Sunday, 9 August 2009

This is not a post

would you drink from this furry cup?

Fur-trimmed tea cup and saucer anyone? or how about champagne corkscrew earrings for that special occasion where diamonds just won't do?

All courtesy of Meret Oppenheim, the visionary who was part of the Surrealist Movement and who'd probably be head-accessoriser for Lady Gaga faster then you can say two girls one furry tea-cup.

What an incredibly artistc political movement - I wonder if we will ever get that groove happening again: Taking root in the 1920's - flourishing in the 1930's and terminated in the late 1960's by the last flame-keeper.

Drawing from the unconscious mind, communism, shanghai-opium den hallucinations (for Cocteau anyway), the Dada movement, obsessions of a personal kind and the dreamscape - it's leading proponent, Andre Breton, paved the way for the movement to concretisize itself in the collective unconscious via his "Surrealist Manifesto" - a kind very serious user-guide for those in the know at the time. I have not read it, so can only go on the self-explanatory title.

Although Dali is one of the better known Surrealists - Breton ousted him from the movement acccusing him of fascism and shock-horror: greed.

And in a surreal twist that even Bunuel could not have scripted better - Dali was made to stand trial in front of the surrealists, with Breton as judge.

Once could argue that Lady Gaga is bringing Surrealism to the masses today with her projection of distorted familiar objects into strange locations-type music videos --- but as the movement was a political one just as much as an artistic/literary and cultural one, maybe she is just carrying on the US-brand of abstract expressionism (which took root from Surrealism anyway but without the commi stuff).

The Surrealist Movement could do frivolous as it also extended to the perfume world.

Fashion designer Elsa Schiaparelli, who is also credited with incorporating zippers into the designs of her garments, had two fragrances devised: Shocking and Sleeping.

The bottle for Shocking was designed by the incomparable and totally fascinating Leonor Fini - who created an hour-glass shaped bottle based on Mae West and Sleeping was shaped like a candlestick.

How exquisite would it be to showcase these two perfumes from your dresser.

Obvious contributions aside, one of the great aspects of the movement is that writers, poets and artists collaborated with fashion and jewellery designers resulting in the creation of both timeless and time-warp pieces.
Christian Berard and Jean Cocteau designed fabrics. Aspirin necklaces were designed in conjunction with the poet Louis Aragon.

  • Clear plastic necklaces decorated with colour metal insects that appear to crawl directly on the wearers neck
  • Handbags that look like birdcages
  • Ceramic vegetables as necklaces
  • Buttons shaped like paperweights or grasshoppers

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