Helen Yarmak is known as the “Queen of Fur”, so it was no surprise that I found her leisurely drinking a cocktail and smoking a slim cigarette when I arrived at her studio on 5th Avenue. Her studio is housed in the same building as Playboy Enterprises, and when I climbed into the elevator, I was joined by an older man and his much younger date. As we went up the elevator, he started instructing her to say she was a model and informing her about which names to drop. I couldn’t help but laugh at all the fashion clichés all around me.
Before the short show started for Helen’s Fall/Winter 2010-2011 collection of furs, I chatted a bit with the oft-seen fashion week staple Cognac Wellerlane, who is too fabulous for words. I definitely wasn’t expecting the thick NY accent she has, and I took great delight in her “glamorous” approach. The whole thing was definitely a league above what I was expecting. I was definitely the youngest person there and definitely one of the only few speaking English in the bunch. Think about it: An American in Doc Martens among a bunch of European fancies wearing fur. And Cognac Wellerlane. There was even a guest there (a man named Derek Warburton) with a bag made of fur (amazing and weird all at once).
For those of you that aren’t experienced in the fur world (like moi), Helen Yarmak is the furrier to the stars. Besides being featured in various magazines including Harper’s Bazaar and the like, Yarmak has outfitted ladies such as Beyonce on her trip to Russia and Rihanna. M.I.S.S. even caught rapper/mogul Damon Dash up in the Yarmak studio! More simply, according to her press release, “Helen Yarmak is considered one of the industry’s most luxurious fur and jewelry designers. A globally-recognized luxury brand, Helen Yarmak also boasts exquisite jewelry, accessories and home collections that embody an opulent sense of elegance.”
The models in the show mostly wore nude-colored bodysuits, probably to accentuate the richness of the furs. The silhouettes of the furs in the line (which included sable, mink, broadtail, sheared mink, and rex) consisted of oversized vests, cropped jackets, furs with three-quarter length sleeves, and shortsleeve Kimono-style furs. There were also capes and knee-length coats, but in my opinion, the most fashion-forward styles for Fall 2010 will be the shorter sleeve furs, which scream ultimate luxury – hello, they are FURS WITH SHORT SLEEVES!. Helen Yarmak also included furs in bright tangerine and jewel tones of purple, ruby, and emerald green, which is on trend with a LOT of the designers during Mercedes-Benz fashion week, including Luca Luca, Tracy Reese, Farah Angsana, Betsey Johnson, and J. Mendel (of course). Neutral furs showed up in Yarmak’s collection as well; this is on trend with designers such as Marc Jacobs, Venexiana, Jen Kao, Doo.Ri, Chado Ralph Rucci, and also with the majority of the fashion week attendees.
The jewelry by Helen was also on point, especially the jeweled collars and ties in her collection. Nothing says menswear for women better than jewel-encrusted neckties!
Check out the runway vid!
- M.I.S.S. NYFW: Helen Yarmak Spring 2012
- M.I.S.S. NYFW: Farah Angsana Fall 2010
- Damon Dash at Furrier Helen Yarmak
- M.I.S.S. NYFW: Vena Cava Fall 2010 at M·A·C & Milk
- A Tomboy’s Tips to Fall