Silver Screen & Small Screen Uses of Fur You Need to Know About!
There’s something magical about the way that movies and television shows grab us as viewers, take us on journeys and can make us feel a certain way. For lovers of fashion, more importantly, fur fashionistas, seeing actors wearing powerful, statement furs is invigorating!
There are a ton of different moods that the use of fur in television and in movies can create. Depending on the setting and context of the scene, fur can evoke feelings of power, elegance, wealth, status and more! So we thought it might be fun to dive into the world of film and TV and showcase some of the best uses of fur Hollywood has given us!
Cookie Lyons of Empire
Fox’s break out hit drama, Empire has certainly made a name for itself as far as content and fashion is concerned. Empire revolves around the lives and business moves of music moguls, the Lyons, who runs the family business, Empire Entertainment. Surrounded by celebrities, it only makes sense that their wardrobe reflects their lavish lifestyle!
Parental powerhouse and sometimes a couple, Luscious (Terrence Howard) and Cookie (Taraji P. Henson) Lyon are often parading around in statement fur pieces before making boss moves both in the office and on the streets.
Even though multiple characters on Empire take their swings at wearing fur, Cookie has certainly made fur her signature look. Rita McGhee was Empire season one’s first costume designer and definitely set the tone for Cookie’s dramatic looks. The white mink that Cookie often wears during the first season actually belongs to Janet Bailey who is McGhee’s mother-in-law and ex-wife of Earth, Wind & Fire’s, Philip Bailey.
McGhee has described Cookie’s use of animal fur, to Footwear News, as her being “a bit like a king of the jungle. These animals sit silently until they are ready to strike.” Cookie is clearly not afraid to take fashion risks and is also seen wearing jewel-toned furs. When it comes to fur, there’s nothing that intimidates Cookie Lyon!
Miranda Priestly in The Devil Wears Prada
Meryl Streep did an amazing job channeling Vogue’s editor-in-chief Anna Wintour, as Miranda Priestly in 2006’s The Devil Wears Prada. Being the editor-in-chief of the fictional Runway magazine, Priestly certainly has to show her little worker bees who’s boss and does so effortlessly in many luxurious furs!
Working in and oftentimes shaping the fashion world, Miranda Priestly not only shows her power through her cold and stoic looks but more importantly through her wardrobe. Miranda Priestly definitely gives Cruella De Vil a run for her money as a feared and revered fur-wearing antagonist!
The film’s stylist, Patricia Fields once told the New York Post the costume budget for the film was $100,000 and that they easily used $1 million worth of clothing and we are not even talking strictly fur coats (which they spent $40,000 on)! With a wardrobe worth that much, Miranda Priestly should definitely have a wardrobe envious of the gods!
In the film, we get to see Priestly wear some powerful ensembles. Miranda, like Cookie, is not one to shy away from statement pieces and is often seen in chinchilla and mink furs! One memorable fur piece was Miranda’s knee-length red fur coat, complete with a large black belt cinched at the waist! Miranda also effortlessly paraded around the streets of New York in a knee-length emerald green fur-lined coat and paired it with a vibrant orange scarf! Later in the movie when Miranda and Andy (Anne Hathaway) fly to Paris, one of the world’s fashion capitals, for a fall fashion show we see Miranda is an elegant getup. She is seen in a simple black dress with an exquisite fur wrap.
Clearly Miranda Priestly can afford these extravagant garments and regardless of whether she is rocking a more subdued look or sporting a livelier outfit, her outfits speak status and power!
Sex and the City
How could we forget this fierce show (and series of movies) and all the fashion it brought us! The extravagant fashion was endless and it certainly gave us life!
One of our favorite fur fashion scenes from the Sex and the City franchise comes from the first movie when the girls hit the streets for New York Fashion Week! What stands out to us is how effortlessly these women rock neutral colored fur garments. Sarah Jessica Parker who plays Carrie looks fierce in her chinchilla fur wrap over a Dolce & Gabbana dress, while Samantha rocks a classic, yet elegant white mink coat and black Sonia Rykiel gloves.
Another iconic fur scene from the movie is when Carrie makes wearing pajamas look chic. On New Year’s Eve, Carrie doesn’t want to spend NYE alone, so she spontaneously decides to head to Miranda’s house. Even though it’s late and snowy, she heads there in true Carrie Bradshaw fashion… in style! Carrie pairs her signature beautiful, long muskrat fur coat on top of PJs and completes the look with a silver sequined hat and white heels! One word, wow!
Or better yet, how about when the ladies decided to attend a baseball game in fur getups! Classic and unheard of! Carrie headed to the game in her favorite, oversized muskrat fur coat, pairing it on top of a black floral dress and heels, Charlotte wore a pink fur-lined coat, Miranda chose a grungier getup with a black fur-trimmed collar coat and Samantha tied the group theme together with an animal print fur coat. These ladies can go anywhere in fur!
