Curious Trends

31/10/2010

Morbid fashion accessories


The increasing focus on medical, anatomical and pathology related themes by emerging artists and designers reflects an interest in the deeper issues underlying our current concern with body image and all things superficial. Curiosity about our mortality is growing as we try to re-discover ourselves, having become lost amongst empty material trappings of a society that’s changed dramatically over a relatively short period of time.


Helen Eckersley’s graduate portfolio ‘Subcutaneous’ documents our current interest in anatomy and dissection. “Anatomical designs feed our innate human curiosity, detracting from superficial body image anxieties, focusing instead upon the complex systems of the body.” Eckersley aims to take the fashion garment to the layer beneath the skin to encourage “a greater appreciation and ownership of ourselves.”

 

Trudie Wilson, a graduate from Middlesex University, created an unusual jewellery installation called Cradle to the Grave. Through her collection of nine textile necklaces, embellished with jewels and ephemera, she narrates the story of a woman’s life from birth to death. The necklaces “look at the way we grow, the explectations and memories of the life stages”, which she determines to be birth, infancy, childhood, school age, adolescence, young adulthood, adulthood, maturity and death. The latter necklaces in the sequence are heavier and designed to reflect the colours and appearance of death and decay.


Some of the most curiously morbid medical inspired accessories can be seen on the It’s My Scar website, where jewellery is custom made in the shape of a scar. The site claims that the stories behind the scars are often a source of great pride.

The concept is also a comment on body image. However, Is it not strange that we’ve created a society where being a ‘victim’ has become cause for celebration? Or is this a perverse way of helping us come to terms with our mortality -  by appreciating that it's better to be alive than dead? Scars and all.


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