Washington designer Olga Jevtich loves fur. Born in Yugoslavia, she recalls dressing up in her mother's fur coat in high school. ''Her coat was nice but not very dramatic,'' Jevtich recalls, ''so I cut it to change the shape.'' What did her mother do? ''Don't ask. It wasn't a pleasant scene.''
She is still cutting up furs, and making colorful fur jumpers for Commander Salamander and fur vests. She also takes secondhand furs and spruces them up with fabric, like an old black broadtail jacket she has decorated with black lace.
But better still are what she calls her "washable minks," which are, in fact, denim jackets that she has cleverly fringed. Meralee in Georgetown Park and Nuevo Mondo are carrying them. No one will confuse them with real fur, but the fringe softens and curls increasingly with each washing. As Jevtich says, "the more you wash, the minkier it gets."
Denim has made quite an appearance in the spring European collections this week, but there are other good reasons to wear it. "It's for people who like cotton instead of fur or synthetics," says Jevtich, who prefers denim to the synthetics around these days, and feels strongly about using natural fabrics. She adds, "The manufacturing of synthetics creates chemicals which are a burden to our environment. People who wear pure cotton should feel good about themselves."