Jess Eaton couture

Have a look at these images. Gorgeous creations, aren´t they? Fur, feathers, leather and skulls. The basis of pretty much any Alexander McQueen collection. But these aren´t regular fashions. Most of these are made from animals rabbits, birds, squirrels and foxes, that died by the hand of man, or a car to be exact. You call them also road kill.

Jess Eaton’s Roadkil Couture collection features weird items and accessories, like a necklace made from with the skulls of 12 dead pheasants, a bolero jacked made from the furs of 50 white rats eaten by her friend’s reptile, or a hat made from four magpie wings, but the designer claims she’s not out to shock the world. Sure, some of her pieces look like something only Lady Gaga would dare wear, but Jess Eaton says her creations are only meant to be beautiful, not outrageous. While other women would probably flinch at the sight of a dead animal, Jess is more than happy to pick it up, skin it herself and use its various body parts in her unique fashion item. 

I have come across road kill before, 20 years ago in the early 90´s.

When I was 14, we visited a man in Germany with my family. He was in his 60s, a factory owner by the name of Karl Kaps who worked with my father in the technology / optics industry. He was a successful business man and he had a beautiful house and a beautiful family. When we sat down for dinner I could not help noticing that the house was filled with furs, skulls, stuffed small animals and other things that looked like hunting trophies. At the time I was a big supporter of PETA, Animalia and other animal rights organizations. I felt disgusted. I knew that I was a visitor in the house but I had to ask about the animals. You should have seen the look on my dads face when I opened my mouth. "Soo... How does it feel to hunt and kill..? ..."Kill what?"Mr. Kaps asked back. "All these animals, you have in your home." "I have not killed them. Other people have with their cars. I collect the carcasses of the animals from the autobahn and bring them to a guy who does taxidermy. He cleans them up.".... (Me stunned)... "Okay.. That´s nice." The whole conversation had me confused. I had made the biggest error in judging this man before asking him about it. Afterwards I thought the way he decorated his home was fantastic. I started to marvel the bird skulls and others as beautiful creations rather than road kill (awful negative word).

Today, my home is decorated with bird skulls and stuffed animals. My friends call me "Crazy Bunny Lady" and my favorite place in Helsinki is the Natural History Museum. I share Jess´ thoughts on how we should broaden our minds a bit on what could be recycle fashion and what is beautiful. Some people could not stand the idea of putting on a jacket made from rat skins.. That just tells me how alienated we´ve become from the natural world and the cycle of life. We don´t want to know where and how our food is grown, just "Gimme the damn burger." 

"Sure. Any dressing with that Ma'am?"

Photos via Jess Eaton and Kenny McCracken.

Outi Les Pyy

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