Selfridges Loves: when accessories become art

Welcome to your very own private view of the season’s most awe-inspiring shoes and accessories, curated by our leading experts in the field of glamorous accoutrements (AKA the Selfridges Editorial Team) as part of our State of The Arts campaign. While we may not have free-flowing champagne for you, we do have a gallery of thought-provoking works that each beg the question: do you wear them, or hang them on a wall? Enjoy the show…

'Thank You Thank You' by Gelareh MIzrahi, 2018.
Leather, hologram and PVC. Purchase: acquired from a local corner shop

Reminiscent of the Young British Artists’ re-appropriation of everyday tropes (here’s looking at you and those cigarette sculptures, Sarah Lucas), these Thank You Thank You designs by Gelareh Mizrahi are a brilliant homage to the humble shopping bag (and the perfect way to show off all those art philosophy books you’ve swotting up on, right?). By elevating the prosaic plastic bag to a long-lasting, luxury piece, we ask: are they ecological statements first and fashion statements second? Whatever the answer, never has nipping to your local corner shop for a bottle of vino and a packet of Skips looked quite so chic…

‘Mavis’ by Jimmy Choo, 2018.
100mm heel, elongated toe, and a bucket-load of glitter. Purchase: acquired from Studio 54's private collection

Is it a sculpture? Or a pair of boots? Do you care? Sparkling like a freshly polished Jeff Koons balloon animal, these Studio 54-ready beauties are just as appealing to look at as they are to wear (just add white walls, hushed silence, and an extra boot for good measure). Crafted in a silver ‘Prince of Stars’ glitter plaid fabric, this standout design provokes such existential questions as: “Too dressy for the office?” A truly thought-provoking work of art.

‘Industrial belt’ by Off-White c/o Virgil Abloh, 2017.
Nylon webbing, hardware, 200mm long. Purchase: acquired from a construction depot kit box

Calling to mind artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s wrapped buildings, Off-White c/o Virgil Abloh’s signature belts have the industrial fashion movement all wrapped up (literally). With their anti-aesthetic assemblage – cue nylon webbing, construction clip buckle, extra-long length – and subversive styling (check: Virgil’s how-to-wear-it video), we reckon Banksy has a few stashed away in his closet. Plus, you can wrap your tables, chairs or pets up, attach the belt, et voilà – you’ve got your very own contemporary art piece!

‘Logo-print square silk scarf’ by Valentino, 2018.
Silk with graphic print. Purchase: acquired from your grandma's private wardrobe collection

Van Gogh and Picasso had their signatures, and so does Valentino. Here is 2019’s master of print! This piece, with its repeating graphic V logo, mashes up Optical Art and Street Art references with aplomb. And with headscarves and matching neckerchiefs big news for 2019, there’s no better way to display them – apart from hanging them on a wall and admiring them from afar, of course. This is when fashion imitates art…

‘Round 110 Monogram boots’ by Balenciaga (available in store), 2018. 
Stretch fabric, monogram print, almond toe, and a whole lot of badass sass. Purchase: acquired from a Linder Sterling photo shoot

Art history is filled with provocateurs famed for their rock-star-style antics – from artist Piero Manzoni canning his own waste *ahem* for an artwork in 1961, to Banksy’s shock shredding of his ‘Girl with Balloon’ work at Sotheby’s in October 2018 – and the fashion world is no exception. With current favourite disruptor Demna Gvaslia at the helm of Balenciaga, you know you’re never going to get a conventional, run-of-the-mill design. Drawing inspiration, perhaps, from that well-known practice of Tape Art (yes, it’s a thing), this striking monochrome piece neatly juxtaposes a so-now monogram print with a retro shape and pin-sharp heel. Ladylike yet punkish – they’d look right at home in one of Linder Sterling’s infamous record sleeves. Our advice? Handle with care.