A Fur-Clad Tinsley Mortimer Talks on the Ethics of Dennis Basso, PETA’s Worst Nightmare

Last Saturday, PETA hauled out their homemade signs and hard-fought idealism to protest Donna Karan, one of the biggest fashion designers to not yet sign the petition pledging to excise all furs from her Fall 2011 collection. In order to drive the argument home, PETA supporters played the sound of screaming rabbits outside Karan’s office. But judging by today’s Dennis Bass show, they picked the wrong titan of fashion to picket.

Perhaps it’s a lost cause at this point–Basso is famed as a furrier, after all–but today’s show seemed even more inundated with pelts than usual. The front row was peppered generously with ladies in their thirties, embracing the show’s theme by wrapping themselves in the animal of their choice. As The Observer made the rounds we were frequently brushed up by and even smothered by the masses of fur.

And then the actual show began. The Noah’s Ark of critters gliding across the runway included lynx, kidassia, broadtail, chinchilla, sable, mink, alligator, coyote, bassarisk, chinchilla, Russian barguzine sable and arctic fox.

We ran into the Tinsley Mortimer in the coat-wearing scrum–another piece of anecdotal evidence that could, perhaps, prove that she’s back.

“OK, OK, lemme just –” Mortimer said to The Observer as a photographer imposed on our conversation.

The camera snapped a few shots and backed off from us. “Sorry, I’m trying here,” Mortimer said.

Then we asked if this much fur could be considered unethical.

“I mean, I’m not sure, I feel like, oh, sorry”–another cameraman had approached, and she turned toward him.

“Wait, can you, yeah, you wanna? Oh, it’s fine if you wanna take a picture it’s just I was talk-king so lemme just–” The camera once again shut and opened its exposure as Mortimer posed. 

After the brief photo shoot we resumed out conversation about the ethics of fashion.

“That’s a tough question, I don’t think I can answer that.”

We pointed out to Ms. Mortimer that she was wearing a white fur coat, the layers of pelt flowing and overlapping until they reached the hem.

“I was nicely loaned this fur from Dennis, um, but um, I think, um–it’s too hard for me to answer that question.”

She did admit that she’s a fan of the designer.

“I love Dennis, he’s such a character, he’s amazing, and, um–and his beautiful, beautiful clothes.”

nfreeman [at] observer.com | @nfreeman1234

A Fur-Clad Tinsley Mortimer Talks on the Ethics of Dennis Basso, PETA’s Worst Nightmare