Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Heritage Clothing

One of my favorite upcycling concepts is taking inherited clothing and making something new. When my grandmother passed away I kept a grocery bag full of her clothing - I couldn't bear to part with something that held so many memories. But I couldn't exactly wear the clothing as it was. I wish I had thought to take her clothing and have something special made from them.

I am currently looking for vendors who would be available to take inherited clothing and create something new. In the meantime, here are some lovely upcycled creations from pondhopper studio. I love the dresses and coats:

But I especially love the legwarmers and spats!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Mourning McQueen

Who else made memento mori so stylish?

With his skull-adorned scarves and jewelry, Alexander McQueen reminded us that fashion is pure vanitas - a temporal luxury soon to pass. Like life, fashion is fleeting. In time, youth, beauty and wealth will abandon us. Only death waits for us in the end. For most of us, skulls evoked some kind of biker chic, a toughness that gave any outfit an edge. But for McQueen, there was nothing ironic about skulls on clothing. With him, it was always a grim memento mori disguised as style.

I am terribly saddened by McQueen's death, and particularly by the circumstances of it. His grief could not be sustained - even before his mother's death. His work seeped with grief. He was caught in a continuous Danse Macabre, yet through some strange alchemy turned the concept of decay into something beautiful and elegant. I will miss him.

This hologram of Kate Moss is so ethereal and angelic, perhaps McQueen's concept of what remains when all else is gone. I hope he has met his angels.

The Oak Sleeps in the Acorn

Amigurumi acorns at PlanetJune

"The greatest achievement was at first and for a time a dream. The oak sleeps in the acorn, the bird waits in the egg, and in the highest vision of the soul a waking angel stirs. Dreams are the seedlings of realities." - James Allen

If I had to choose a modern symbol of hope in the midst of loss, it would be the acorn. Fallen from a great oak, the acorn seems so small and insignificant. Yet it holds so much promise. When we lose someone, it indeed feels like everything is lost. Yet somewhere in the ruins there's a seed for a new beginning. We may not understand it, but I'm pretty sure it's there.

That's why I like the Acorn Urn by AKRA. Made from compressed recycled paper, these hand-finished urns are hardy above ground, yet biodegradable if you choose to "plant" them. In an age when most urns try to impart permanence with marble and stone, these lovely urns are humble in both design and destiny.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Time Flies

Here's a modern memento mori necklace by Butch's Baubles. Clocks have long been a symbol of our fleeting mortality, and this timepiece pendant, along with the hearse and wing (time flies) will remind us that life is indeed short and precious.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Until Death

With Valentine's Day only a couple of weeks away, here's a little memento mori for those in love. A customized Hasta La Muerte magnet by creativitylzette.