An anniversary, a soft launch, the VFG, some furs and some skins.

Lately I’ve been working extra long hours to get Circa’s webshop finished in time for launching on August 13th, Circa’s 6th anniversary. And it was done! Hundreds of items photographed, edited, measured and loaded online for your perusing pleasure. Hundreds more almost ready to go up, so there will be lots of new stock soon.

Whilst that was happening, it was easy to take some extra photos for the Vintage Fashion Guild’s new fur resource – it’s going to be included in the new and improved site which should hopefully be available soon. Here is Circa’s small contribution. If you hover over each image with your mouse, a title will appear – perhaps you might like to see if you can guess them first?

A note on furs, because it can be a contentious issue – whilst I do not support animal cruelty or factory farming, I have no trouble with vintage furs because the animal has died long ago. The demand for vintage furs is much less than the supply and so I consider valuing and preserving them to be a form of respect for their sacrifice and the aesthetics of our fore-mothers. Besides: many vintage furs are being saved from landfill, as they are little valued these days, compared to the past when they were a great symbol of status.

All of these items are available for sale at Circa, with the exception of the Arctic fox (sold last week to a lovely visiting Gallery owner) and the Baboon (not for sale as it’s an endangered species). The Baboon is pretty popular at Circa actually: it gets regular visitors despite not being for sale.

I spend a lot of my online time at the VFG forums: as well as being the best place to get respected and professional opinions on whether that 1940s cocktail frock is real or a 1980s inspired style, or what a particular fabric or detailing is called, it also has the best Fashion Label Resource. Recently I heard something about there being over 3,000 labels there? The great thing about a label resource is that, as well as providing lots of good biographical information, it’s a useful tool in dating garments, as most fashion companies change the design over time.

But back to Circa’s webshop – it’s now open and you can see it here. There will still be some tweaking but all in all, I’m pretty pleased with it. In particular, hope you like the return policy: it’s my job to find the right owner for each vintage garment so if you don’t like it, or it doesn’t fit you, we’ll be happy to take it back.


  1. Hi Nicole,

    While I can see your reasoning for wearing vintage fur, I think it would only be a valid argument if ALL current fur production had stopped. If no new fur was being produced and everyone had agreed that it was a very cruel practice, and all these furs were now left to be thrown to landfill I can see how it would be better to wear them than to throw them out. Although, to me personally, it is macabre to wear the remains of an animal that has been killed (including leather, etc.).

    Whilst you are a professional and vintage connoisseur and can see the difference between a vintage and modern piece, I’d say a lot of consumers may not be able to if they see someone else wearing one. Anything that induces demand and makes people want to wear fur (specifically new fur) is something that I don’t consider a good thing. That’s why I don’t even support faux fur.


  2. thanks for your comment Maria – I wish that we lived in a world where fur was purely a vintage phenomenon, but sadly you’re right, and that’s not the case.

    I agree that it’s not good to encourage people to wear modern furs, but there’s not much that I can do about that. Vintage fur makes me sad, but respecting it seems to me to be preferable to disposing of it.

  3. Hi Nicole,

    I agree with Maria that wearing vintage fur validates and normalises the wearing of fur and in doing so serves to create a continued demand for fur in general. I think the most respectful thing we can do for the animals who lost their lives in the name of human vanity is to publicly ‘put to rest’ their remains, in the similar way that the body parts of indigenous peoples that were collected are being handed back for burial by their descendants.

    Alternatively using the furs in a way that devalues them as a objects of desire is also a good way to make use of these animal’s skins – for e.g. PETA donated furs to homeless people as this act at once stripped the furs of their exclusive, expensive and thus desirable status AND kept the homeless warm.

    You might have heard about how the Nazis created lampshades and other items from the skins of slaughtered jews. These appalling relics of the holocaust are already in existence, as you point out is also the case for the animal skins you sell. But this does not mean that we should continue to use them.

    I appreaciate that you have taken the time to consider an animal rights perspective, but I just cannot see how continuing to promote the wearing of fur is in any way respectful for the animals who were killed and continue to be killed for fur.

    All the best with the rest of your business.


  4. Thanks for your comment Yvette – I’ve been thinking a lot about my response and the best I can do is to say that I agree with you completely, and feel very conflicted with my “vintage clothing” side, which likes to protect and preserve our sartorial heritage.

    Fur is such a difficult issue – I actually like the idea of giving it to the homeless and other people in need. Before when I only collected (as opposed to now, when I sell too) it was an easy issue – it was a complete no-no.

    I still have a policy of not buying fur, but it comes to me sometimes when I buy a collection – it’s part of the lot. Sometimes I donate it to op shops, but for special pieces I like to find the right homes. I appreciate that there are many dissenting opinions though and I thank you for yours.

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