the fur question

Just look at this adorable fur hat worn by Barbara Brylska as Nadya in the Soviet classic comedy The Irony of Fate, or Enjoy your bath.  I have been thinking for quite some time that I would like to buy a fur hat while in Russia, because it’s just so classic and well, so very Russian.  I was very taken with this one and how beautiful she looks in it, especially when she steps out into the snow.  I had the idea that I would get one and then look very cool and outlandish when I got back to America.

All this in mind, I went to a “fur hat market” around the Lubyanka area.  I found it rather disappointing, actually.  There was nothing around that looked quite as cute as this one, and lots of fur hats in rather silly shapes.  Nothing had a price tag on it, which scared me especially, and I then I also ran into one hat which had been designed to look like, well, an animal, with little ears, dangling little paws and a tail.  The horror… the whole fur thing kind of hit home for me, so I’m not sure how I feel about it any more.  Look, I adore animals and I hardly ever eat meat, but I’m certainly not a PETA freak, and I really don’t have any objections to Russians wearing furs.  Before the relatively recent age of hi-tech super down jackets and all of that, fur was the only thing warm enough this kind of winter, and now it’s such a cultural thing that you can’t keep Russians from wearing their furs.  It’s been so cold lately that Muscovites have been breaking out their coats and hats, I imagine with a great deal of satisfaction… my flatmate Sveta has gone more than once to a big fur bazaar up at VDNKh in the northern part of the city looking for a shuba— a fur coat, that is, feeling like she’ll be the only one in a kurtka— a plain old jacket– this winter.  But it’s a huge investment, and to buy a good one would cost probably about eight months of what we each pay in rent, so yikes.

Well, there’s something still very alluring to me about fur hats.  Especially the ones that men wear with the distinctive rigid Russian shape.  Everyone seems to be wearing one and on top of a suit and coat it just gives this eastern and dignified look.  I’m thinking I may go for one that covers more of my face– the shapka ushanka variation, which is more my style:

It’s rather masculine, but it looks really cute on girls too, and I could see it serving me better in this weather, when all I can think of is “oh my god, my face, my face, oh cold on my face, oh man, face, cold”.  If I really can’t handle the idea of getting something fur I can always get a suede one with shearling inside.  I need something, because folks, my face is cold.

To conclude this entry, here is a picture of Jay-Z rocking his fur hat and looking quite cool.  Beyonce, where’s yours?


2 responses to “the fur question

  1. What a fun blog post! I think you should totally get a shapka ushanka hat, too. Are you going to go with Sveta to buy one?

    Smiles from slightly less chilly Illinois–

  2. so I just watched Ирония Судьбы for the first time, have to admit, didn’t love it, but did love the hats and coats. and cringed during the shower scene when Ippolit ruins his coat. also wikipedia tells me Brylska’s Russian was not good enough, so all her lines were dubbed over…not to mention the dubbed over songs.. but love the hats and coats!

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