Deitrich’s Fox Fur Trim

Imagine my surprise when a commenter suggested that one of my favorite fur film moments was not, in fact, fur at all. I speak of Shanghai Express.

This Is Not The Sable You Are Looking For

The fringe on the garment she wears in the “hat” sequence, which I had presumed was sable, is feathers, or rather down pelts, similar to the ones that made up the also rather visually appealing white coat she wore in the Dietrich in London special. I see no reason to doubt this assertion, after all, it’s not like they were suggesting there was no fur at all, or that everything in The Mad Miss Manton was fake. No, actually quite reasonable now that I look at it again.

I’ll blame my sable dreams on a combination of low resolution and highly wishful thinking.

Ah, but someone didn’t desecrate her grave because Marlene Dietrich wore a lot of goose down. Thus, finding photos of her wearing real fur is not exactly difficult. What is always enjoyable is finding those few that just knock you off your feet when you see them for the first time. This is one such example:


So the Shanghai Express collar wasn’t sable. I’m pretty dang sure this is fur, so I’ll get over it by picturing this one instead.

3 thoughts on “Deitrich’s Fox Fur Trim

  1. The Vegas coat was not fur but I had realised that a long time ago. However, I have a photograph of Marlene in her later years wearing a very similar dress with a choker and she is laid against what appears to be a stole which is about twice her height and it is definitely a light shade of fox (white or at least off-white); when I first saw it, I confused it with the down coat. It could quite easily be the Dietrich in London coat to which you make reference.

    I am intrigued by the hat sequence in Shanghai Express; if i am honest I do not know to what you are referring so I will have to investigate. I am intrigued.

  2. Sorry but I am confused, am i correct in saying that she wore feathers in London and Vegas? If so, disregard my comment about it being the Dietrich in London coat as it is definitely real fox fur

  3. The “hat” sequence is what I would have called the “sable” sequence, but for the fact that it wasn’t actually sable. The sequence on end of the car where she pulls off his hat and wears it, that’s all. Don’t worry, you hadn’t missed anything.

    Yes, I think upshot of the whole thing is that the white coat worn for the Dietrich in London special and the fringe on the coat worn in Shanghai Express (the one that looks like sable) are both the same thing, and that thing is not, in the most technical of senses, “fur.”

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