Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Life's Sweet Revenge.
Part 3: Pop Decadence, The Candy Macabre and Bourgeois Estate Sale

In Part 1 of Lifes' Sweet Revenge I discussed the shift away from the sterile, tech minimalism of the 90's and the emergance of more resonant, organic forms. The most obvious manifestation is the actual use of floral patterns as well as animal and insect imagry.

In Part 2 I point out the the overt use animal material (fur, leather, animal prints) in my discussion of the strong revival of Decadance in fashion and fashion advertising.

Part 3.
Downtown and downmarket you see another form of decadance that is more plastic and ironic. I've taken to calling it "Pop Decadance". Juciy Couture and the plastic funiture and chandeliers by Philippe Starck are shinning examples.

Murano Glass Chandelier.

Louis Ghost Armchair by Philippe Starck.

A pink suit of amor in a Juicy Couture store.

The "Maximalist" design of Juicy Couture's website.

Clothing label Diesel has a take on Pop Decadence that includes the macabre. The taxidermied birds and snakes are more theatrical than menacing, hence my coining of the term "Candy Macarbre".

An interesting aside. A biography on the life of Charles Addams, cartoonist and creator of the Addams Family has just been published Charles Addams: A Cartoonist's Life. I've read the first chapter, a fun read so far.

Here is a link to an NPR audio story:The Father of the Addams Family.

Need an element of the macabre in your life? Turn your beloved family pet into a taxidermied keepsake through the process of freeze-drying. Pet Preservations is one of the companies provding this service.

At Urban Outfitter you see many of the same types of items I have referred to elsewhere in this series: chandeliers, wallpaper, victorian furnishing gelded frames and candlestick holders. Instead of being slick reinterprtations they are dusty knockoffs that feel like relics uncovered in a Bourgeois estate sale, cheap reproductions of things you might find in a hunting lodge belonging to industrial revolution era capitalist. More antlers and logs, plaid hunting jackets too.

On this end of the spectrum the aesthetic gets a bit more homey. This relates directly to another way in which the reaction to 90's tech minimalism has manifested itself. There has been a renewed interests in crafts and DIY. Knitting and handrafts like cut-paper work have made huge comebacks.

Peter Callesen

Robert J Lang

1 comment:

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