Peruse any high street store and, chances are, you’ll spot some sort of frothy, fluffy delight hanging on the rails, be it a rainbow-striped scarf or a chunky, shaggy, Chewbacca-on-acid coat. And if you’ve scrolled down your Instagram feed recently, you’ll probably have seen similarly funky faux furs on the backs of some of your favourite celebs. It’s official: faux fur is here to stay, and it’s bigger, bolder and brighter than ever.
One major player in turning fashion’s collective consciousness towards ‘fun’ fur is Brit brand Shrimps, the brainchild of London College of Fashion graduate Hannah Weiland. Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last four years, you’ll definitely have seen Weiland’s work before, even if her brand isn’t on your radar yet. Shrimps has successfully infiltrated the world of Instagram’s Fashion Elite, garnering support from the likes of Alexa Chung (a mega-fan, who has worn everything from the brand’s signature 60s-cut coat to its distinctly un-fluffy pyjama shirts) and Poppy Delevingne (also a mega-fan), as well as Susie Lau, Kate Bosworth and Pandora Sykes. Even Vogue editor Alexandra Shulman has given the brand her stamp of approval, having recently donned one of its coats for the launch of Vogue: Voice of a Century.
Shrimps was born out of Weiland’s desire to be able to wear something with all of real fur’s luxurious connotations, gloss and warmth, but also something cruelty-free. Frustrated by the lack of options, Weiland did what any sensible designer does: took matters into her own hands. Shrimps’s USP is its cheeriness, which, given the brand’s candy-cane colour palette and slight ‘eccentric granny’ vibes, is hard to avoid. Other brands are also getting in on the fun, like Helen Moore – whose budget-friendly pom pom keyrings will undoubtedly feature in many stylish stockings this Christmas – and Charlotte Simone.
Over the last few years, the market for faux fur has had a bit of an overhaul. Developments in textile technology mean that the scratchy, badly dyed nylon trims of the past have since been replaced by something more luxurious and soft – a step closer to the ‘real deal’, without any devastating animal cruelty involved. Who wants a stodgy mink coat when you can have one in bright pink with orange stripes, anyway?!
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