IconoclastDaily

A NEUROTIC DESIRE…

Drowning in fashion misery?
Bogged down by negative self-perception?
Or simply floating in suspended motion?

Red
Concept and styling: Neha Singla

Today, we idolize a trance-like perfection: perfect hair, perfect body, perfect skin, perfect shoes, perfect dress… and in the quest for this illusive perfection we become insignificant commodities. Nothing can stop us, nothing else matters when we want to reach the zenith of external beauty: only an insatiable desire to attain an unrealistic image of ourselves.

Our entire existence is affected by this mania: People. Social interactions. Communication. Synergy…. These are some of the words for which our fashionista develops a deep-seated animosity. She confines herself to her imaginary distortions just like an infant in her mother’s womb: disconnected from the outside world. Making friends is no more relevant to the modern day narcissist.

It is ironic how physical beauty becomes utterly monstrous in the voyage to conform to the ideal image. How for a fashion obsessed teenager, getting good grades in school for that beautiful Zara dress becomes the only motive in life. How to achieve that model like figure, we girls just abandon food, like rats abandon the sinking ship. This idée fixe leads to a distorted and destructive self, sinking us deeper in an ocean of misery and low self- esteem. We don’t realize and in no time at all, the monster within grows into a dominating despot, high and mighty, leaving us vulnerable and helpless.

MONSTER-TOP
Concept and styling: Neha Singla

But, let’s face it: no matter how domineering or bossy the monster is, we are the queens of our own lives. When we get behind the driver’s seat after three too many drinks that is our very own decision.

Whether we want to or not, we have to own up to the choices we make: and the good news is that taking charge of your own life is empowering enough. You then know that it is you, who has let the monster take a more elevated position than your own self. As they say “It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in us.”

We just have to stop treasuring short-term rewards and focus on long term effects. If you fall off the wagon initially, just don’t give up hope. As Napoleon Hill has rightly quoted:

Effort only fully releases its reward after a person refuses to quit.

So just be cognizant of the fact that the chain that binds you is only real if you believe it is and how breaking it can set you free and make you more babelicious than ever before.

 

believe it is and how breaking it can set you free and make you more babelicious than ever before.

desirexxx
Final Magazine Editorial

JUST SOME FLESH FOR MY RING!!!

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24 carat gold band made from Sruli Recht’s abdomen skin

  An out of the league designer and artist, Sruli Recht, born in Jerusalem, Israel, studied in Australia, moved to London and finally based himself in Reykjavik, Iceland, in the northern Europe. Getting into the mind of Recht, I intepret, that one cannot categorize his work, for a simple reason that he has always done things that are not close to normality.

He is the only designer who has actually used his own skin for one of his art pieces. He removed a 4 by 0.4 inch skin from his abdomen while he was awake, got it tanned, with hair intact and mounted it to a gold ring. As some of the writers have rightly put it “he donated a piece of himself for art.” But not everyone has the same appreciation for his work, as many people feel such products are repugnant and the price he is selling them at is extravagant.

Not to mention, he captured the entire process live, below you can watch the video:

As bizarre the idea of human flesh on a ring may seem, what surpasses the human imagination, is the concept of sharkskin gloves lined with thousands of thorns slanted inwards.


Shark skin gloves with thorns lined inside

You can put on the gloves once , only once because if you want to remove them, you have to cut them off or else you rip your hands. With such a line of products to his name, I am not appalled if bloggers infamously quote him as: “Fashion’s Maddest Man.”

His urge to do different things in the most different possible ways has always landed him in trouble. The concept of making an umbrella with a knuckle duster handle, as he called it The Umbuster, got him charged of importation, manufacturing and selling of prohibited weapons. Though, at the end he managed to win the case, with court declaring that the Umbuster is not a weapon.

Umbrella with a Knuckle Duster

No matter how quirky his work  may appear to anyone, it has always earned him recognition. No wonder his store “Vopnaburio” has been selected by the Wallpaper magazine, among the ten most interesting shops in the world in 2010 with the likes of Hermes in New York and Stella McCartney store in Milan.

