Transmutation was the word that came to mind the first time I saw milliner Sahar Freemantle’s Magpie inspired Ugly Lovely collection. A narrative of claws, animal horns, feathers, shredded snake skin, fossilized beetles, dried butterflies, bird skulls, etc, gave me the impression that if I wore one of her ingenious creations, I could morph into this intelligent bird. The Magpie is the only non-mammal species to have the ability of self recognition in a mirror test. And they are are also the ultimate recycler known for thieving and collecting found objects for their nests.
Raised on a farm it was commonplace for Sahar to see animal carcasses, skulls, rotting fruit and vegetables and it is in this milieu of birth, death and decay that she discovered beauty in the extraordinary. While studying at Edinburgh College of Art she found passion in high drama, Schiaparelli hats, insect art and taxidermy receiving her degree in Costume Design and specialising in Millinery.
Ugly Lovely is a description to define something that might repel at first but then become beautiful. Her headpieces from this collection are an ode to unconventional beauty. They aim to challenge the notion of beauty by drawing ones own and contrasting it with the dark and the strange. As well they tell a story of fearlessness allowing whoever wears these objects of art to be transformed; bringing out inner confidence and strength.
Photos: Gisela Torres
Hats: Sahar Freemantle
Makeup Artist: Sara Sorrenti
Hair: Jack Merrick Thirlway
Model: Danielle Ifra