Mosquitoes, flies, ants, bees, mice, snakes, etc., may be annoying and unwanted creatures, but that does not stop designers from using their likeness in clothing and accessories where they become playfully decorative. And on certain occasions and in certain settings, they could not be more perfect.
|Peter Hidalgo's Mosquito Dress|
Case in point, Diana Broussard (www.dianabroussard.com ) wore Peter Hidalgo's Mosquito Dress to the Couture Council Summer Party last August. It was held inside/outside at the Boathouse in Central Park and the mosquitoes were all around, so it could not have been more fitting. By the way, the $600 dress is part of an insect series by Peter Hidalgo (www.peterhidalgo.com ). There is an Ant Dress and a Fly Dress as well, and they are available at Diana Broussard, (22 Christopher Street, 646 336 6365), in a variety of fantastic colors and luxurious fabrics (satins and crepe de chines).
|Delfina Delletrez's Beetle Brooch|
When fashion original Shala Monroque attended the Costume Institute Gala in May, (in celebration of Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations), she took the subjects and the subject matter to heart, accessorizing her Prada dress with Delfina Delletrez's (www.delfinadelletrez.com ) surrealistic, larger than life, pearl encrusted beetle brooch. It has become a signature accessory as of late and she was photographed wearing it at the Couture Shows in Paris in July. As she told Vogue.com, "I'm tired of very pretty things. There can be beauty in what is seemingly ugly on the surface, we just have to change the context".
|Schiaparelli's Insect Necklace|
Of course, one major theme that runs throughout the Costume Institute exhibit is the notion of 'ugly beauty', and both designers are known for challenging existing notions and periodically shocking. How can we ever forget Schiaparelli's macabre Insect Necklace, which created the illusion that the insects are crawling directly on the skin of the wearer’s neck?
|Delfina Delletrez Insect Ring|
Along those same lines, Ms. Delletrez, an Italian born 4th generation Fendi, who launched her eponymous line in 2007, instantly became known for her unusual and nontraditional approach to fine jewelry. She frequently uses poisonous insects ("Insects are so detailed and complex, I love everything about them,” she said) as well as skulls, fierce animals, and eyes. Beauty is indeed, in the eyes of the beholder.
|Melvin Jewelry Fly Wings Pendants|
The idea of incorporating non traditional elements into a jewelry collection (elements that could be perceived as strange, ugly, or even dangerous) is also at the heart of Melvin Jewelry (www.shopmelvin.com ), a new line of unique designs and the brainchild of Martha Clifford (of M. Clifford Designs), and her niece Morgan Walker. (The prices for the line range at wholesale from approximately $28.00 for a Bullet ring to $210 for a large wood bead necklace featuring a mask and charms or agates).
It is divided into three distinct collections. 'Out of Africa' makes use of the symbols from African Mud Cloth which are translated into necklaces, bracelets, and there are a few funky African masks which are applied to either leather bands or necklaces. 'Deconstructed' is composed of earrings, rings, bracelets, cuffs, and necklaces creatively fashioned out of bullets in antique rose gold, antique gold, and antique silver (and no, they don't resemble bullets at all, though for obvious reasons, this is a tad too close to home for me at the moment).
My favorite collection is 'Untamed', which is comprised of wide cuffs, earrings, necklaces, and pendants featuring the likes of flies, octopus, tree frogs, hippos, mice, rams, elephants, and tigers in a choice of antique gold, antique silver, and antique rose gold, (sometimes mixed with leather). For more information, contact Jodi Lin Wiener, PR Director at 212-564-3210 or www.oranyc.com