By  on February 19, 2002

NEW YORK -- Wearing a flashy sheared mink with a fox collar, I set off to Marc Bouwer's PETA-sponsored show. Would the fur fly, or would the PETA folks keep their promise and behave with the fashion crowd? I walk in with a co-worker who requests that I "don't stand too close." Inside we mill about the lobby where a camera crew is clamoring to film B-52 member and PETA-supporter Kate Pierson. Maybe that's why no one seems to care about what I'm wearing, though I do catch the occasional odd glance. Inside the well-lit room people are taking their seats. I feel strangely vulnerable as I realize that I have lost my friend on the way in. I decide to go for champagne and mingle in hopes of illiciting a reaction. The bartender, clad in a PETA T-shirt, says nothing but acts a bit odd. I spot heavily made-up actress Dominique Swain, decked-out in what appears to be a fabulous fake by Bouwer. She makes me wonder though, where are the "People for the Ethical Treatment of Makeup"?

Fern Mallis stops by to chat, and I steer the talk to the Russian photographer who's been using fake Fairchild photo credentials to crash the collections. Even Fern seems not to notice what I'm wearing. But then, there are certainly more outrageous dressers in fashion, like the guy who comes to every show in head-to-toe loud patterns. I head to my seat, where I meet up with other editors from my office. Across the aisle, a front row guest has turned her fur inside-out and is sitting on it.

On the runway, it's apparent that textile technology has come a long way -- Bouwer's fauxs look good. After the show a song called "Don't Kill the Animals" blares from the speakers as the crowd starts to leave. We run to chat with the woman with the inside-out fur. She says it's fake. We cop a feel -- real. I pose for a picture in front of the "Marc Bouwer/PETA" banner (above). Still no caustic reaction.

Then I spot a guest holding a fur-trimmed nylon parka. "Yes, I know, I'm really sorry," she says. "I have to apologize for this.""You don't have to apologize to me!" I respond. Her own fur-shame has kept her from noticing my flamboyant coat. I head outside to hail a cab, deep-down, a little disappointed that I hadn't caused more of a stir. Next stop: the RocaWear event. Maybe there, a bastion of over-the- top hip-hop glamour, someone will notice my coat.

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