For thousands of years we humans have been entertaining ourselves with myths and superstitions regarding the various and sundry parts of our anatomy. Centuries old wives tales continue to spark curiosities even as we embrace the science all around us in the modern age (well, most of us anyway). In certain parts of the world the black arts like voodoo and witchcraft still exist and whether we know it or not, they continue to shape the cultures around them.
Speaking of body parts, I’m keeping this post clean, so we’ll only be discussing teeth today. Why? Because British designer Simone Rocha has sparked my curiosity with the inclusion of tooth shaped details in her Spring 2017 Collection. I find it fascinating and slightly macabre that a collection filled with such an excess of wonderfully feminine, flowery, eyelet and sheer looks for her woman would include such an oddity that veers on the dark side of the spectrum. But perhaps, therein lies the edge.
The use of teeth for human adornment has actually been with us for many a century, and in the particular close quarters of Victorian times. Queen Victoria herself commissioned jewelers to decorate statement jewels with her children’s milk teeth as if they were fine pearls or precious gemstones (photo below). Collectors of mourning jewelry are more than familiar with the intricate pieces made with teeth and hair of the dearly departed.
Thankfully Rocha’s interpretation is modern. But blink and you might miss it altogether. This symbolic gesture to past (and present) fetishes is subtle. For me details, at whatever volume they may speak, are always the icing on the sartorial cake. If you don’t take the time and care to notice, well then I’m afraid you might be missing the point of great design and brilliant fashion that straddles the worlds of beauty, art and commerce. True lovers of fashion find the energy to embrace those moments that turn the ordinary into the extraordinary. Rocha’s collections are most definitely of the latter. Timeless silhouettes reimagined in shapes that give way to a new identity, fabrics that both float on, but free the body of classic feminine constraint and important shoes that give weight to Rocha’s particular feminine ideal are all tenets of her brand. And yes lest I forget, the old-world, mumsy addition of charming gloves, lady-bags and significantly-sized costume jewels.
This spring, Rocha’s toothy motif appears in milky opaque perspex dangling individually from earlobes. She pairs a single incisor earring opposite a classic pearl drop on the other ear. It’s kind of a witty Jekyll & Hyde take on accessorizing. Supersized or minute in scale, transparent tooth-shaped heels finish off her quirky footwear statement in clear, yellow and red.
So my question is, will you bite? I know I will.