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Faux Real

Jill Harbin

Faux Real examines the use of fur in fashion. Originating from the necessity for warmth in a winter climate, fur pelts turned into hats and coats have since become high-fashion items. The exploitation of fur for fashion has sparked great controversy, sparking debates and protests around its ethics, culture, and cruelty. Faux Real incorporates a mixture of pictures: high-fashion Vogue covers, women from the 1940’s sporting fur coats, and fashion campaigns in which models are holding up signs protesting against the use of fur. I placed historical fashion articles as the background- to represent a historical/ “past” layer. On top, I’ve placed modern-day pictures- including my self photography—to represent both the controversy, and lingering popularization of fur in today’s fashion industry. In my self portrait, I’m wearing one of my grandmother’s old fur coats to imitate the photo of the ladies dressed in their fur. My grandmother would have been a part of a similar era, one in which middle-class women would wear fur as a sign of familial wealth. The collage’s dominant colors are orange, red, and brown, corresponding to the physical colors of many animal furs. Last but not least, I used the fur from an old teddy bear to cut out the letters “Faux Real.”, a play on words from the phrases “Faux Fur.”, “For Real.”, and “Real Fur”. This collage was part of the student exhibit Hotel Metropole (curated by Dr Elena Siemens), IRS Studio, University of Alberta, November 2018.