The Art of… Fur and Wood

The Art of... Fur and Wood - Object by Méret Oppenheim
Object, 1936 by Meret Oppenheim

I didn’t think there was any bit of surrealism left to reference in fashion, but leave it to Phoebe Philo to explore yet another fresh idea, fur heels – which have hardly been attempted since Elsa Schiaparelli’s 1938 Monkey Boots. Though reviews have been mixed regarding Philo’s Spring/Summer 2013 collection for Céline, I went gaga over her runway accessories because they are so clearly inspired by German-born, surrealist artist, Méret Oppenheim. Oppenheim’s most celebrated work, Object (pictured above) – consisting of a fur-lined teacup, saucer and spoon – is a sculpture from 1936 that now belongs to the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.

The Art of... Fur and Wood - Celine SS13 Runway Heels
Céline SS13 Runway Heels

Whether you love or hate of the $4,000+ mink heels (pictured above) or sandals (pictured below), there is no denying that they have been the most talked about shoes to walk down any SS13 runway. The act of using a fur-lined utensil is an ode to excess and somewhat sexual like a woman’s high-heel, yet so grotesque, similar to the thought of those amazing shoes ever encountering the sidewalk, or – gasp – a nasty puddle amidst the rainy months of spring.

The Art of... Fur and Wood - Celine SS13 Runway Flats
Céline SS13 Runway Sandals

The Art of... Fur and Wood - Celine SS13 Runway Heels
Céline SS13 Runway Heels

The surrealist-inspiration didn’t stop at fur shoes, Philo also sent out red toenail-pumps with wooden heels (pictured above) that had to have been inspired by Oppenheim’s Fur Gloves With Wooden Fingers (pictured below), also from 1936. Yes, I know what you’re thinking, “But what about those toenail loafers Comme des Garçons launched just a few season’s back?” Those are yet another genius creation to come from the mind of Kooky-Kawakubo rather than a direct reference to Oppenehim’s Fur Gloves. But I like where your head is.

The Art of... Fur and Wood - Fur Gloves with Wooden Fingers by Méret Oppenheim
Fur Gloves With Wooden Fingers, 1936 by Meret Oppenheim

Philo is no stranger to wood. Some of my favorite looks to date from her time at Céline have been the three wooden ensembles she showed for Fall/Winter 2011 (pictured below)

The Art of... Fur and Wood - Celine FW11
Céline Fall/Winter 2011

Similarly, Kate and Laura Mulleavy also explored wooden fabrics for their Spring/Summer 2011 Rodarte collection.

Spring/Summer 2011

On the topic of wood – and in keeping with the theme of German artists – I am so excited to final share these pieces by Nina Fischer & Maroan el Sani (pictured below). I discovered the duos’ work this past May at the Hamburger Bahnhof museum during my trip to Berlin and I have been waiting for the perfect opportunity to post them. I think their use of wood as opposed to canvas is innovative – to the extent of fur as opposed to leather – as refreshing. I love the simplicity of their etchings against the natural texture of the backdrop. Simply beautiful.

The Art of... Fur and Wood - Work by Nina Fischer and Maroan el Sani
Work by Nina Fischer & Maroan el Sani

The Art of... Fur and Wood - Work by Nina Fischer and Maroan el Sani
Work by Nina Fischer & Maroan el Sani

The Art of... Fur and Wood - Work by Nina Fischer and Maroan el Sani
Work by Nina Fischer & Maroan el Sani

The Art of... Fur and Wood - Work by Nina Fischer and Maroan el Sani
Work by Nina Fischer & Maroan el Sani

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  1. [...] SS 2013 Céline – art by Meret Oppenheim (previously seen here) [...]



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