Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Invertebrate Inspiration

I always chuckle, sometimes to myself, sometimes more overtly, when I read fashion editorials, either in magazines or personal and street style blogs, about the emergence of animal prints as some type of exciting, revelatory, revolutionizing trend, abusing the notion of creative license to report this exclamation as though it were some type of newsworthy event. As far as I have been able to tell, though, admittedly, I am not a formal sartorial scholar, leopard, giraffe, tiger, and zebra prints have been popular and versatile for quite some time. Decades, in fact, when examining how fashion and clothing have been documented; generations, if a broader anthropological scope is employed, including branches upon branches of mitochondrial ancestors who wore actual skins and hides to shelter their own flesh from the elements. The volume that has been written on the recent Alexander McQueen exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art could fill a room of tomes, and I do not want to contribute further with my superfluous nonsense; however, I will note that I was wildly impressed with his innovative use of organic elements and inspiration, integrating them with technologically advanced production elements, to create vivid and enduring works of art. Beaver quills, spinal cords, armadillo shells, all present and very recognizable in his work, yet re-purposed and re-invented.

As the impending insanity and frivolity that is New York Fashion Week looms, I hope to see some more intelligent use of organic, biologic aesthetics; perhaps, some designers turning to the invertebrates for once. I, for one, have always been drawn to squid and octopus. Their lackadaisical and effortless movement, which flows yet somehow does not lack purpose or direction. Their mysterious brilliance. Their radiant colors and fluid textures. These particular images were captured by a Russian biologist, Alexander Semenov; they are fascinating, and certainly can triumph over the same hackneyed pair of leopard suede boots any day.

(images taken from Colossal)


  1. There is so much wisdom in this post. Invertebrates are a fantastic idea for inspiration! I have a friend who was a jellyfish once for Halloween but if I remember correctly she just wore a trash bag with colored streamers hanging from it hahaha. It was pretty good.
    But seriously, if you sketch at all, sketch some invertebrate inspired designs, please!