Can you create something beautiful out of something bizarre?
Beauty that pushes boundaries has long been the inspiration for designers. Just take the Cult of Beauty, the current exhibition at the V&A in London. Exploring Aestheticism, an artistic movement during the late 19th century, its followers sought to create a new kind of art and beauty from the Victorian period, revolutionising art, architecture, interior design and modes of dress. Displaying extraordinary works by William Morris, Aubrey Beardsley and Oscar Wilde it’s inspiring to see how the group dared to create out-of-this world pieces that challenged the notion of what was considered ‘beautiful’ at the time.
Over in New York, the Alexander McQueen exhibition ‘Savage Beauty’, showing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art works on the same theme, that designers challenging the boundaries of conventional beauty can create something spectacular. McQueen’s surreal designs always shocked when they came out on the catwalk, but over time they have become revered as some of the greatest designs in fashion history.
Today, designers like Miuccia Prada are flying the flag for original design, and thinking outside the box. The designer’s designer, she’s always the first to dare to be different, and where she leads, other designers often follow. She’s the woman who got us wearing kitten heels, block heeled platforms, and nylon backpacks, who designed skirts for men, made geeky, librarian chic cool and sludgy colours like mustard and brown must-haves. It’s no different this season, with the bold striped dresses, quirky shaped specs and fruit jewelry she sent down the runway.
These designer and artists all find beauty in unexpected places – so we’re championing unique design this week. Here are a few pieces that we think challenge conventional style, and will make your look completely unique:
Like a precious jewel, this glittering gold ceramic bow tie is a feminine spin on a typically male accessory. Worn with a strapless dress or jumpsuit, it channels the Studio 54/Seventies Disco trend seen on the Spring catwalks in a unique way.
Ever got bored of your everyday bag? The Marie Bag can be worn in endless ways – keep the cute printed lining in, take it out for a minimal look, wear as a tote or with a shoulder strap…change it up depending on your mood (or outfit).
This ring from Jungyun Yoon is an homage to true romance. Inspired by a Korean singer who wrote a song about a sunburn mark left from a ring that reminded him of a past love, the designer created her own version – a ring with a hidden message inside, that leaves an imprint on the wearer’s hand. That’s one way to make an impression on a loved one!