• Victoria Ledig

Leather is one of fashion’s favourite textures. It’s responsible for wardrobe staples (think supple handbags and biker jackets) and statement looks (like this season’s quilted sweatshirts), so we invest in it over and over again.

So when we came across Victoria Ledig’s Precious Skin project, which re-examines the role of leather and toys with all our expectations, we couldn’t wait to find out more about her work. Ledig reminds us that leather is “beautiful, precious ad grotesque at the same time. We sometimes forget that touching leather is to handle a former living being’s hide.”
But it’s impossible to forget that as you look at her designs, which use the animal parts not normally required for leather goods. A bag, a purse and a make-up brush holder all become instantly recognisable as animal remains, and the result is slightly uncomfortable for anyone who usually prefers not to  think about where their patent clutch or leather boots originally came from.
It is not, as might seem plausible at first, a cry against using leather in the fashion industry. Instead Ledig is reminding us of leather’s dynamic quality. “I realised that the connection with what leather is and where it comes from has been lost, which is a pity in my eyes” she told weheart.co.uk.
The collection was her graduate project at the Design Academy Eindhoven, and involved one very interesting trip to a tannery in Dongen, in the Netherlands, where her fascination with leather had started during an internship. We’ve never seen anyone work with  ears or tails before, but she manages to give them an eeriness that is fascination rather than repellent. It’s definitely made us reconsider all of our pre-conceptions about leather and it’s traditionally smooth, supple finish.

It’s well worth checking out her other work; she has a collection of interesting projects here, including a range of jewellery crafted from parchment, leather and embroidery.

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