Una Burke A/W 2011 by Joy Chokchai.
I really don’t know what it is about fashion that attracts so many people with a dark sensibility. Is it because an obsession with the way we look can easily tip into self flagellation? Maybe encouraged by the desire to strive for but never being able to attain perfection? Punishment, pain and even death are a major inspiration for all sorts of fashionable creativity… and ideas provoked by S&M were present in spades at this LFW, as always.
Úna Burke presented her leatherwear collection at Fashion Scout accompanied by a somewhat disturbing film that my more erudite boyfriend informed me was similar to the work of Bjork’s one time other half Matthew Barney. It featured scenes of a semi clad model in a dungeon – opening her eyes in gory close up before grappling her way towards the light and a crowd of bemused onlookers.
Una Burke A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.
In cabinets we were invited to admire the bondage inspired pieces up close, splayed out and presented alongside grainy black and white photos, stills from the film. Her website cites her stated aim to create leather objects which are both visually captivating and technically challenging. Úna Burke inhabits that grey area between art and fashion – making wearable art. Using traditional techniques, there is undoubtedly a fine sense of craftsmanship to her work. All well and good for a bit of sex play, but this kind of presentation leaves me wondering – what exactly is the market for this? Can one make a living this way? Or must one diversify into slightly more commercial pieces to survive? Witness the Maria Francesca Pepe exhibition a few days later…
You can read Matthew Bramford’s complimentary review of the same presentation right here.
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