Want to know about the latest on street chic? Meet Reid Peppard. A London based American taxidermy artist who designs and creates the most incredible pieces of fashion jewellery, all from organically sourced deceased creatures who are found on the streets of London town. (For those of you about to call PETA please put the phone down and re-read. We are talking about animals who died victims of: road kill, pest control or natural causes such as the latest snow blizzard.)
Beasties such as rats, mice, pigeons, hamsters, among other urban fellas are “given a second life” by the designer who turns them into the most wearable (if you dare) avant-garde fashion statement pieces, which – to the surprise of many of us- look rather stylish and cool.
Designing under the label http://www.rpencore.com/, Reid combines leather, jewellery and taxidermy to create the most unthinkable fashion accessories and is constantly searching for suppliers of organically sourced leathers and sterling siver/gold.
From pigeon wing headpieces, to rat bow ties, to guinea pig hair combs and mice purses and headbands, Reid Peppard’s collection seems to have the fashion crowd both horrified and enchanted in equal measure.
Young and hip taxidermy artists like Reid Peppard and New Zealander Julia de Ville who are slowly gaining more and more acceptance and recognition for their creative work in this field, whilst the subject of death still remains to be something of a taboo.
”Death is a taboo subject. We are so obsessed with looking young, finding ways to prolong life. We need to remember that every day is important. I want to inspire people to contemplate their own mortality in a positive way. I am not a morbid person but I am not afraid of acknowledging that I am mortal” – Says Julia de Ville, taxidermy artists.
“I consider my taxidermy to be a celebration of life, a preservation of something beautiful”– Says Julia, whose work is inspired by the Memento Mori jewellery of the fifteenth to eighteenth centuries and victorian mourning jewellery.
Now I know what you are thinking: “don’t let Lady Gaga catch wind of these fashion because….” Too late my friend. Trust Gaga’s team to keep a finger on the pulse of the latest avant-garde fashion. So, yes, Reid Peppard was recently approached by Gaga’s people to create some work especially commisioned for her latest music video “Bad Romance”, where Gaga also appears clad in lots of beautiful Alexander McQueen pieces.
Check out the video here and pay special attention to 4:27 where Gaga appears
wearing Reid Peppard’s fab rat head piece.
So whether you are after adding some sparkle to your dullsville party wear, walking around freaking out vegans, giving PETA something else to winge about besides fur or simply making a statement showing yourself up as a true avant garde fashionista, if being the talk of the town is what you are after, you know where to go.
PS – If you live in London and happen to find a dead animal, BAG IT, FREEZE IT and E-MAIL REID. SERIOUSLY. For every ten usable items (read: not rotten) you find, you will receive a Reid Peppard work FREE OF CHARGE! – I am so keeping my eyes peeled. Forget window shopping, I am dead pigeon/rat/squirrel/mouse searching from now on.