Lookin’ good, Alaska! At least that’s what I hope to say every few weeks when I take a closer look at what you wore. I want you to help me dispel the distinctly Alaska myth of Carhartts at the opera and set a new standard for avoiding our unhealthy addiction to rubber footwear. Be warned, I also might call you out for passing off those zip-off hiking pants as business casual. To get started, here’s what some of you wore during the 2013 Fur Rendezvous Festival in downtown Anchorage on Feb. 24. Fur was the obvious accessory, and even when it wasn’t, you were still winter-weather stylin’.
Who: Julie Brophy, Anchorage, Alaska, esthetician
Fur Rondy Fashion:
Brophy’s subtle nod to the festival was a sheared beaver headband she bought at David Green Master Furrier
the day before. Otherwise, she was layered in classic Last Frontier lady gear, including a sleek plum puffer jacket and Bogs boots.
Shopgirl Synopsis: She said she didn’t have time to swap out her black patent Coach purse for something more functional, but it turned out to be a pretty sly accessory for this Arctic fox.
Who: Priscilla Tingook, Anchorage, stay-at-home mother
Fur Rondy Fashion: Tingook’s practical Baffin boots, bib overalls and North Face fleece pullover seemed pretty cozy by themselves. But it’s the final layer -- a fur-lined kuspuk with a wolverine ruff -- that made her fit in and fired up: “Of course, I’m sweating right now!” she said.
Shopgirl Synopsis: If the fur was good for fitting in, then the parka’s effect was two-fold. The purple patterned cotton shell was a bright spot that stood out among the snow and sled dog watchers along Fourth Avenue.
Who: Carey-Marie Fleming and David Secora, Milwaukee, retired
Fur Rondy Fashion: From Fleming’s silver fox hat down to her timber wolf coat and blue fox boots and Secora’s coyote coat-and-hat combo, three winter trips to Alaska have helped these two piece together a his-and-her fur collection that could rival Rondy royalty.
Shopgirl Synposis: This couple has a corner on cold weather and they know how to dress accordingly: “I’m the one weirdo . . . I hate summer,” Fleming said. “I never come in the summer.”
Who: Will Brewer, Dallas/Fort Worth, U.S. National Park Service intern
Fur Rondy Fashion: His vintage-hiker-chic look was as easy to spot as his sunny yellow backpack at the kid-crazy carnival. When Brewer, who’s only been in Alaska a few months, shared where he purchased his outfit’s main pieces, including Eddie Bauer, REI and Banana Republic, he made sure to mention the sales.
Shopgirl Synopsis: Brewer deserves an award for his style and shopping accomplishments, but I wasn’t completely convinced when he told me he was warm. Then, like he’s lived here long enough to be a sartorial Sourdough, he said, “I have my other coat in my bag.”
Who: Ed Hills, Anchorage, Alaska Railroad maintenance shop supervisor
Fur Rondy Fashion: In style circles, the phrase “mix and match” usually means something other than Hills' outfit, but you’ll get the idea: The hat, mittens and coat are made of black bear fur, the chaps are brown bear and the coat’s sleeves are wolf. The hides came from various sources, including the Fur Ronday fur auction, other local trappers and his own hunts.
Shopgirl Synposis: Hills' look is genuinely Alaska and fundamentally Fur Rondy without bordering on what you might see on the Discovery Channel. He’s hard-core right down to the worn Harley Davidson T-shirt. “It’s part of the theme,” he said.
Who: Alfredo Solivan, New York, dancer with Alaska Dance Theatre
Fur Rondy Fashion: Solivan is street chic in a knotted gray scarf underneath a structured canvas Timberland coat, skinny khakis from the Gap and perfectly worn leather oxford-style shoes.
Shopgirl Synposis: Even though he isn’t from Alaska, Solivan’s winter wear can still serve as an inspiration for those seeking suave style. We’ll forgive him for forgetting a minor detail: “I don’t have any fur, but this is lambs wool,” Solivan said, pointing to the puffy off-white lining of his coat.
Anchorage freelance writer Leslie Boyd writes a regular column on local shopping and style.Ideas, information or tips? Contact her at akshopgirl(at)gmail.com