I have an inexplicable fear of insects … to the extent I can barely dispose of one unless I am faced with the realization that if I don’t, it might very well crawl into my bed at night and take a bite. Contrast this to my Mother who has a “pet” spider who has taken up residence in her shower and who scoops up found insects in her bare hands. Ewwww, it’s enough to make one’s skin crawl…at least mine.
Knowing I have no predilection for insects, it surprises even me that when it comes to accessories: I swing the other way. I have been amassing bug- and spider-themed accessories for years. Every season – whether ladybugs or spiders — insects have persevered in fashion. In the recent past, we saw butterflies in the 1980s with Dolce and Gabbana taking the lead. The motif persists for the brand today. In this very column about a month ago I covered the Academy of Art’s student exhibition that featured some outstanding and excessive bug-centric garments. This season I am seeing some extreme (see above for an ant crawling experience) as well as beautiful options.
Not a modern day phenom, Egyptians embellished jewelry with scarabs and often depicted the beetles as pushing the sun along its course in the sky… an ode to the Sun God Ra. In Japan, Samurai warriors adorned their armor with dragonflies as symbols of strength and bravery. But it was the beetle that was prized and remains so to present day. Recently, I read about the annual summer bug season in Japan where they sell bugs everywhere — from grocery to hardware stores. It’s a status symbol and a national obsession. The commonly found beetles live but a few months and can be purchased for less than five dollars a pair, but the more majestic beetles with long mandibles run in the thousands of dollars and force some connoisseurs to seek bank loans.
Bottega Veneta is having its own Beetlemania this season and it’s worth taking note. These fine specimens are an easy way to get on the bug-wagon for fall. You can be sure that imitation will be sure to follow at lower price points.
The dung beetle, seeing its child on the wall, thinks it sees a pearl on a thread. ~ Arabic