Fred Butler creates the new wonderland

Fred Butler creates the new wonderland

Fashion sleuthing is what I seem to spend half of my time doing and just as well that I’m a dilligent student as I was going through my archives, I realised how much of a random variety of things I had written about.

The sleuthing begins when I spot something and note the name down as a draft SMS message on my phone and then I am itching to Google it at home.  You hit a stump when the person/object in question has no online presence but you score a ker-ching when they have a superbly designed website as demonstrated by Fred Butler, whose giant zip necklace I spied in the Selfridges window, seamlessly blending in with the blue Herve Leger bandage dress (so much so I wished the zip was part of the dress…).

Fred Butler is actually a woman who studied fashion but later trained in set design.  My fascination in objects/props used in editorials for the purpose of heightening an outfit doesn’t seem to want to end because though the exaggeration of say a giant paper-cut scissors is purely there to create a sense of the surreal and odd, for me that inspires me to take it to the next level and somehow incorporate that into reality, into what I wear in real life.  It doesn’t surprise me how little bearings editorials have on what people wear in reality but for me, I’m very likely to sponge off Fred Butler’s extensive portfolio, to inspire whatever shenanigan of an outfit I put together,  For example, is a Swarovski flesh covered bodysuit such an impossible feat in reality?  I don’t think so… 

Impact on personal style aside, Fred Butler’s accessories and editorial set-ups really do add that final touch that no conventional designer accessory or garment could ever do.  The sort of stylists that I admire are the ones that really use their imagination in pushing the boundaries of a certain ensemble by collaborating with people such as Fred Butler.  It doesn’t of course work for everything but on the right garments, the FB touch is just what is needed.       

Scissors and paper necklace from ‘Hue Model Army’ from Observer Fashion Supplement from Tank Issue 6 // Swarowvski covered bodysuit from ‘The White Sands’ from Vogue Nippon, Issue 91


Collars adorning two Hussein Chalayan dresses from ‘Analogue Bubblebath’ from Quest

Star paper cut-out applied as make-up from ‘Cut Out and Keep’ // Mirroballs and cardboard headpieces from ‘Trip Trick’

Prop setup from ‘I Love Bags’ from Amelia’s Magazine Issue 7 // Cardboard set-up with Emma Cooks and Alistair Carr shoes


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  1. Kat

    2007-07-31 at 7:54 PM

    Is the zip necklace for sale? I couldn’t find it on her site but I love it!
    (P.S. My “turban” arrived today and I can’t wait to wear it… Partly inspired by you! The only reason I wish I lived in London would be so my “fashion-y” outfits wouldn’t meet so many confused stares – but I’m gonna go for it anyway!)

  2. Caroline Stefko

    2007-07-31 at 8:07 PM

    this is completely off topic, but I saw a shirt online that made me think of your post on wearing a bra over a shirt. it’s actually one piece, i think, but it looks like the bra over a shirt style.
    the url is if you’re interested. you have to scroll down quite a ways. they actually have quite a few items like that.
    i love your blog!

  3. bryne

    2007-07-31 at 9:31 PM

    i’m glad the zipper is ykk. very sturdy. the fred butler website is also very nice. i have really been feeling the minimal outfit with over the top almost surreal accessories i hope to attempt this look in the fall. mainly i am looking for enormous pyramid studs and some kind of fall headpiece.

  4. Cameron

    2007-07-31 at 9:39 PM

    Hey Susie!
    Unlike yourself, I am a minimalist (or at least I was–your blog has been instrumental in scooting my look from medium risk to fun and experimental). However, I love the thought of putting props in photos and in outfits. It keeps the edge off of ‘cutting edge.’ You know, keeps the fun in personal style. Adds a needed dose of irony.
    Thanks for posting–love the zipper!

  5. Gloria

    2007-08-02 at 8:12 PM

    Guess what? I came across this “zipper necklace” on…
    not as extravagant, but it’s probably a lot more affordable than the fred butler

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    2008-11-24 at 12:03 PM

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