Beauty | Season Trends

“Thus the distinct boundaries and offices of ‹reason› and of ‹taste› are easily ascertained. The former conveys the knowledge of truth and falsehood; the latter gives the sentiment of beauty and deformity, vice and virtue. The one discovers objects as they really stand in nature, without addition or diminution; the other has a productive faculty and, gilding or staining all natural objects with the colours borrowed from internal sentiment, raises in a manner a new creation.”                                                                                                                                                                                      An Enquiry concerning the Principles of Morals, David Hume

Can beauty be measured? And what would the unit of measure be? How is the boundary set between conforming and deformed? What area of the brain can tell the difference? The definition of the aesthetic standards has always been subject of discussion and any attempt at classifying beauty has always come up against the relativity of times, of fashions and, above all, of subjective variables. What Hume maintained three centuries ago is perhaps still valid, since what we perceive as beautiful tends to be fickle, fluid, and dependent on a number of factors, all changeable and arbitrary. Here we tell you about a different form of Beauty: intense, cathartic, impressive. A courageous aesthetic that challenges our vulnerability, touching the cords of our senses and sensibility. A universe of unique beings (like Patricia Piccinini’s sculptures), as beautiful as they are incredible and sweet, inviting us to see them as a child would, with affection and curiosity, transcending any judgement. And so we observe these beings, staying in a limbo of contemplation, temporarily suspending stereotypes and superstructures, undergoing the allure of disbelief. We scrutinise their faces, their bodies so different from the norm, shifting the boundary between attractive and repulsive for a few seconds. They are there, they are different. But from what and according to whom? They have large heads, liquefied faces, wrinkly skin, overlong limbs, gills and hair in improbable places, and yet their expressiveness exudes charisma. Behind the fantastical and unlikely exterior, they seem to have a good soul which invites us to seek out beauty where we would never expect to find it.

Research: Sakina Bezzaz for Autumn/Winter 2023/24 season.

Explore also the colours and materials of Beauty!

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