Fashion Week Fête & Feat: PETA Parties Like an Animal at Stella McCartney

PETA threw a smashing soirée Thursday evening as part of New York Fashion Week, a fête against fur and exotic skins held at Stella McCartney’s Meatpacking District boutique. An org that often attracts flack for seeming “too extreme,” the event proved a success and yet another reason for folks to rethink their attitude towards a group that, while tragically in the minority, is simultaneously in the right. What better time than now to swoop to the rescue with a celeb-studded ethical message? Anna Wintour may intimidate with her blunt cut bob and carcass coats, but myriad fashion influencers, in particular Project Runway’s Tim Gunn, continue to fight the good fight, standing up in defense of animals.

Gunn was joined last night by Olivia Munn and Taraji P. Henson. Each shared their respective reasons for spreading the fur-free message. Gunn, who’s been working with PETA for 11 years, channels his energy into education; “I was the first educator to say to PETA, ‘Come into our hallowed halls.’ I wanted my students at Parsons to be making responsible choices. Socially responsible, environmentally responsible and humanely responsible choices.” Indeed, Gunn and PETA are up against deep-pocketed fur factories offering novice and veteran designers alike fat funds to incorporate fur into their collections. Not a fair fight. Gunn supplemented his podium moment with his important PETA video, which reveals not only how animals suffer needlessly in the fur, leather, wool, and exotic skins trades, but also how many companies have adopted animal-friendly policies.

Munn has her own take on the matter, comparing the skinning of animals for fur and hides to negative tabloids; “Animals killed simply for their surface, simply for their exotic skins and furs, it really does hurt. It’s not worth it. It hurts more than [a] bad tabloid story.” While her statement might sound somewhat silly, she makes the excellent point that we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, however soft or scale-y. It looks better on them than on us. Let’s face it; we’ve got fake fur and mock croc. It’s time to retire this dead attire. It’s extinct.

The beautiful and bubbly Henson stripped down to help promote foregoing fur, showing PETA’s sexy side, with the unveiling of her new “Fur? I’d Rather Go Naked” campaign. While we didn’t witness the actress in the buff, we got a sneak preview of a steamy poster showing off her hot bod. Henson refers to her personal light-bulb moment as “…divine intervention,” sharing a channel-surfing anecdote: “I found I Am An Animal.” She landed on the HBO special and couldn’t turn away. As for her seductive strip-down, Henson effervesced: “I thank everyone at PETA. I am blown away by the impact I’ve had, overwhelmed by how many lives I’ve touched. I’m so proud.” She added with a laugh, “Now I’m going to be like Superman. Instead of putting on my suit, I’m going to go into the phone booth, strip naked and jump on everybody that’s wearing fur!”

All concur that McCartney, who was not in attendance, set the standard for fellow fashionistas. “Stella’s work has been seminal,” praised Gunn. “She’s really helped redefine and recalibrate our thinking about luxury in this industry. We’re thrilled to have her on the animals’ side.” Munn appealed to the bustling attendees, “I hope everyone here and people around the world will stand up with me and PETA and Stella McCartney and continue the fight to save animals who can’t stand up for themselves.”

Also strutting their stuff on the step-and-rePETA were John Bartlett, Joan Jett, Todd Oldham, Marc Bouwer, Katie Lee, Stephanie Pratt, Lo Bosworth, Simone Reyes, Indashio, Eric West and Cobra Starship, among others. DJ Lady Bunny provided the tunes and passed hors d’oeuvres were provided by Blossom. Other notable attendees included Dan Mims of The Ethical Man, Joshua Katcher of The Discerning Brute and Pinnacle, Leanne Mai-ly Hilgart of Vaute Couture and Julie Dicterow of Cri De Coeur.

To close, in the words of Henson herself, “Ignorance is bliss. Education is key. Spread the [anti-fur] word.”

Photos Courtesy of Tyler Weggel for

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