Photos by Brennan Cavanaugh for Pinnacle
Hair today…gone tomorrow. That’s how we typically think of our own hair, right? It grows, it sheds, we cut it, and then it more or less becomes “waste.” To challenge that notion, VPL designer Victoria Bartlett whipped up a set of follicularly blessed accessories for the latest issue of Pinnacle, an anti-fur magazine founded by Discerning Brute blogger Joshua Katcher. This wasn’t Bartlett’s first foray with human hair, either. She’s previously designed a series of sweaters knit from human hair.
Bartlett’s unconventional bijoux are a commentary on fashion’s obsession with fur. “I think Victoria’s pieces beg the question of why some hairs are considered ‘luxury’ and other hairs are considered garbage or off-putting,” Katcher tells Ecouterre. “I think this says a lot about what happens to beings who are decided by those in power to be subhuman and not worthy of ethical consideration.”
In World War II, the Nazis shaved the heads of Jews—dead or alive—and sent the hair to suit-makers to use as interfacing.
That conceit, adds Katcher, evokes another dark chapter of our history where hair was used and abused. In World War II, the Nazis shaved the heads of Jews—dead or alive—and sent the hair to suit-makers to use as interfacing. Most of us won’t think twice about wearing the hair of another species, which begs the question: Would we feel the same if it belonged to one of our own?