Thursday, March 03, 2005

Fur ‘tails’ and Other Stories


Anne Dee’s large selection of fur hats.

I visited third generation furrier Anne Dee Goldin (214 West 29th street, 212 239 0512) in her booth at the Fashion Coterie (held at the West Side Piers), a three day event that ended this past Tuesday. Perfect timing, even though we are just weeks away from the official beginning of Spring, and we are already in the month of March, you certainly couldn’t tell it from the weather early this week, as snow covered much of the city. Of course, it is just this kind of unpredictability that can put a smile on the face of any self-respecting furrier. Even though global warming is a well documented trend, and winters have become milder, we are still subjected to cruel, often bitter remnants of the season. And what better way to embrace nature than by wearing fur?

What makes Ms. Goldin’s accessories (fabulous fur hats and scarves), and ready to wear (fur vests, boleros, shrugs, capes, ponchos, sweaters, jackets, and coats) stand out is her understanding and embrace of the past, her retro sensibility (vintage is admittedly a large inspiration). BUT it is all tempered and balanced by a desire to go forward, and keep a light modern touch through pared down clean shapes, sporty touches, and a notable absence of unnecessary embellishment. As she puts it, “this is a designer collection not a fur line” and she proudly explains that she is not carried in fur stores but in designer areas within high end department stores (like Barneys New York and Neiman Marcus).

Her designs are always smart, chic, and classic -- they are not trendy (‘in’ one moment, ‘out’ the next)-- and can be viewed as investments and collectibles to wear and enjoy forever. Colors are mainly neutral and highly flattering (you’re not going to see bright fuchsia or chrome yellow), and even the pieces that are to ‘dye’ for (or should I say, to ‘dye fur’) like her frosted or bleached cherry foxes, lapis or peridot American Raccoon, khaki or hunter ‘micro sheared’ mink, are subtle yet unusual.

Anne Dee’s large selection of hats, from bushy badger to tailored mink, has become a major trademark (its all about “wild heads” as she puts it). Her ‘floppy’ hats, fur trapper styles, and especially, her ‘Davey Crocket’- complete with raccoon tail- is currently one of her favorite pieces (there is even a fur tailed raccoon scarf in the line-up). She had put the finishing touches on these pieces prior to Olympus Fashion Week, but was amused when she saw that when Michael Kors presented his ‘All American’ collection, his version of the fur tailed ‘Davey Crocket’ (produced by Pologeorgis Furs) was ubiquitous on both the guys and gals he sent down the runway. As they say, “Great minds think alike”.


Marilyn Kirschner

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