Category Archives: mink coat

Venus in Fur a la Place de la Concorde

Mother in her mink at the Place de la Concorde
It is hard for many in this post-PETA, animal rights oriented time to understand the meaning of fur, especially mink, to women of my mother’s generation.  More than the couture clothes, fabulous jewelry and furnishings she was able to buy, the apartments in the Dakota, on Park Avenue, in South Kensington she was able to rent or own, a fur coat signaled her arrival to herself.  And of her many fur coats, her mink was the most important–an incredibly warm, impossibly soft piece of fashion armor that was also as intimate as any item of lingerie.  Her mink was for Mother a cocoon she could wear–it signalled her transformation from provincial Kansas City girl to jet-setting socialite even as it comforted her and protected her from doubters, snobs, and inconvenient questions.  And as the money began to run out, the jewels and Mercedes sold, the coat could provide glamourous cover and a blanketing reminder of where she’d been and how far she’d gone.