I felt compelled to post this coat after my weekend in Portland, which is notoriously known for it's political correctness. The furs I have inherited are beautiful, and yet sadly, deteriorating at an alarming rate. The coat I am wearing in this photo is a vintage lynx coat from the house of Revillion. As a little girl, the Revillion department of Saks was my favorite destination. I used to love to burrow under the racks of furs, and if it was quiet, try on and "model" the coats. I so wish I still remembered the name of the Revillion deprtmtent manager, because he was so kind to me, and a dear friend of my parents. Fur is not PC, I totally get that, but does that apply to the old stuff? Before we were collectively, con fur? Is there any grandfather clause for folks that inherited these pieces VS buying them new?
Another note about this post, as much as I love this coat, there is for sure a touch of "Grey Gardens" in the ensemble. Some funny disconnect, wearing a couture fur over a nightgown. I would be doing a disservice to this blog if I did not tell the following story, and yet it is hard for me to do so.
When I was 7 or 8 years old (at the max) I watched my mother walk out of our house after a fight with my father, but what made it unique was that there was a foot and a half of snow on the ground, she was barefoot, and wearing a fur coat over her nightgown. She ended up few days later at an airport. Mom, I imagine that you would be furious at me for writing about this, but I hope you understand that I need to tell our story, and while there are difficult moments, addressing them is where the healing begins.
As I love to do, I want to add a little about he house of Revillion, in case any one is curious:
Revillon Frères (Revillon Brothers) was a French fur and luxury goods company, founded in Paris in 1723. Then called la Maison Givelet, it was purchased by Louis-Victor Revillon in 1839 and soon, as Revillon Frères, became the largest fur company in France. Branches were opened in London in 1869 and in New York in 1878. At the end of the 19th century, Revillon had stores in Paris, London, New York, and Montreal.
Through its fur buying bureau in Leipzig, Germany (1876), and an agency in Moscow (1905), the company bought most its furs from the markets of Moscow, Leipzig and at the annual fairs in Nizhny Novgorod (Gorki) at the Makaryev Fair and in Irbit at the Irbit Fair.
From 1908-1909 Revillon Frères opened fur trading posts in Siberia, Mongolia and Turkestan. By 1912 Revillon Frères had 125 fur trading posts in America and Siberia.
In the 1960s, Revillon acquired Grauer Furs, New York's preeminent fur manufacturing company. Grauer Furs was founded by Austrianimmigrant William Grauer and later operated by Grauer's two sons, Abraham and Herman. In 1970, in a deal negotiated by Herman Grauer, Revillon became the fur supplier to Saks 5th Avenue. This arrangement lasted until 1995.