Student and designer Cecilia Valentine has an innovative way to wear fur- while it is still alive. Debuting at the Reitveld graduation show, the designer showcased her living wearable’s, where furry pals and pets were worn as part of a series of accessories. Called “Fur is Alive,” the line brings attention to the mortality of the fur industry, while showcasing the natural beauty of each animal in a three-dimensionally printed design.
Valentine sought a compromise between fur and the fashion industry, wanting to create a project that would bring to light the issue of killing for fashion, without the gruesome connotations that activism can evoke. Exploring the idea of animal cruelty, she chose to expand on a commonly accepted enclosure for animals- the hamster cage. The hamster cage necklace is a thick net-like tube that circles the neck, in which the beloved pet may run around in, much like the tubes in hamster cages. The necklace itself was designed using Rhino, and 3D printed in bronze on a laser melting printer.
The collection also includes a headband with a tiny egg shaped cage for a fluffy chick, and a bracelet, both 3D printed in bronze as well. But the quirky collection isn’t really meant to be worn, but instead serves as a visual communication. Valentine hopes that her collection conveys the message that fur itself is not beautiful, but that instead the living animal is what is most precious. The Fur is Alive collection lives up to its name literally, connecting the fashion world with the fact that fur was once a living thing.