Roadkill Couture | Haute Macabre

Roadkill Couture

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Normally, we don’t like to post fur here at Haute Macabre, unless it’s on some weird old taxidermy. But I have to admit that the phrase “Rat Jacket” made me perk up my ears. Jess Eaton’s Roadkill Couture is exactly what it sounds like: roadkill. Dead things hit by cars, and scraped off the side of the road. It is also incredibly beautiful, calling into question our separation from the sources of our food and clothing and how easily as a culture we gloss over where things come from. Why is one dead thing gross and the next the height of fashion? Is it simply the skill with which they are stitched, or the presentation?

Outsapop has a video about Jess and her artwork, plus lots more images.

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**Edited to add :: Once, I got into the backseat of Nixon’s old VW Bug, and my foot went into a bucket that had a spatula sticking out of it. When I asked her why she had those things in the back of her car, she looked at me deadpan and said, “It’s my roadkill kit”, as if that was as normal as having jumper cables in your car. -Sam

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6 Comment

  1. Was really looking forward to the new hautemacabre and although I still enjoy it, I wonder why you have decided to stick to same-old goth and not express yourself.

  2. I have a collection of bones and skulls and intact insects and old beehives that I’ve retrieved whilst walking my dog! I love using them for headpieces and jewelry and what not, and I think it is such a useful thing to be able to scavenge for supplies. It makes so much sense in a time when everything is disposable and easily purchased and then thrown away. It makes the found objects much more precious.

  3. When I was awkwardly hitting puberty, my mom, a high school biology teacher, was in the midst of obtaining a masters degree to further her career. The program she was involved with required her to make a certain number of contributions to museum stuffs – collections of partially stuffed animals kept for scientists over long periods in order to track evolutionary changes. She obtained a taxidermy license and began collecting roadkill. Considering how much I love this Roadkill Couture now as well as dead animal/bug curio, I laugh at my teenage self, but back then it was mortifying to me when, while Mom was driving me and friends to some event, she would slam on the breaks and exclaim, “SAM! Did you see that dead possum? Was it intact?!” She’d then pull off to the side of the road, grab a garbage bag and gloves, scoop up the dead creature and place the prize in the trunk. For many years, we had a formidable collection of creatures in the freezer, including small birds, a skunk, a bat, several possums (the poor things really don’t know how to avoid cars) and a raccoon. If I could go back, I’d pay more attention to what she was doing. In a couple of weeks, thirty years after my mom’s roadkill collecting habits subsided, I’ll be taking my first taxidermy class.

  4. This amazing. I’m very much against breeding animals just for the purpose of making clothes out of them, but I’m all for taking care of whatever is left when the animals are dead in a natural way. I find it to be an honour for the animal that it’s parts can still be proud and beautiful after it’s death. What made the animal is long gone but it can still bring something wonderful to the world.

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