Last month, the elegantly futuristic creations of four inventive designers were unveiled by car manufacturer Lexus. Hand-picked by the company, these designers were invited to “rethink their notions of automotive design for an advertising campaign to appear in Vogue” using 2,000 individual parts of a Lexus CT Hybrid. Quite a clever move on the part of the company in terms of marketing their vehicle to the upper echelons, as associating oneself with the notions of hybrid technology and sustainability seems to be catching on, even in the fashion world. However, it seems the campaign also has the ability to inspire “designers, and the world, to see things differently”, as vice president of Lexus marketing, Brian Smith, remarks.
Dubbed the Lexus Fashion Workshop, this design collaboration proves how fashion can function across the boundaries of different industries. Who would automatically equate cars with excellently constructed, kick-ass heels, such as Alejandro Ingelmo’s Luna Shoe? Made from armrest leather trim and clear plastic tubing, they are a beautiful example of fine cobbling with unexpected materials.
An exquisite example of fine tailoring is the totally wearable Nomadic Sanctuary trio designed by John Patrick, comprising a trench coat, shorts and clutch. Assembled using floor mats from plant-based plastic, sustainable sound-dampening material, wire harness, leather seat covers and cargo covers, the ensemble could be mistaken for a set from the latest Jean Paul Gaultier resort collection.
Jewelry creator Eddie Borgo’s Valve Collection steers itself towards a more industrial look with the use of valve lifters, crank bearings and hose clamps. Nonetheless, his choker, bracelet and ring will make perfect additions to any daring fashionista’s outfit.
As a more artistic display piece, Moss Lipow’s Environmental Crown of Virtue seemingly, and rather cunningly, conveys a message questioning the concept of automobile manufacturing all together. After all, it is meant to be worn on the human head, and was made from a transmission, starter and exhaust manifold gasket. A rather loaded crown for anyone to wear, yet maybe the four lenses would allow for less cloudy vision of how to build a better future…
The four pieces will be sold at private auction during Art Basel Miami Beach, with the proceeds going to the Council of Fashion Designers of America Fund (CFDA). Pick up the January 2012 edition of US Vogue from your closest newsstand to see the Lexus ad in print, and visit Vogue.com/Promotions/Lexus for behind-the-scenes footage of the cars being dismantled and re-assembled into these beautiful, fashion pieces.