There's been a bit of a storm lately over a recent controversial photo collection released by photographer Tyler Shields earlier this week. This shouldn't be a surprise to anyone who's been paying any attention to style news anywhere; including blogs, Twitter, and Facebook; and at first I'll admit I didn't really want to elaborate on the issue...but I feel like it deserves the personal commentary.
The photo collection, created in collaboration with Francesca Eastwood (Clint Eastwood's daughter) features a vibrant and graphic total destruction of an extremely rare $100,000 Hermès Birkin Crocodile Bag by use of fire and chainsaws. Shocking?! Yes, hence the social media storm and, quite obviously, extreme controversy. For those who are unaware, the Hermès Birkin is the most sought-after luxury bag on the planet, and in many cases, is the most expensive.
Now I'm all for art for the sake art. I think making a statement, using the power of an image, and the power of beauty, is a significant and inspirational thing. Fashion, as we all know, quite often revolves around this concept of glamour and fantasy, the beauty of a moment, so-to-speak. But, to all my enthusiasts out there, can you really take something like this lightly? Because I can't, at all! This just feels wrong to me.
Destroying this bag is vandalism. This Hermès Birkin is as rare as it is because it is made with specially treated leather of incredible quality and hand-stitched over hours of pain-staking, technically immaculate work; not to mention the material! I believe it's important to respect where the fashion has come from, what has given it it's identity, and this does exactly the opposite, and it becomes a waste. To see it's utter destruction is embarrassing. So many people who don't understand fashion view it as frivolous already, which is something I greatly disagree with, and yet this collection perpetuates that very idea! It is a collection the celebrates the "meaningless" of design, and coming from an artist and enthusiast, it feels disrespectful, shameful, and misguided.
And don't get me wrong, I'm no prude. It's just that design to me is something of divinity. Compensation, shape, and creation are all such a significant and beautiful part of art - whether through fashion or any other medium. It took an artist to create something this incredible, an artist of fantastic talent. It's like seeing a beautiful painting destroyed, at least for me, and all it does is make me sad that it happened, and angry that someone could actually stand to do it with intention. But, of course, that's just me. Opinions?