Fashion and Fur for Dogs

By Elsa Mendes

This city’s first ever canine fur couture show took place in the courtyard of Michelle’s Brasserie in Yorkville, one of the city’s most affluent neighbourhoods.

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Yes, you read it correctly, furs for dogs. Ruthie Cummings, Pawda Dawg designer and owner, explains how it all began with her four pound black Chihuahua, “Searching for clothing for Larry became a chore. I couldn’t find clothing that fit him.”

OK, we all know it gets cold up here in the Great White North but do we really need fur coats and leg warmers for man’s best friend? Isn’t this all a little too much?

There’s no question that the new trend is fur, specially the revamping of vintage furs. Renowned fashion houses including Louis Vuitton, Dolce & Gabbana, Versace, and Moschino have all introduced fur in their fall and winter collections; from full-length coats and shawls to using fur as accent on blouses, pants, shoes, bags and other accessories.

Pawda Dawg combines this new trend with the not so new trend: to pamper our beloved companions. Consequently, it should come as no surprise that each coat has a matching shawl or scarf for the owner. Top quality stitching and natural materials assure that the coats will last a lifetime.

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The event began with cocktail hour. It was a spectacle like no other. The dogs were blissfully schmoozing as they chewed on their doggie biscuits, while their owners and other guests also munched on their very own bone shaped appetizers and cookies.

The guests included the media, the fashion industry and the curious walkers-by who were instantly awestruck and captivated. We were all asked to take our seats in the courtyard as music filled the air. The audience awaited a most unconventional and unique fashion show.

Bond…Techno Bond. A 007 theme song introduced Larry, the first model to stroll the “catwalk” showing off his vintage mink, and dangling his “bling bling” — a Swarovski rhinestone dog collar.

It was all smiles and happy faces despite the chilly conditions that not even the heat lamps, the blankets or the hot beverages could disguise. Our not so furry friends, the “dawgs”, were grateful for their extra coat that Mother Nature did not naturally endow them with.

The first logical reaction is to think that this is going a little over the top, even for dog lovers. However, after having seen the contently warm doggies strut their stuff down the runway, it was enough to put a smile on even the biggest critic.

Cummings, a graduate of Fine Arts and Commerce, admits “It’s also about having fun with fashion.” She emphasizes, nonetheless that, “Pawda Dawg is strongly committed to promote the obvious when choosing our materials.” Hand selected vintage furs and seconds from the tannery endorses the recycling of materials. Furthermore, a percentage of every item sold will go directly to a local wildlife rescue mission.

The Pawda Dawg line will be available at retailers in New York, Paris, Tokyo, Chicago and Toronto. For more information email pawdadawg@rogers.com

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