Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Grammy Redux: Le Chapeau de Pharrell et Daft Punk vs Luxe Punk

Daft Punk

As if it wasn't ridiculous enough that body parts have been getting their own twitter following (Pippa Middleton's posterior after the 2011 royal wedding ,  Angelina Jolie's right leg after the 2012 Oscars),  now inanimate objects are getting their due as well.  Speaking of the latest item to go viral, It turns out that Pharrell's much maligned chapeau has a pedigree.  It's vintage Vivienne Westwood from her 1982-83 Buffalo collection designed by Malcolm McLaren (a former beau of Westwood's) and he's owned it for at least four years. It's pretty ironic that as singer/collaborator of  Daft Punk's "Get Lucky" and the spokesperson for the publicity shy masked French robots who took home three Grammys including Record of the Year, Pharrell could appear onstage introducing and accepting the award for the helmeted and gloved duo of Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter, and yet, he's the one who received the most attention. 

Daft Punk's Grammy win was only the second time they performed on television, the first being at the 2008 Grammys.  They appeared in May of 2013 at the MTV VMA's but only to give an award to Taylor Swift.  Like the band Kiss with their stage makeup, Daft Punk never goes out without their robot disguise (they say that they were actually turned into robots at some point when they were experimenting in their studio with music).  It is part of their shtick but also a way to preserve their anonymity, I imagine.  They have referred to it as "sci-fi glam" and definitely see it as part their allure.  Their Grammys helmets were made to resemble Star Wars stormtroopers.  Homem-Christo wears the gold, Bangalter wears the silver.  Late breaking news:  The Hollywood Reporter claims that they were helmet-less for their after party at the Park Plaza Hotel however, naturally, there are no photos.

Just as I was thinking how  these tactile and shiny well-engineered props could be made into wearable art I stumbled upon something  interesting online in the form of  Spanish designer/artist Ines Figaredo.  Since 2011 Ms. Figaredo has been making really eerie/cool handbags and accessories that are art pieces made to last a lifetime (think Goth Judith Leiber meets Salvador Dali).  She combines the skills of Spanish leatherwork, jewelry, embroidery and sculpture into some amazing forms.  There are sculptural skulls called "Hamlet,"apples, walnuts, carousels, a bird cage with a little man in it, retro telephones, a girl's face that is happy on one side and sad on the other as well as some leather bags with eyes and human hair (eww)!

There is even a "hand" bag, available in the three colors of metal, which resemble the robot gloves. The skulls are quite reminiscent of the Daft Punk helmets and are also available in gold, silver and graphite with enameled teeth.  I do think it says "haute Halloween trick-or-treat bucket" however, these little treasures don't come cheap ($3,500 and up) as they are plated with 18 karat gold and sterling silver.  You certainly won't want junior to borrow these next October!  Ines Figaredo has a studio In Paris but you can purchase online at luisaviaroma.com or on her website inesfigaredo.com .  

Tell her Daft Punk sent you.

(Addendum to article:  It was brought to my attention by Pat Jacobs in my mention of Pharrell's hat designer, that I didn't stress the influence that both Vivienne Westwood, as one of the pre-eminent designers of UK punk and Malcolm McLaren, also a designer/impresario/musician who managed the Sex Pistols (one of the most iconic bands of the genre) and recruited Johnny Rotten, had on the Punk movement.  The fact that they were so involved in orchestrating the punk lifestyle would have been of interest to Pharrell in the selection of his polarizing hat which he claims to have "just liked.")

- Laurel Marcus

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