Wednesday, October 12, 2011


After an exhausting night spent watching 'The Renovators' Finale I swore I'd avoid anything to do with DIY adventures and reality television. Instead let's focus our attention on something more tangible, albeit fragile, in the form of the butterfly. Amazingly diverse with their markings and extremely short-lived, these insects have had a marked influence in the worlds of both fashion and interior design. They seem to tap in to the nostalgia of childhood for many people and regularly feature as motifs on bedlinen and even patty cakes. Who can forget the overachiever cook /career woman/ mother who would show up all the other parents at school fundraising events with exquisitely iced butterfly confections! 

I have posted three examples of how nature merges with human design. The first image illustrates the Papilio Ulysses in their natural habitat. Many of you would be familiar with this butterfly (surprisingly it's the males which are the brighter blue!) as they are the 'mascot' for Dunk, and to a lesser extent, Bedarra Island.

Papilio Ulysses Butterflies in Far North Queensland
The next shot is a Vogue USA cover in 1995 by Meisel of Kristen Mcmenamy. Her butterfly-patterned dress comes to us courtesy of the late Gianni Versace. At least it showcases a collection on the fabric in which none were harmed! The final image is the 'Butterfly Stool' by Japanese Designer Sori Yanagi. This elegant piece captures the harmony and aesthetic economy offered by nature. Created in the 1950's, and now the target of unscrupulous 'inspired' furniture designers (term applied loosely!) it has attained iconic recognition. Just goes to show that when a beautiful form in nature meets the talent of a great craftsperson the results can be enduring.

Kristen McMenamy in Versace by Meisel  for Vogue USA 1995
Butterfly Stool by Sori Yanagi c1956

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