I once queried social media to learn what inanimate, leathery objects people would choose to be turned into for a depraved round of a hypothetical would you rather. (I'd choose a leather jacket — timeless. Classic. Or a lampshade, so I could light up your lives.) PETA's new campaign is turning that nightmare into a reality. Sort of. Their latest campaign offers a new perspective on fashion with an imagined new fashion line "Urban Outraged", showcasing digital renderings of items made from the finest (human) leather. It's Leatherface couture— suitcases with nipples still attached, "Richard loafers", dresses made from and named after the women who gave up their skin to make them — along with a detailed account of "how the sausage is made" so to speak.
It's gruesome. Undoubtedly there are hordes of horror fans who would wear faux leather versions of these creations (emphasis on faux!), but the in-depth descriptions of the process are likely detailed enough to make 'ol Leatherface swoon and me.. well, a little queasy. Take the caption for the "Avery Jacket" for instance, "Avery’s leather is natural and one-of-a-kind—after all, there was only one Avery. The Avery was crafted from the most luxurious skin, making this jacket natural and unique. As Avery was only 22 when she was taken away from her friends and family, the jacket should age beautifully. She came pre-tanned and was then flayed while still alive..." Walkin' around looking like the Necronomicon. We're wondering if The Avery designer is also an Evil Dead fan.
These descriptions read like Patrick Bateman and Leatherface went into business together. Look at this copy for "The Meg Boot."
Each boot features its own special touches, depending on which part of Meg was used. She was aging beautifully, so a majority of the work was already done for us, but we still managed to get in some extra tanning. With every kick and scream came lots of pounding with hammers to ensure that the leather stays soft and pliable. We managed to clean off most of the blood, but the occasional drop can be expected as a result of the handmade process.
Clever. Divisive. Disturbing. I bet PETA is unaware of how much money they could raise from horror fans if they actually produced and sold these items, using synthetic materials in place of human skin, I'll emphasize again. Even if these went up as auctions for one-off art pieces of these wild designs, there was a real missed opportunity here!
A warning to those visiting the Urban Outraged site: After clicking "add to bag" shoppers are taken to a new page, with some more fun, faux FX gore. Followed by the more serious and disturbing message that is the reason for the existence of the site in the first place, "why aren't you horrified by what's already in your closet?" That means graphic photos of animal violence. I can't tell you what's beyond that because I stopped at the first sign of actual real-life gore.
If you're feeling morbidly curious, (this is FANGORIA after all), or if you're feeling inspired to donate, you can visit Urban Outraged and see what else they have to offer, (we haven't even mentioned "The Dan Pants" or "The Adrian Belt".) Happy shopping.