Really...in the October 2011 issue of Vogue. my great aunt had one, circa 1940. After I inherited it, the soft, velvety black coat lay rumpled in the corner of the bedroom, the perfect kneading spot for my black cat.
I couldn't wear it. After all, it was the '60s and the first wave of animal consciousness (or maybe the second) washed over me. It was wavy and elegant with her initials embroidered on the interior pocket. And I didn't really know what Persian lamb was. I'd just become a vegetarian, so whatever it was wasn't on the menu.
Persian Lamb is a euphemism for Karakul, an ancient breed of sheep, the kind you see in Bibical art with long fat tails.
To preserve the quality of uterine purity and not damage the fibers with the wild chemicals of the birth canal, a cesarean is performed. I've heard tails of old ewes, the slash scars still across their bellies.
A Karakul birthcoat is like a surprise party. Colors can range from inky black to a riotous red pinto. And always the distinctive tight wave glistening against the lambs body.
In this style update, I must say I still will not wear one. But know what you're wearing and that great effort is offered from the Animal Kingdom to bring us something new ... or in this case, retro.