Time for confession: I’m a female missing the fashion gene. While I love creativity, I prefer to wear plain jeans and t-shirts. Ironically, I sometimes watch What Not to Wear, but I’d drive Stacy and Clinton insane. I don’t always like the designs and patterns they convince the person-in-need- of-improvement to buy. Although I don’t always like the styles these fashionistas promote, I love interesting looking insects.
Since I began lugging a camera everywhere I go, I’m on the lookout for photographic subjects. I’ve snapped pics of squirrels and bunnies on morning walks until I have a full folder. I wanted something different--something fun to manipulate with editing software. My mom always said be careful what you ask for, which might be true in this case. I began noticing bugs--not just common creatures, but fantastic special-effects quality insects. Not only did I spot them, but also they let me take photos from various angles so I could use software to play with their appearance.
Squirrels and bunnies are cute, but it’s hard to make their pictures unique. They’re good for an aw, how cute, and that’s it. Insects, on the other hand, have interesting parts. Sometimes their wings constructions rival the windows in majestic European cathedrals. In addition, their mouths and antennae are often complex enough to crop into interesting compositions that display only that body part.
After paying close attention to these overlooked critters that share my neighbhorhood, I’m certain their coloration and design configurations would delight the WNTW duo. They’d be over the moon when they saw the striking black on white of a cottonwood borer. If they looked at this creature under a microscope to note the white was actually fine hair, they’d want to reproduce the positive/negative relationship as well as the texture into a garment one of their clients would model. I can see Stacy capturing the sheen of the legs and antenna in a stylish handbag or fashion boot.
Dragonflies might also inspire creativity in New York’s garment district. First, using the array of jewel-tones on these insects would brighten clothing racks in every national clothing chain. Even I would buy dragonfly blue or ruby-hued shirts to top my denims. Recently, a coral, cream, and brown species skimmed ahead of me. As I watched it dance lightly above waving brome grass, I imagined buying sheets and a comforter capturing those warm colors.
A cicada isn’t as delicate or lovely as a dragonfly, but it’s worth examining closely. With unaided vision, I saw only dull green and black. However, its intricate wings looked like fine leaded glass. When I magnified my picture, hints of crimson, topaz, emerald, and sapphire emerged, making a bejeweled Hollywood monster. Tiffany glass manufacturers would gladly claim the wings.
Forget buying current fabric designs. After seeing what some of the bugs in my neighborhood wear, I know they’d make the staff of What Not to Wear do a happy dance. Even I’d go shopping for more stylish duds.