An in-depth research on this man leaves you wondering, what to refer him as because his work has always been swinging like a pendulum between art, design and fashion. Before writing this article I didn’t have the slightest of the clue of who Sruli Recht is, so much so that didn’t even know how to spell his name.

But now without any hesitation I would say that despite all the unconventional things he does, I have developed a liking for him when in one of his interviews he unperturbed says “screw those steps; I don’t have the time for them.” The intellect he portrays, leaves you spell bound.

His work is truly a piece of art, for art is not only to provoke pleasant emotions: art in its every form is a medium of expression and Sruli Recht uses this medium quite well, literally.

How to lead a sexless life and be a fucking genius?

sex

Having sex these days is like a daily dose of vitamin for the body, without which it seems almost impossible to survive. Nevertheless there’s a new breed emerging to the surface proving a new direction. They are the asexuals, infamously classed as the fourth sexual orientation, people without any sexual desire or feeling. Is asexuality the new NORM?…

Let’s not confuse asexuals with homosexuals or bisexuals. For a matter of fact, the latter two do have a sexual desire (strong enough) for either the same sex or the opposite sex. Furthermore asexuality is not celibacy, which means not having sex for whatever reason, though having the orientation. And you dare not categorize them as impotent, if they desire, they can give birth to any number of babies you want.

Asexuality is simply a sexual orientation where the person does not experience sexual desires of any kind: however startling it may sound, it is a reality. Breasts. Vaginas. Penises. These so called sexual organs don’t generate any erotic fetishism in asexuals. Isn’t it an anomaly in a world that is otherwise over obsessed with sex?

However, research reports that asexuality is around as long as sexuality itself. Notable people such as scientist Issac Newton, Canadian pianist Glenn Gould, English art critic John Ruskin were considered to be asexuals. They never showed any interest in women or men per se, indeed they seemed to lack physical attraction or desire for sex. Surprisingly enough, John Ruskin was initially married but later got divorced; rumoured to have refused any physical contact with his wife.

Perhaps that’s the reason behind their success: they devoted all the time in the world to their passions.


Glenn Gould- the great Canadian Pianist of the 20th century

Rumors have always been ripe about Karl Lagerfeld, the legend himself, being an asexual. However, for the man who has never revealed his exact birth date, revealing his actual sexuality is beyond our imagination. Furthermore the social media is always abuzz about the alleged asexuality of Tim Gunn, the man who has multiple credits to his name. Not to mention, he served as an associate dean at Parsons from 1989-2000, only to become a chair later, at the famous design school.

Anthony Bogaert, associate professor at Brock University and author of Understanding Asexuality, has been researching on asexuality since many years now. Interesting facts came forth: 1% of Britain’s population is asexual. As he remarks in his book:

“There are two forms – those who have some level of sex drive, but don’t direct this toward others (they may masturbate) and some who have no sex drive.”

He believes that asexuality is a reaction to the oversexualization of our culture.

In 2006 american asexual activist David Jay felt the need of founding the website AVEN – Asexual Visibility & Education Network to find like minded people and start a discussion.

“Sometimes I believe its difficult to be asexual in this world that is so focused on sexuality. I have known that I was an asexual since I was about 14-15. Kind of when all my friends started to realize that they were interested in sex but I couldn’t relate to what they were going through.”

He said of his [a]sexual orientation.

After its foundation the website really took off and today they have over 12,000 members across the world. Below you can watch David coming out publicly in an interview on the NBC network.

Rare sexual orientation? Dysfunction? Sexual aversion disorder? Whatever asexuality is, there is no denying that though having zero sexual attraction, these people can still be involved in pure romantic relationship with someone. They lead sexless lives and they love it.

Holding hands is as far as I would ever take anything. For me sex is just revulsion, it really is. Just ugh!! Cuddling, that’s OK, not kissing.

Anwen Hayward, a 20 years old student at Aberystwyth University told The Telegraph in an interview.

Not the entire world is going crazy over screwing itself. There are many out there (hidden or just hesitant) who lack the libido. Maybe for them sex is just a brouhaha and they feel happy and content irrespective of the so called physical need phenomenon.