Even though all of these brave women don spectacular tastes in clothing and fur, these pieces whether paired together or alone will always make a statement on the streets of New York City!
Game of Thrones
Game of Thrones might be for those of a particular taste, but the use of fur on the show is one that can be emulated and translated into any serious fur lover’s wardrobe! Fur is a staple in the costume department on the show and we have certainly taken notice of it!
Many characters on the show have made it their duty to wear fur for a more practical use, mostly to battle the frigid temperatures, but they have done it in a way that has made us raise an approving eyebrow. In season 7, we see costume designer Michele Clapton use the setting and backdrop to her advantage.
Sansa Stark wears a beautiful dark, muted charcoal grey fur wrap that has made us envious and likely to raid the Game of Thrones costume rack. But Sansa isn’t the only one to receive appealing fur outfits this season; Jon Snow also has a few head-turning pieces. One, in particular, is a black and brown fur-lined cloak he wears for a meeting with the whitewalkers. The fit of this cloak, mixed in with the way Snow carries himself in it, makes the look very strong, powerful and masculine. Jon Snow certainly loves his furs!
A notable, conversational fur piece from the show comes from Daenerys Targaryen’s character. In season 7, Daenerys’ wears a dramatic long white patterned fur coat, that’s like a structured white mink coat but with a twist and it certainly caused a buzz in the Game of Thrones fan world! The actual piece might be made from fake fur, but it’s definitely an inspirational style regardless of make.
Cersei Lannister’s character is also another character that is often seen in luxurious and exquisite fur ensembles. Cersei often wears fur capes, like the elegant black fur cape she wore in season 7. This simple but gorgeous piece could definitely be worn in real life over a stylish dress and some heels! Season 1 Cersei donned a more rustic bit of animal fur, in a stole fashion, that looked both cozy and mature.
Although these characters make due of their resources to survive the harsher climate, Clapton makes sure they do it with some style! It’s important to note that in film and television, characters’ outfits often represent symbolic meanings like their current situation or foreshadowing and Game of Thrones definitely makes use of this! So the next time you’re watching your favorite character on screen be sure to try and interpret what their outfit could represent!
We simply list Marilyn Monroe here because there have been many films where the 1950s blonde graced the screen in different fur garments.
For those who love iconic stars of yesteryear, Marilyn Monroe is definitely up there on the list. Monroe wore some classic fur pieces in the 50s and 60s and many of these pieces can be translated into present times. For The Seven Year Itch, most remember her iconic white dress scene, but she also sported a fur stole and red fur slippers. Pairing colored items or accessories with fur will instantly give a glam piece more spunk and will definitely feel livelier and Monroe was not shy about that!
Marilyn Monroe truly portrays old Hollywood glam in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. In the film, Monroe is seen wrapped in a long fox stole and also wears a white mink coat in the film. Stoles and white mink coats scream sophistication, class, and grace and we can certainly take inspiration from Monroe’s style and emulate it in the 21st century! The timelessness of white mink coats should definitely be noted here (especially if you’re looking for your next fur piece), Monroe wore it in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and we talked about it on Samantha in Sex and the City! Owning a timeless piece of fur can really go a long way and last for many generations to come!
Barbra Streisand in Funny Girl
Bold print is for the daring, but fur bold print is for the brave. Barbra Streisand in Funny Girl made bold animal print fur appealing, even in the 1960s. In the film, Streisand effortlessly wears a fur leopard coat with a matching fur leopard hat without a care or worry in the world! If only we all could be this confident!
For a more modern look, you can easily get a more form-fitting leopard print jacket and pair it with a solid black hat! Personally, I like the look of a form-fitting coat, but the strong dramatic look of an oversized fur coat is also beautiful! For more classic fur inspiration, be sure to check out the sequel, Funny Lady.
Ushanka, Coonskin & Other Fur Hats
Hollywood seriously loves to use ushanka hats, especially on men and especially on characters who portray Russians. This can be stereotypical sometimes, but it’s noteworthy because some people can pull it off, so let’s take a quick look at some characters who wore Ushanka and fur hats well!
In the 1988 action film Red Heat, Arnold Schwarenegger played a Russian policeman and often wore a Ushanka hat. Also, a few years back, Keira Knightley in Anna Karenina wore a beautiful silver fox fur hat! A Christmas classic and staple, A Christmas Story has a bully, Scut Farkus, who torments Ralphie and other children and is often seen doing so in his coonskin hat.
Even if these are fictional characters with fictional lives, their wardrobe can definitely be imitated and used today! There’s nothing wrong with finding inspiration from your favorite characters and using it in your own wardrobe, that’s how fashion evolves. So fashionistas if you ever feel inspired by what you see on the silver screen or TV, be bold and make that inspirational piece your own!