Vicious Sabrina is a collective fashion, art and jewelry project that has united a small group of London and Tokyo based creators on a journey to explore the obscurities of life and history. I first became aware of their work nestling among the taxidermy at Grimoire Shibuya in the form of beautiful brass specimen cases that are sold as broaches, each one housing a rarity from around the globe, whether it be a fragment of narwhal tusk, a perfectly preserved Japanese hornet or else glittering fossilized bone. Their work began with these cases each housing an item from a collection built up over decades of scouring the world’s markets, chance encounters and deals to buy private collections of veterinary scientists that almost seems a shame to put on sale to the public, but it can be safely assumed that with objects this specific, they will only go to a good home. From there they began to experiment with bone replicas and real bones rearranged in imitation of the invented beasts such as the jackalope, two headed sheep and other falsified remains, along the way making jewelry from medical slides containing diseases and painstakingly accurately finished silver jewelry cast directly from organic objects.
In short, it is a morbid world, but one you should definitely enjoy:
I caught up with Vicious Sabrina at the Another Door space in Ebisu where the head jewelry designer talked me through the approach of the team. Each piece must contribute to the imagined personality and life work of a certain “Vicious Sabrina”, whose laboratory and experiments are recreated by the design team themselves. It is an approach that tries as much as possible to use the technology of the ear they are aping, right down to a shunning of electric tools and embrace of authentic tools from the era.
Here you can see medical slides that were negotiated out of the hands of a Japanese doctor, then set in brass and housed in their own drawers.
A selection of brooches, each housing their own treasure.
A selection of work in silver.
The remains of a two headed sheep presented along with a vintage picture of the original animal – you can’t deny they have a sense of humor.
The next step in their project is to create the clothes that their Sabrina would wear, here you can see lab coats and doctor’s operational wear.
The clothes are made accurately in cotton and hemp from the era.
Some more modern ideas for those unwilling to take on the full macabre display.