Sunday, December 15, 2013

Chris Habana FW 2011

In high school I became known for wearing lots of jewellery all the time- not because I particularly wanted to rebel or anything but I wanted to do something weird with the rigid confines of a school uniform. The male teachers found it too uncomfortable to ask me to take off my many rings or necklaces (but strangely had no trouble telling me off about nail polish) and the female teachers, librarians and teachers' aids were too busy complimenting me about my personal style. I got away with it for years until I graduated, partly because I was a high achiever, partly because it was a public school and no one really gave a damn. I'd like to think that if Chris Habana had been accessible to me in my youth, his pieces would have become part of my daily ritual of wearing good luck charms and heavy amulets. 

Even though I have changed a lot since then, I still have moments where I totally immerse myself and dress like an angsty teenage girl and mentally scream 'NO ONE UNDERSTANDS ME' while wearing lots of occult jewellery to deter people from trying to talk to me. I have also found black lipstick is excellent in making one appear unapproachable when you live in the dull and dreary suburbs but it doesn't quite satisfy the urge to wear heavy and slightly dangerous silver jewellery. Crucifixes, thorns, claws and body parts were the major players in the Fall / Winter collection way back in 2011 but the photo shoot itself seemed heavily and unexpectedly influenced by the role of gender. The narrative seemed to suggest a man is seduced by a strange woman who is actually inexplicably evil, but at least she is dressed nicely- right?

If I was the type of person to become easily obsessed or whose life was ruled by material possessions I can easily imagine sleepless nights spent tossing and turning lusting over the eyeball necklaces. As it turns out I am not this type of person (for better or worse). I think what makes the eyeball jewellery so special aside from being totally awesome is that they're really hard to come buy for someone as scummy as me who spends most of her time scouring eBay for a bargain... but I do really love the design and am a total sucker for oxidized silver despite its ability to lose its black luster after several days of wear. What's even more creepy than the black silver is the dilated lenses of glass eyeballs which come in shades of brown, red and orange are held within lips- like a monster interrupted eating some hideous meal became frozen in time.

I'm beginning to notice a pattern to Chris Habana's collections- no matter how dark, creepy or nichey the style there is always elements of colour meticulously incorporated into the surreal photo shoots and in this case it's almost ragged (but unmistakeably new) luxurious ribbons used to carry heavy statement necklaces. The nice thing about this idea is that you can easily reinvent jewellery you already own, or something you bought at a thrift store that needs a little TLC and in other words is threatening to spontaneously fall apart the next time you wear it. The way the ribbons weave in and out of the bracelets and necklaces still leaves room for heavy chain links and clasps at the back so your weighty jewellery is still safe and secure, while leaving impressions of a sea witch or magical priestess.

Some people may not appreciate the subversive biblical references of thorns and I can easily see why they wouldn't. I won't try to get into any discussions about religion and stuff but what I will say is that the execution of this idea was striking and for this very reason I love dark oxidized silver- in the darkness you can see the way the light plays on the shiny surface and everything about the design seems all the more bold. The earrings seemed like the safest option to explore this idea, rather than a bracelet or necklace which would have seemed too close to that infamous crown of thorns. Lately I've realised after reading lots of different fashion blogs that not everyone chooses to get their ears pierced- which is a bit of a revelation since not many designers cater towards this market. That's the only gripe I can find when it comes to Chris Habana- but even then I can't really complain because my ears are pierced and it doesn't directly effect me.

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