In a post written two years ago I drew a comparison between fashion and art moving from the works of Flemish artist Jan Fabre and in particular from his installations "Pietas", "Heaven of Delight", "Skull with Budgerigar" and "I had to demolish a part of the ceiling of the Royal Palace because there was something growing out of it". In these installations the artist employed thousands of shells from the Buprestidae beetle and glued them together to create the different forms and patterns for his artworks.
In that post I also wondered if, since the gleaming metallic iridescences of this beetle (produced by the microscopic texture in its cuticle that selectively reflects specific frequencies of light in different directions) are particularly beautiful, it would have been possible to reproduce them by employing some kind of technology in the textile industry.
Two years after that post, two young Haute Couture houses decided to use Fabre's idea in their creations. The beetles and their iridescent nuances reappered in a carapace-like jacket with matching bag by Serkan Cura and as the main theme of On Aura Tout Vu's collection.
Livia Stoianova and Yassen Samouilov created designs with prints of beetles or made with iridescent or transparent fabrics that evoked wing-like textures, then appliqued on their gowns the shells of over 10,000 Buprestidae beetles to embellish their designs, creating spiky motifs around the shoulder area or using the shells as decorative elements.
It is interesting to see that once again fashion is borrowing from art in a very literary way, applying the same material used by an artist in a fashion collection without doing further researches about it (at least Fabre justified his choice of material with the main themes he deals with including the transience of life, eternity and extreme beauty).
The Buprestidae case is worrying from two different points of view: while this beetle may become an endangered species if we all start using its shell for arty installations and clothes, fashion-wise you wonder why two young designers used the same artist/material as starting points for the same season.
In a nutshell are we all just going to see the same art exhibitions/installations to get inspirations or are we just borrowing things off each other without bothering to find better and more original ideas? Besides, is this another mere coincidence, just another occult fashion correspondence or is this just a way to provide Lady Gaga with a different animal-derived material from her much criticised furs? The mystery remains.
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