Automotive manufacturers have been using more intriguing, and some would say bizarre methods to draw attention to their new products, design and technology.
Ford has certainly been in the forefront of this kind of promotional activity as shown at the opening of LEGOland™ this fall complete with a Ford exhibit of a full size replica of a Ford Explorer made from 380,000 LEGO™ bricks and the Matchbox creation of an F350 Super Duty fire “brush truck” concept shown at SEMA in November.
Now Ford has produced an even more interesting and “fashionable” approach to celebrating the 100th anniversary of Ford in Britain by asking two young British designers to create “hautecouture” – an elegant Edwardian dress and a show stopping necklace – comprised of parts from a 2012 Ford Focus.
Yes, you read it right and the picture confirms. The 2012 Ford Focus is now also a fashion statement in Britain.
Judy Clark, a nominee for Scottish designer of the year who worked under the late Alexander McQueen, was commissioned by Ford to create the dress in one week as part of the 100th anniversary of Ford in Britain. English jewelry designer Katherine Hawkins was issued a similar challenge – only use the parts to create a necklace.
Clark, using spray paint, tweed, leather, lace and silk chiffon the color of diesel, formed her frock with the help of two boxes full of components sent by Ford. The parts, she said, included car keys, radio and dashboard components, seat covers and two red taillights.
Clark, who details her work on her blog, http://judyrclark.blogspot.com, calls the back of the dress the “engine,” where the smaller components have been stitched into a crinoline-style bustle. There, the eye is drawn upward, to the red taillights swaying at hip level and a biker-style jacket – complete with speedometer – created from seat covers.
Inspired by the Edwardian time period, Clark said she wanted to create a dress that mixed feminine layers with industrial mechanics.
Complementing the gown is the ornate necklace crafted by English designer Katherine Hawkins out of parts from a Ford Focus. The piece uses dials, springs, buttons and seat material.
The centerpiece of the jewelry creation is a grouping of instrument panel switches, while coiled springs dangle in a chandelier style and colorful dials and buttons frame the upper portion.
The two designers undertook their challenges separately – neither was aware of what the other was creating.
To see a short video the dress and necklace, go to www.youtube.com/watch?v=aL0DTdzoheE
Jim Nelson is a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association