The mouth, open in horror and indignation; the pristine bob, for just one delicious moment, mussed: It was the proverbial shot heard ’round the world a few weeks back, as everyone from Gawker.com to the Washington Post fell over themselves to post those sweet photos of Anna Wintour getting pied by anti-fur activists. But take a look at that picture more closely. How come the fur-trimmed jacket Wintour was wearing emerged relatively unscathed?
Despite PETA’s efforts, fur remains one of our most resilient fashion luxuries, making its predictable grand comeback every couple of years or so. Regurgitated again as one of fall’s most pushed trends, we don’t expect PETA to take the return of this conspicuous-consumption trademark so lightly. What was big news for us that week is but a drop in the bucket for protesters’ priceless acts. It’s a history fraught with faux bloodshed, PETA members drinking from toilets, supermodel traitors, and more than one tofu cream pie sacrificing its life for the good of humanity and little chinchillas everywhere.
Here’s a recap of the highlights:
THE PUBLIC HUMILIATIONS!
Earlier this year, Anna gets pied before the Chanel couture show in Paris. She famously announces that tofu is good for the skin. It’ll take a lot more than one measly pie to best Nuclear Wintour, bitches! In September, the editor launches Men’s Vogue, complete with a hunting article entitled “Bloody Good Time.”
PETA shows ads during Fashion Week that feature unbecoming images of Anna Wintour and designer Donatella Versace. Is Anna constipated? Is Anna in pain? Is Anna chewing on an intern? Wintour’s picture is only surpassed by this kinder one of Donatella.
PETA launches Anna Wintour’s Viscera, a foul-smelling “perfume,” at Wintour’s Moulin Rouge party. Viscera, an acronym for “Vixen, Impaled, Stomach, Carcass, Entrails, Rotting, Aroma,” comes with its own fake maggot floating inside. Mmmmm, sounds tasty. Does anyone still have a bottle lying around?
Michael Kors gets pied during New York Fashion Week, as he takes his final bow. It’s a little cruel, but Kors seemed like such a perma-tanned goober anyway during those Project Runway appearances.
Oscar de la Renta takes a pie. He is currently a two-time recipient. In an interview with Fashion Week Daily, he commented on his experiences: “I was doing promotions on the ground floor of a store, once in Dallas and another time in Portland, Oregon. I got a huge lemon meringue pie in my face. The first time I didn’t press charges because I said, ‘This is a desperate woman. But next time, please try another flavor.’ ”
Protesters (acting independently of PETA) paint bloody paws and the phrase, “Fur Hag” on the steps of Wintour’s West Village townhouse. Double screw-you bonus: Wintour’s former nanny later sues Condé Nast, claiming the fumes from the thinner used to remove the paint caused her brain damage. The editor fires back during Vogue‘s Christmas party at Balthazar, delivering a plate of rare roast beef to protesters outside.
A fur protester (again, acting independently of PETA) dumps a dead raccoon on Anna Wintour’s plate at the Four Seasons, shouting the trademark Wintourian insult, “Fur hag!” We can’t help but be a little disappointed with protesters on this one. You drop a rotting raccoon carcass on the woman’s dinner plate and the best insult you can come up with is “fur hag”? The Independent does later track down the raccoon-thrower, who vouched for Wintour’s loyal fan base and said, “There are many people at Condé Nast and at Vogue who wanted to help me, and I soon got a call telling me she was going to be at the Four Seasons.” Ooh . . . mutiny! A new wrinkle in the fabric!
THE VITAL CELEBRITY ENDORSEMENTS!
Sarah Jessica Parker claims that unlike Carrie in Sex and the City, she’d never sport fur. But when she turns into her TV self—you know, the one that’s broadcast into millions of TV sets—all slaughtered animals are a go.
Cindy Crawford, Linda Evangelista, and Naomi Campbell pose for PETA’s “I’d Rather Go Naked than Wear Fur” campaign . . . But model it later—no apologies needed! Fur supercop Heather Mills McCartney, whose prosthetic leg became detached in an earlier PETA scuffle, lashes back by saying, “Are they broke? Do they live in a shed?” McCartney reserves special animosity for Campbell, whom she’d admittedly never met, deeming her actions “superficial, shallow, and hypocritical.” Bet Campbell’s never heard that one before.
Gisele Bündchen, who once posed in fur ads, regrets her choice: “It was a bad decision on my part, because I don’t wear fur.” Awesome celebrity disavowal—coming conveniently after she’s pocketed the money.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 18, 2005