There was a fashion show in Brooklyn this weekend ... a woefully ill-conceived fashion show. Models were wearing various items, including a wedding dress, crafted out of fur.
Nutria fur, to be exact.
Have you seen a nutria? They are, to put it lightly, not a lovely animal: big nose, enormous orange teeth (yes, orange teeth), and a pronounced stench are their hallmarks. Not exactly characteristics that make one say, "I must have that animal's pelt for my own."
They are ravaging the swamps of Louisiana, eating away the plants and endangering the whole ecosystem, so hunters are paid to kill them.
And inexplicably, they've become the new "it" fur. Michael Kors and Oscar de la Renta used them in pieces recently, and it abounds on Etsy ... used in merkins. Merkins, for those still blissfully ignorant of this knowledge, are pubic-hair wigs.
To be blunt: Are people effing crazy?
Environmentalists have marketed nutria as a "conscience-friendly" fur because the animal would have died anyway, and lived a happy, stinky, cage-free life in the swamp. I can't imagine that anyone who refuses to wear fur is going to buy that line. Killing an animal and wearing its fur is still a matter of conscience; there's no exception if you only wear the fur of ugly animals.
The fur itself looks awful, too; it's bushy and spiky, and just looks like it wouldn't be soft or nice to wear at all, although apparently it is. It actually used to be popular as a coat; people giving up fur in the 1980s was one of the reasons the nutria population exploded.
At least they aren't still being marketed as meat, which was the last ploy to reduce the nutria population; I've read the smell of cooking them can be compared to the nerve gas sarin.
Would you wear a nutria coat?
Image via Guerretto/Flickr