Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Sanguine Collar from Una Burke

Yesterday was Halloween, so it would be apropos to feature some extreme jewelry.

Browsing Farfetch, I found my attention caught by this "posture collar" by Una Burke. The name was unknown to me, so I did some research. What I uncovered was a constellation of unearthly bondage images and a cruel, intriguing premise.

From her capsule site on Not Just a Label: Una Burke is a luxury leather accessories designer who uses traditional leather-working methods and vegetable tanned hides. With her distinct construction technique of leather strips and brass fittings, Una develops sculptural belt forms, jewellery, handbags and abstract body pieces. Her work is quite often concept based, with influence commonly taken from military sources and other physical and metaphorical methods of protection.

I had to own a piece, almost more as an addition to my tiny art collection than an actual accessory to wear out. I ordered mine on sale from Curve Boutique, which carries several of her pieces. The collar arrived, and I was not disappointed. Una Burke's workmanship is incredible. The leather is soft and supple, and beautifully dyed.

Please forgive the lack of dramatic lighting.

Looking at pictures online, I had wondered how exactly the fastenings would work. I worried that I might not be able to put the collar back together once I had opened it up. Actually, the mechanism is quite simple: leather strips line up with metal rivets, and the structured nature of the collar makes working it blessedly simple.

I can only imagine the work that goes into the more intricate pieces. As Una Burke explains on her own siteThis is a conceptual collection of wearable art pieces, depicting a series of eight human gestures associated with the cause, the physical and psychological effect and the healing stages of human trauma. Sculptural forms are created around the shape of the contorted female body. A number of pieces are reminiscent of prosthetics and medical braces. This signifies the potential for healing within the boundaries of something which inhibits the body. Carcass-like in form, each piece is hand crafted from vegetable tanned leather, resulting in a colour indicative of human flesh. 

Jewelry? Accessory? Fashion? Art? Can this be categorized at all? Una Burke also makes handbags.

In addition to a handbag, I would love to acquire this "shoulder holster" in ivory.

Again, never mind exactly where I would wear this. Perhaps to a severely fashionable nightclub. Una Burke is someone I'm going to keep an eye on for aesthetics' sake.

Images from Not Just a Label, una burke, and JOYCE.



  1. Woman your sense of style is off the hook! I love your fashion/shoe choices and would love to own a piece of Una Burke now :)

  2. Blush, thanks, Xiao. I like to put together classic pieces in creative ways, then finish the outfit with strong accessories. And don't get me started on shoes!

    Una Burke's great, isn't she? Hope you find the right piece for yourself.


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