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Pet-a-Porter: Pets are back in fashion

Real fur is back in fashion, but before the animal-rights protestors get angry, we should explain that these pelts are still firmly on, says Rebecca Armstrong
  • @RebeccaJ

Her petite frame and soulful eyes mean that she certainly looks the part when it comes to hanging out with fashion royalty. But isn't Donatella Versace's best friend Audrey a bit, well, furry to be fashionable? Apparently not – earlier this year, Grazia gave over a serious number of pages to photos and an interview with the Jack Russell and her blonde owner (OK, so Donatella did most of the talking, even if Audrey did pose up a storm).

Versace is far from the only designer to share her fabulous life with a bundle of barking – or meowing, or indeed hopping – joy. It seems that the one thing that never goes out of style is a pet. But you can forget the odd can of dog food or an absent-minded tummy tickle – these pedigree chums are some of the most superb – and spoilt – creatures on the catwalk.

1 Katie Grand and Clara

Bunny girl Grand told The Independent that her most treasured possession was “my blonde, lop-eared rabbit, Clara… She's chewed a massive hole in our sofa. She's really bad, but very sweet”. When the super stylist and editor in chief of LOVE magazine launched an app, she made Clara its star – voiced by one Victoria Beckham.

2 Karl Lagerfeld and Choupette

When it comes to man's best friend, Lagerfeld has decided that he prefers something that purrs. His white kitten Choupette has two maids, her own driver, iPads to play with, around-the-clock medical care and her eyes are rumoured to be the inspiration for the blue hues in the Chanel spring/summer 2012 couture collections. She's even made Katie Grand jealous. “I'm a bit competitive with Choupette,” she told fashionista.com.

3 Donatella Versace and Audrey

Named after Audrey Hepburn (“It was either Marilyn or Audrey. Audrey is not a blonde”) Versace has a close bond with her little dog. “She looks into my eyes so deeply sometimes, and I talk to her and swear she understands me.” She also sounds as though she's playing up to fashion-industry stereotypes, as she's “not generous, or particularly friendly”. The devil wears collars…

4 Stefano Gabbana and Toto, Dali and Rosa

When it comes to a fashion pedigree, you don't get much better than the Labradors adored by Stefano Gabbana. He's had Labs for 17 years, ever since Anna Dello Russo gave him one as a Christmas present – obviously one that was very well received. Dalì is blond, Rosa is black and Totò is chocolate-coloured and all have been spotted messing about on Gabbana's yacht, doggy paddling with daddy.

5 Kate Moss and Archie

There are no teacup pups or handbag breeds for Moss. Instead, she's gone for a proper dog – a Staffordshire mix – although Archie has certainly had an impact on her style. She revealed in an interview that walking him in heels was “a nightmare. You can't do a dog in heels”. Rumour has it Archie has his own walk-in wardrobe for his collars and coats. So perhaps he's a bit of a clotheshorse after all.

6 Giles Deacon and Tallulah

With his Instagram address – guineapiggiles – you might think that Deacon is a fan. But while he had two guinea pigs in his studio a few years ago – and used an image of a long-haired 'pig in aviators for his AW 2013 imagery – he was actually looking after them, along with Clara, for Katie Grand. He used to have a giant rabbit named Tuna that Grand bought him who loved M&Ms but moved in with her dad when he reached his dotage.

7 Nicola Formichetti and Tank and Bambi

For two very well connected canines, look no further than Formichetti's fluffballs. Last year the creative director for Mugler created @tanknbambi, a Twitter account for his two dogs. Tank and Bambi appear on his homepage titled “Cutest Pomeranian puppies” and have been captured on Instagram wearing a very plush-looking bathrobe as well as sleeping on crisp white sheets.

8 Helmut Lang and his chickens

While dogs tend to be the preferred pet for fashion insiders, for Helmut Lang it's chickens – and ducks – that rule the roost. In 2005 Lang left his Prada-owned namesake label and retired to Long Island to make art and raise chickens. He has posed topless holding one of his cockerels on the cover of Fantastic Man magazine.

9 Valentino and Milton, Monty, Maude, Margot, Maggie and Molly

The real stars of 2008's documentary Valentino: The Last Emperor were the now-retired designer's pugs – Milton, Monty, Maude, Margot, Maggie and Molly. Despite high-end accessories and regular flights in Valentino's private jet, they still have some bite. At the film's premiere, Gwyneth Paltrow revealed that “they're kind of mean; they're not really good kids' dogs. But my daughter is undeterred, she keeps trying.”

10 Roberto Cavalli and parrot Oro

Given his love of leopard print, you might think that Robert Cavalli would be a (big) cat fan. But his heart lies elsewhere, with a macaw named Oro. One interviewer described Cavalli greeting his blue and yellow parrot with the words “I love you I love you I love you!”. Oro also starred in a video Cavalla filmed that showed the designer's cocktail-making skills. I expect what Oro really wanted was a cracker.