - Anna Wintour.

However, there is a small contingent of designers and celebrities who continue to maintain a fur free stance amongst the mink trimmed madness.

Project Runway’s Tim Gunn and new PETA nude model Taraji Henson helped to represent fur free fashion week at a PETA party held last Thursday at Stella McCartney’s Boutique in the trendy meatpacking district. Gunn, who is adamantly against using fur in his designs, told the crowd he’s pushing for other designers to drop using fur as well. “I'm on a campaign to get as many fashion designers as possible to stop using it. I'd just like to sit with them and have a talk and ask, 'Is it really necessary?'"

Gunn, a former teacher at Parsons School of Design, told the fashion website Styleite that it is important to be educated about what the clothing you buy is made out of. “I wanted my students to be fully informed about decisions that they make not only about fur, but about leather, about wool,” Gunn said. “Not saying you can’t use these things, but saying, if you’re going to use them, you need to consider where they’re coming from, and how the animals are treated, whether it’s a fox or it’s a cow.”

When confronted with the fact that he was wearing leather shoes at a PETA event, Gunn told Styleite that while there are many stylish fake fur options, there are less so with leather. “My advocacy is really directed toward fur specifically,” Gunn said. “It’s so much more succinct and tangible, and there are lots of fake fur options. It’s not like it’s the only thing you can do. There are fewer options when it comes to leather, at least right now.”

Taraji Henson also seemed to not get the leather is also made out of dead animals memo, as she was photographed last week at a fashion show decked out in leather. "I feel like a chic biker," she said.

Other fur free supporters at the party included Russell Simmons, Olivia Munn and my favorite punk rocker chick, Joan Jett.

Robin Lawless | @robmlaw | email
Robin lives in New York City where she loves to check out all the vegan eateries. When she's not writing for TDIV, Robin enjoys taking dance lessons, reading, practicing yoga, hanging out with her cat Maggie, baking vegan treats, and volunteering at Catskill Animal Sanctuary. Feel free to add Robin as a friend on Facebook.

Photo credit:cc:flickr.com/photos/kanaka