Mourning jewelry constructed with human hair – both woven and incorporated into metal pieces – was extremely popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries in commemorating the death of loved ones. As it turns out, however, hair jewelry still has quite an internet following, as evidenced by groups like the Victorian Hairwork Society….
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Presented by SOCIÉTÉ, Berlin
The world turns, and we turn with it.
–Brad Pitt for Chanel No. 5
My favorite descriptions of entropy are from the sixth grade: ‘After you’ve tidied your bedroom, do you notice that it becomes less orderly over time?’
Life is messy.
Today ‘the natural’ and its phenomena require close scrutiny. Organic prejudice presumes exclusion of the synthetic, though we are all touched by culture. (Even trees.) Back-pedaling from Enlightenment positivism, there is broad-based skepticism for the industrial application of measurement standards – though numbers and statistical analyses maintain a rational grip on our imagination. Quantifiability = a semblance of control. My iPhone pedometer counts the footsteps from my flat to the library (I purposely take long strides), a customized flow of meta-data that will probably, you know, prevent my premature death.
No GMOs! No artificial preservatives! In the 1960s certain Americans – counter culture sympathizers – shunned caffeine (a chemical). I drink coffee every morning; know vegans getting by on M&Ms & MDMA. Just last week the US Supreme Court banned patents for ‘natural’ human DNA. Yet if strategic biological reproduction is now a solipsistic act (no coitus needed), surely ‘natural’ procreation remains a vestigial convention? Heritage is a fetish label applicable to a certain class of denim. All venture capitalists should invest in male birth control.
The game theory of evolution helps to explain altruistic behavior within the Darwinian process. “Seduce usefully. Don’t waste your time attracting just anybody” (Tiqqun, Theory of the Young-Girl). Such are compromises of mutual benefit based on mutual fear; though it depends on what you believe about material relationships. I mean, ‘believe’ –
If the essence of cotton is undestroyed when it is burned – stupidly – by fire (cf. Harman), is the same true for the human spirit, or, a yoga mat? Melting as a caricature of the PVC-plastic-latex amalgam: the substantial (irreversible) achievement of Zen. In the 1980s yoga was legitimized as a purely physical exercise system severed from esotericism; and now the hygienic mat is mandatory at most studios, a functional object that transforms meditative philosophy into sport. Deep breathing in child’s pose is far more rigorous than collapsing into a chair. Just… let… go…
But we do so only after insuring ourselves, against the odds, into emotional bankruptcy. Is stimulation – of body, eye, intellect – still necessary for the living?
I call beauty a social quality; for where women and men, and not only they, but when other animals give us a sense of joy and pleasure in beholding them, (and there are many that do so,) they inspire us with sentiments of tenderness and we enter willingly into a kind of relation with them . . . But to what end, in many cases, this was designed, I am unable to discover.
–Edmund Burke, 1796
Words by Kari Rittenbach
OPENING THIS FRIDAY (June 21st), 7-10pm
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Last night in Selfridges car park, Hood By Air’s latest menswear collection was launched for the first time in London. Founder of Hood by Air Shayne Oliver showcased his Spring/Summer ’14 collection on a selection of models and street cast boys found in a skate park in Stratford. Unlike the usual sobriety of most fashions shows with stern lighting, severe seating plans and elongated waiting times the event was planned as a party with New York DJ duo Ghe20 Goth1k playing and cocktails being served all night.
Through the entrance to the event there was a skate ramp which would become the entrance for the models where they would walk, skateboard or roller-skate into a runway. What was instantly obvious about this fashion show was not only the different decision to stage how the clothes would move on the models bodies or how the smoke machines or lighting may disguise what we were supposed to be looking at but the energy that seeped from the whole evening. It was almost like the event was more of a performance art piece than a typical fashion show.
Hood By Air’s designs are inherently street wear, but rather than the sweaters swamping the models bodies the clothing became exaggerated by the atmosphere and styling. Daniel Sallstrom was the make-up artist who subtly applied make-up to resemble peeling burnt skin and the models hair was spray painted with ‘HBA’. Hood By Air’s trademark use of logos, and common cultural obsessions which permeate our minds through our ever present internet back catalogue of pop culture references were visible throughout the collection. Rather than being too overbearing which is often a common effect of many designers currently trying to re-appropriate this similar and popular idea, Oliver’s dissection of this concept is completly confident. These clothes looked like they were being lived in by an individual living a full life rather than the alienation of most fashion communication.
If it is subculture and the dress of artists which is the root of all fashion evolution, Hood By Air can comfortably be seen as encapsulating a very current feeling and creative process that is currently alive. Worn and modelled by the likes of A$AP Rocky, boychild and Iain Isiah, HBA encases more than what most designers could dream for. The construction of the whole evening paired with the impressive collection exhibited the fact that Shayne Oliver has the visionary talent that many could only hope for and will eventually make him historically relevant. However ultimately it has been completely refreshing to see fashion once again become more performative.
This collection will be available from Selfridges from October.
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Documentary film-maker Will Robson Scott’s rare and intimate look into the process of body modification as Polish rapper turned MMA fighter Popek has the whites of his eyes tattooed.
‘For them it’s [a] stupid idea, but for me it’s like I’m gonna be complete’.
Throughout the rapper-turned-fighter expresses a sentiment that lies at the core of modification, the notion of identity; but a torn one, a self doubt and constant verbal worry that onlookers will ‘see the devil’ in his eye. This feeling of completion, though, was apparently short-lived as some time after the Polish polymath underwent further modification, facial scarification with two jagged scars crossing the side of his face.
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Rainer Judd, about devoting herself to her father’s legacy.
LINK to The Telegraph’s article
Rainer says her father also encouraged her to wonder about the world. Nothing was ever too goofy to ask about, she says. There were only a few areas where he’d get stumped. Rainer recalls one occasion when she wanted to discuss a poem she had written and he told her that he didn’t feel he could talk about poetry. I don’t know whether perhaps he just didn’t like my poem, she says.
Donald Judd’s loft at 101 Spring Street
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Oculolinctus or ‘worming’, licking of the eyeball for sexual pleasure, has seen a vast re-surgance across japan in recent months, credited to Japanese band BORN’s Spiral Lie video. Referred to as a ‘trend’, ‘fad’ and ‘epidemic’, the paraphilical is seen as a means of intense intimacy; the eyes are often referred to as being connected to the soul, and the increased number of nerve endings in the eye intensify sensation. Similarly the intense sensation experienced by the tongue – both touch, of the soft, moist surface of the eyeball, and salty taste experienced as a result of the eye’s natural lubrication – make both sides of the practice intense and delicate. Though, it is unlikely such a vast number gain sexual pleasure from the practice, and is perhaps more likely this ‘re-surgance’ is, as it is referred to, a fleeting trend.
However, having been brought to mainstream attention, the widespread horror at this seemingly tame practice (and rise in apparent cases of conjunctivitis and eye-chlamydia?) says a lot about the way in which opinion and acceptance have, or in this case haven’t, moved on in terms of not only sexual identity but an openness to alternative behaviour; drawing to mind the controversy of Salvador Dalí and Luis Buñel’s 1929 Surrealist short Un Chien Andalou, a scene in which depicts a woman’s eyeball being sliced open. The image had come to one of the directors in a dream and sparked the film’s conception, based on the idea of suppressed human emotions, which is, somewhat ironically, a description often erroneously seen as synonymous with this kind of sexual desire.
Un Chien Andalou, Salvador Dalí and Luis Buñel, 1929
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