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Winter 2004-2005

One can say with certainty that the new Autumn/Winter 2004/2005 season is a revolutionary one. An absolutely amazing thing has happened in the world of fashion: fur which has recently been spreading little by little and consolidating its position in the greatest fashion designers" collections, has now taken possession of catwalks and has begun to reign supreme. The up-coming season has a great variety of furs than ever before. International fashion scenes have declared fur the "in thing" for the approaching cold season.

The catwalks of New York Fashion Week

Garments for the up-coming season are feminine and graceful; coloures are vivid, in opposition to the grey and brown colours of gloomy winter. Cloaks, boas, tippets, waist-coats, big shawl collars, silhouette fitting at the waist, medium to long skirts, three-quarter-sleeves, - here fur is the supplementary detail or quite often the main feature of many garments.

In the season when catwalks are subject to animal-painting trends - anything from sable collars to alligator-shoes, fashion designers prefer to dye the furs they work with. Esteban Cortazar dyes the fox fur collar of a black cashmere-coat ultramarine. Douglas Hannant dyes it crimson. Anna Sui adds orange and fuchsia fur-details to cardigans and denim jackets. Many designers clip fur on collars in order to make them look even more attractive.

The new season on the New York catwalks is a explosion of various fur-garments and accessories. Marc Jacobs doesn"t care for fur-collars but fur-hats have become the main feature of his compositions, other examples are Matthew Williamson"s pink fur waist-coat and Carolina Herrera"s and Douglas Hannant"s aubergine-coloured fur waist-coat. The hit of the season in Michael Kors" collection is a tiny waist-coat called the "shrug", which is made of lavender-coloured mink.

Despite stepping back from usual conservative decisions fashion designers don"t neglect traditions. Ralph Rucci for example has made several garments in the traditional style: the ever-present poncho and classy fur-tippets, composed entirely of honey-coloured sable.

Paris Fashion Week. The PrЙt-А-Porter Show

The Paris PrЙt-А-Porter Autumn/Winter 2004/2005 shows have went under the badge of fur. As the king of catwalks fur has taken hold of all the designers. Light, graceful, feminine garments, tippets, boas, shawl-collars, knitted mink - there was practically no collection that didn"t have fur in it.

The smash-hit of Louis Vuitton"s collection was his famous hand bag with a brand logo that was made of mink. Paco Rabann has brought the long-forgotten grey squirrel back to life and it is threatening rabbit-fur, which has been used by designers in fur-coats and waist-coat for a long time. Ungaro paid tribute to the fashion of the 50s and used leopard-pattern fur in his collection.

However the favourite choice of the fashion designers in Paris was astrakhan and super-fine astrakhan, which they used almost as a fabric. Garments made of astrakhan look more like coats and jackets than usual fluffy fur-coats.

The Frankfurt Haute Couture Show

Lightness, softness and comfort are the golden rules of the fashion fur in the up-coming season, these rules are dictated by the international fur- and leather-industry.

Fur-fashion has never been as diverse as it was when presented at the shows in Frankfurt on the threshold of the Autumn/Winter 2004/2005 season. The leitmotif of the majority of the collections were garments following the retro fashion of the 60s-80s. The designers created an innovative style by looking at the fashion of a past epoch in a new light, making fusing of details which have never been combined before. From this point of view the collections appeared chic, feminine, sporty and urban at the same time. Fur played an important role in this "traditional-contemporary" game.

Narrow, knee-length, mini, straight and A-shaped designs of coats and fur-coats are influenced by the fashion of the 60s. Clear set shoulders in disproportion to wide sleeves reflects the 80s fashion. Extremely high collars boggle the imagination. Other collars drape over the front part of the coat.

The so called "round coat" originated in the 70s, because of its roundish form it reminds of a cocoon. This resemblance is emphasized by the material which the coat is made from - fur with long top hair: fox or Mongolian lamb. The complete opposite of this style is the one showing the slimness of the figure. The latter style is created with the use of shorthaired or clipped furs, but sleeve and collar decorations are made of fur with long top hair.

One of the main features of the shows in Frankfurt was the incursion of furs into men"s fashion. Both in menswear and womenswear designers prefer the same kinds of furs. These are fox, racoon, squirrel and American wolf among the furs with long top hair and the usual mink, weasel, rabbit and astrakhan among the shorthaired furs.

Frankfurt Fashion Week has represented such trends in fur-processing technologies as fancy fur-cutting, dyeing fur vivid and unnatural colours and another new technique this season - the stamp effect.

German fashion designers, unlike the New York ones, still favour the scale of grey and brown tones; but this bias considers only the natural tones of precious furs. The rest of the designers are all for contrasts and combination of unexpected colours - all this is done so that the fur catches the eye and leaves a lasting impression.

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