Those who follow the social media accounts of Kim Kardashian, Chrissy Teigen or “Queer Eye”’s Tan France may have been alarmed to see their most recent accessory trend, large luminary pieces that appear to be implanted under the skin of the neck and chest.
While France’s piece was the largest and most flashy, a “Tudor” styled skin-collar with ribbons and gems, Kardashian’s floral necklace blinked with a rhythmic glow mimicking a heartbeat. Teigen’s “implant” was a pair of angelic wings on her chest made of what can only be described as skin feathers.
— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) August 27, 2018
The looks are shocking works of creative genius, but before you think these beautiful stars committed to going under the knife for some permanent implanted accessories, think again. The skin jewelry pieces are a part of Simon Huck’s art series, A. Human.
The full collection of wearable, beautiful body modifications will be unveiled at New York Fashion Week and challenges the norms of design by incorporating accessories into the human anatomy. Other pieces in the A.Human collection include horned shoulders and spiral shell-like heels that are joined with the wearer’s natural foot.
The otherworldly exhibit will open Sept. 5 and is an immersive experience that allows users to be “fitted” with art modeled onto their body. The A.Human collection will be open for only four weeks and costs $40 to attend.
During the show, A.Human will use “set design, technology, prosthetics, live actors and more to blur the line between reality and fantasy, all while asking very real questions about our definitions of self-expression.”
In the creation of this new line, Huck partnered with designer, fashion director and Lady Gaga-collaborator Nicola Formichetti, renounced immersive performance director Michael Counts and make-up artist Isamaya Ffrench.
While speaking to Vogue, Formichetti explained the inspiration behind the exhibit, “Fashion is more than the clothes you wear, it’s also the choices you make about your body and how you present yourself.”
#AHuman its gross, yes. But if we remember, during the last years of 1800's tattooed people were featured in circus and museums. Today 40% of millenials have at least one tattoo. This is not just about what we find disgusting or exciting…
— Glenda Michel (@GlendaMi) August 28, 2018
Reactions to these pieces on Twitter vary between praise and mockery, although a fair amount of responses include confusion and turned-stomachs. Twitter user @geemftauryn said, “#Ahuman is the weirdest thing I have seen before, celebrities are getting crazy.”
— 私はパトリシアです (@SoyPatricia) August 28, 2018
Another Twitter user made the astute connection that Lady Gaga wore similar implants in 2011 for her “Born This Way” music video, so it is not surprising that her fashion director was Formichetti is now focusing on A.Human.
In 2016 Gaga and her creative team were also threatened with a lawsuit over the fake implants in her video because they closely resembled the real implants of French body-artist Orlan. However, the lawsuit backfired, and Orlan ended up paying the mother monster for the accusation.
— ɹǝuǝʇǝǝʍs (@ivanpawsup) August 28, 2018
The push for body-modification as a form of fashion and self-expression is nothing new. Tattoos, piercings, unnatural hair colors, body reconstruction and plastic surgery abound in modern society, so who is to say that implanted accessories aren’t the next level of fashion?