Category: Fashion & Beauty
Published on Sunday, 25 August 2013 00:00
We have all seen photos of celebrities and socialites looking glamorous and so haute-couture wrapped in some designer’s mink stole. But the luxurious stole comes at the fatal price of a few innocent, adorable minks. Cecilia Valentine, a student designer, came up with a way to counter the merciless fashion fur trade by exhibiting live animals incarcerated in accessories.
“Fur is Alive” made its debut at the Reitveld graduation show, where the creative designer showcased her living fashion pieces. Part of the series involved furry critters being worn as accessories. Cecelia’s unusual line may seem inhumane, but it is really not. The collection is conceptualized with a strong message that aims to bring to attention the morality of the fur industry, while displaying the natural beauty of each living animal inside the 3D printed accessories.
Cecelia explains that the conceptual line “examines the exploitation of animals in fashion” and is not meant to be worn. “The designs incorporate living animals in an attempt to harness the true beauty of natural forms in a way that exposes the harsh reality of the fur industry, which is still widely accepted despite years of controversy. Fur is meant to be alive, and murdering an animal for the sake of design or beauty should never be tolerated.”
Cecelia’s intentions were to seek a compromise between the fur and fashion industry, wanting to create a project that would bring to light the issue of killing for fashion, without the gruesome connotations that activism can evoke (take notes PETA). Exploring the idea of animal cruelty, she decided on temporarily housing little animals in fashion accessories.
The hamster cage necklace was designed and constructed using Rhino, and 3D printed in bronze on a laser melting printer. A bulky, grid affair; it encircles the neck, in which the little one may scamper around in and poop out of the holes. The collection also features a headband also 3D printed in bronze with a tiny egg-shaped bird-cage in which a fluffy chick sits. No animals were harmed in the event of this fashion exhibition as assured.
Cecelia hopes that her collection conveys the message that, “Fur is meant to be alive, and murdering an animal for its fur is not beautiful. Like eating meat, people tend to disassociate themselves from the fact that fur was once a living thing. This project really exposes that and makes the connection unavoidable.”