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Fashion furs with couture chic: go fur it!

March 18, 1997

PARIS (AP) _ Animal rights activists might be gnashing their teeth, but you can look chic in Paris with Davy Crockett styles or sweeping Marlene Dietrich mink maxi-coats.

Winding up a week of fall-winter ready-to-wear shows, the house of Revillon laid on a quiet, tasteful show Tuesday of luxury furs plus leather or fabric outfits in their Right Bank salon.

One of the oldest luxury companies in Paris, Revillon has been around since 1723. It sees real furs as a boon to an elegant woman’s wardrobe.

Designed by German-born Thomas Maier and Carole Rifflard, a young Frenchwoman, the collection of coats, duffels and sweaters in everything from fabulous golden fox to sumptuous sable looked every bit the part of haute couture.

A terrific golden-red fox coat appeared with an iridescent saffron velvet lean trouser suit, while a remarkable striking mosaic-style chinchilla wrap had a silvery trouser suit and camel-hair pullover. It’s all trendy, warm and glamorous, but not too showy.

The ``knitted″ mink outfits are young, tufted and swingy; the long sable tent coats are beautifully-made.

Sheared mink that resembles beaver is dyed for fashion colors, and looks gorgeous in a rust-colored knee-length coat, or in lichen and honey-gold.

The show went without a hitch, even though an anti-fur lobbyist from the Netherlands was forcibly ejected from the Karl Lagerfeld show the day before.

``I think the anti-fur lobby has died down here,″ said Revillon spokeswoman Mary-Ethel Simeonides. ``But obviously I’m a champion of furs.″

The slim iridescent trouser outfits by Maier looked tempting for day or evening, especially in shades of silver-shot plumb purple. But so did the iridescent, chocolate-brown taffeta rain coat with a marmot collar.

``I appreciate beautiful furs,″ said Pat McColl, a Paris-based fashion journalist born in Canada, who finds fur essential to stave off the arctic Canadian winters.

People living in France and Italy are fashion-conscious and almost blase about the animal-rights movement.

``I’m afraid the anti-fur lobby is quite active up in Germany,″ Maier said after his show for Revillon. ``But here they consider it a fashion item, and I also love working with it.″

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