With summer finally here, fashion mainly focuses on traditional ‘light’ fabrics like cotton, linen and silk. And while you’d expect to see fur in autumn/winter collections, spring/summer catwalks are increasingly showing fur designs that can be worn in milder temperatures.
The summer fur items in question are a good deal easier to wear than the ‘furkini’ that Kim Kardashian sported earlier in the year or the fur underwear that Carla Bruni modelled for Vivienne Westwood 20 years ago!
Designers who have shown warm-weather friendly fur trends include Blumarine, Burberry Prorsum, Christian Dior, Dries van Noten, Fendi, Giambattista Valli, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Maison Margiela, Moncler Gamme Rouge, Moschino, Oscar de la Renta, Prada, Roberto Cavalli, Schiaparelli, Sonya Rykiel, Valentino, Versace, Yiqing Yin and many others.
An ever-growing body of innovative techniques developed by both established and new designers as well as auction house studios means fur is becoming increasingly versatile.
Warm-weather designs feature specialist cutting techniques (e.g. ‘Jigsaw’, ‘Windows’, ‘Net Technique’- see accompanying visual guide) as well as cutting/stretching techniques (e.g. ‘Airgallon’) that make for a lighter fabric. Fur strips can also be knitted and crocheted together for garments that are both wearable and affordable. Floating, feminine styles are created when different types of fur are combined with silk organza, silk duchesse or lace using appliqué-type technique (e.g. ‘Feathers’, Leaf,’ ‘Furry Lace’ and ‘Avantgarde’ – see visuals), made into gossamer-light dresses and skirts.
Many summer fur items incorporate shaved mink where the soft under-fur is exposed so that it looks and feels like velvet. Swakara from Namibia is also a popular warm-weather choice, combined with a range of different materials or used on its own.
Mark Oaten, CEO of IFF, said: “The auction houses and designers are really pushing the boundaries when it comes to developing beautiful, wearable techniques that mean that fur can be a wonderful spring/summer choice. It is now common to see a broad range of designers using these techniques on their runway shows. We are light-years away from fur being simply a cold weather choice with an emphasis on heavy mink coats.
“For those who enjoy and appreciate fur, there is a growing choice of items to choose from, regardless of the season, thanks to the innovation that is taking place in the industry.”
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