April 26, 2007

Antlers, Fashion, and Trendy Decor

In my part of the Rockies, it common to see deer or elk antlers hung from the gables of houses, garages, or barns.

When I see this practice, I think of King Hrothgar's hall, Heorot, and smile at the persistence of cultural memory.

But there is more, says today's New York Times article on trendy nature motifs, "If There's A Buck In It Somewhere".

“Antlers have a kind of maximalism that satisfies our urge for things to be overdesigned,” said David Wolfe, the creative director of the Doneger Group, which forecasts fashion and retail trends. “And because they are natural, we don’t have to take the blame for their being overdesigned. They are busy, convoluted objects, but they are natural.”

It is notable as well that many of the shops that are rife with antlers are targeting a new breed of male consumer who is dabbling in a stereotypically feminine embrace of fashion. At Hollander & Lexer, a new men’s store on Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn with the feel of shopping in a slightly demented explorer’s club, a mounted African kudu head watches over Rogues Gallery T-shirts and Paul Smith jeans, as if to remind shoppers that fussing over their wardrobes need not be an effete pursuit.

The stag as an archetypal symbol was not lost on Lisa Kinoshita, who designs a jewelry collection called Mineral in Tacoma, Wash., which includes a sterling silver antler pendant. But she doubts that the current popularity is based on more than aesthetics.

“Where once the stag was a symbol of religious regeneration,” she said, “it could be said that today it appeals to those who worship modern design.”

There is more, as fertile minds in the fashion industry talk about their favorite subject, the fashion industry

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