Monday, February 2, 2009


A story, in two parts.

Saturday night I had occasion to dine at Maestro's. It was an evening of classics. A late reservation, a dirty martini followed by shrimp cocktails and perfectly seared fillets paired with creamed spinach. A classic American dinner accompanied by a lovely '03 Chateauneuf du Pape. Our patio table kept us away from the crush of the crowded upstairs bar and invited plenty of people watching.

Enter the object of my desire. The Monkey Fur Coat. She passed by our table swathed in a cloud of black. The long monkey hairs danced in the breeze, like a Tim Burton ballet. I had to know, was that actually Monkey Fur?

At first she wouldn't tell me. I assured her I was not in the business of destroying works of art. Her face brightened and she nearly stumbled (in her high patent leather booties) before she slyly informed me, "It's vintage Monkey." I wanted to grab the hair and toss her out of that coat, right over the balcony.

Perhaps you have never seen a Monkey Fur Coat. You have not been besotted by it's sheen, or enchanted by its dark, delicate nature. If coats were people, she would be that slightly drunken French girl, softly singing in the back of a dark restaurant in the Marais, at a table alone. You would not be able to take your eyes off of her. All black hair and white skin, unfocused eyes, wistful melodies. Until she looks at you. Even before she does, you know it. You're in love with her.

Now, snap out of it! We're not in Paris after all. The poor girl in the coat was terrified to tell me what it was! We live in California where fur is taboo. It rarely gets cold enough to actually need fur. For years I have struggled with my closet of furs. They were passed on to me after several deaths and years of languishing in trunks and closets. Anything with a head or all its legs still attached were shipped directly to a Hollywood prop house. They were creepy.

But I kept the blonde mink bolero. And the short beaver cape. Over the years I have added to and swapped out fur pieces. In fact this Christmas I parted with the grey fox collar car coat that was a Valentine's present (a million years ago!). Sparkles loves it and it fits her better than it ever fit me. My one standing rule with fur is that it must be vintage. I reason that if it has been dead longer than I have been alive, it's fair game. Oh, the word play.

How can one love something so confused and cruel as fur? They say all things in love are fair. And this is love.

*ps anyone wanting to add a monkey fur coat to my closet, size small and hip length. thanks!

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