Maybe that’s how a genius is born!

The Frame The Body- Hiding the visible

Concept and styling: Neha Singla, Photography: Ruggero Lupo Mengoni

Skin. Skin. Skin… and more skin. Shedding clothes at the drop of a feather has become a knock-down-drag-out phenomenon.

Increasing displays of skin have prevailed since the sixties, from the miniskirt to the advent of the Monokini, a topless swimsuit that left the female breast exposed. It generated a great deal of controversy back then. Today, it’s nothing but common. We stumble upon NUDITY everyday and twice on Sunday: women and men alike doff their duds for what is sophisticatedly known as “the arts.”

Helmut Newton. Robert Mapplethorpe. Bill Brandt. Boris Mikhailow. How much and however we sugarcoat it, they all portray nudity in a way or another. Over-exposition has blurred the difference in their respective genres of photography and they all look the same.

Breasts. Vaginas. Penises.  [Hidden] organs no longer knock us off our chairs. Nudity in its every form has reached the terminal and jumped on the wagon of vulgarity. Such bodily exhibitions have made us unreceptive to most things naked. We no longer are in awe of the so-called skin show.

They say clothes are the means by which bodies are made social, but the demoralizing hard truth is, we have recklessly exiled fabric adornments from our closets. To what extent and for what purpose do we put up with this fashion? Why has Miley Cyrus become synonym with nudity and transgression when she displays mostly vulgarity? Do her acts give us a tickle in the stomach or are they irking us like never before?

Such outrageous exposures of skin have changed the human psyche: we now seem more attracted to mysterious and hidden ways of seeing the body. Humans always crave to discover what is concealed: desire is born of prohibition. Forbidding sight of body parts that are commonly visible could stimulate an insatiable urge. Middle Eastern women adorned with veils are the perfect example. First, veils create a notion of dual space: space behind the veil and space in front of it. The space behind it is invisible and thus obscure.

Middle Eastern woman adorned in a veil

To think about penetrating this space gives wings to untamed fantasies. It’s a double message: “look-at-me-I don’t- want- to- be- looked- at” playing obsessively with the voyeuristic male gaze, a gaze that always wants access and will not tolerate being denied it.

I have nothing against nudity, for it is our classical legacy. Elegance, integrity, physical and mental autonomy, a connection with our golden past: yes, nudity was once representing all of this, and with a touch of elegance to boot.

Can anything be more seductive than a naked woman barely covered with a white linen sheet? In 1962, Bert Stern photographed a nude Marilyn Monroe with a diaphanous wrap: the photographic series is engaging and sexually alluring.

Marilyn Monroe- Bert Stern Photography 1962- conceptually modified

Jean Paul Gautier had men stripping on the runway to present his Fall/Winter 2014 menswear collection. And yet, they never quite became fully naked: models were undressing only to uncover another layer of clothing, which created a strong urge to see some skin. No wonder that, at the end of the show, even a half naked man was a sight for sore eyes!

Watch the show to experience the curiosity:


That’s the beauty and potency of shielding what is otherwise ubiquitous.On the other hand, when skin is exposed in excess and distastefully, nudity can trespass the boundaries of sensuality and enter the no-man’s land of vulgarity and annoying trash.

Excessive skin show after a certain point can become obnoxious and kill enthusiasm. By revealing too much of our body we are undermining our capacity to provoke desire. On the contrary, showing little opens our mind to mysteries that were always living next to us.

The most ancient, traditional and refined Indian outfit is the sari: a six-yard draping fabric meant to fully wrap the female body and leave just a small portion of midriff bare. The sensuality it exudes is beyond words. Notable people from the west such as Elizabeth Hurley, Madonna, Daniela Kingsley and Naomi Campbell, to name a few, have enthusiastically draped themselves in a sari and they have looked their sensual best. What is so attractive about this fully clad outfit? It momentarily captivates the human ability to imagine what is unknown, unexpected and unseen.

So, dress as you please. But remember: curiosity is not about going to new places all the time: it is looking at the same old things with a new eye.