3/8/12 – Pulp Kitchen use Facebook for Research: Image of the Skull used for Denim Jeans.
There are several Pulp Kitchen stores around Melbourne, which sell clothes, accessories and other miscellaneous items. Pulp Kitchen have recently updated their Facebook profile with new denim, which features the image of the skull. I regularly visit Pulp Kitchen in Melbourne Central and the entire store is constantly saturated with skulls, which is not a bad thing at all. There are dresses, t-shirts, jeans, shoes, bags and other accessories, which have used the skull in order to attract a young demographic.
The items for sale may question whether the skull is used for commercial and financial gain in the visual culture. Before long just about everything in the market will have used the skull, although will the consumer move onto something else or will the image of skull remain a popular fashion icon?
It is hard to tell because the image of the skull fluctuates in style especially in contemporary fashion and popular culture. The Book of Skulls by Faye Dowling illustrates contemporary appropriations of the skull from artists, designers, photographers, sculptors and musicians. Dowling also articulates cultural and historical depictions of the skull with a close reference to traditional European art, the Mexican Day of the Dead and the Crystal Skulls. (Dowling, 2011 p. 7 – 13)
Dowling’s publication clearly identifies that the skull has been used as a popular art form across different styles such as punk, goth and rock, which may imply that the skull will always captivate the interests of the modern population.
The denim at pulp kitchen features a retro – punk style that would definitely appeal to a young adult audience. When Pulp Kitchen has uploaded their image of the denim on their public Facebook profile, many users had expressed a strong interest for the skull denim, which may indicate that there is an ongoing demand for the image of the skull in fashion.
The denim skull jeans are definitely on my wish list, although I cannot help but wonder whether these manufactured goods has reused the skull to the extent where there is no valid meaning or significance. Perhaps society is able to come to terms with death through the modification of the skull, which is projected as a commercial item rather than a symbol of mortality.
Has the Western culture suppressed the subject of death through contemporary representations of the skull? In the visual culture, the skull now features a minimal or a basic style, which allows any age group to become familiar with the image of the skull.
Pulp Kitchen have also used Facebook to their advantage especially for market or consumer research, which is quite clever. The profile asked consumers for their own thoughts or opinions on the denim that they were currently working on. Pulp Kitchen have also used the internet and social networking sites as a source of research and documentation, which also exemplifies that the image of the skull receives positive comments or feedback from consumers worldwide.
Pulp Kitchen, http://www.facebook.com/pulpkitchen
Dowling, Faye. The Book of Skulls. Laurence King Publishing Ltd, 2011 p. 7 – 13