Friday, September 30, 2011

Cow nipple couture

Liverpool-born designer Rachel Freire made a big splash at London's Fashion Week and writes:

"To be called a fashion designer is odd. I am an artist in wolf's clothing. My aim is to create worlds which don't yet exist. Juxtapose things which do not make sense until you cannot deny that they mesh, play with disgust and the terms on which you are willing to see things. You cannot deny something is beautiful even when you look closely and then see something which freaks you out. Go with your gut."

Or in this case, your teat! She used 3,000 of them - from cows, not yaks as has been erroneously reported - to create this garment featured in her Spring/Summer 2012 collection. The rosettes are made from the pieces of cattle hide that would normally be discarded by the tannery. Of course animal rights activists don't like it, with Justin Kerswell from Viva commenting, "Isn't the way we treat farmed animals bad enough without turning their dead bodies into a runway freakshow?" Freire defends the use of the udders, stating, "They really make you aware of the animal itself. I create fashion using material that would otherwise end up on the scrap heap. What I am doing is recycling. The people criticizing are clearly clueless about the amount of leather wasted on a daily basis." The controversial dress is now making the rounds in Paris.

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