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Would you wear a rat for fashion?

September 17th, 2009
08:12 PM ET

Politics, celebrity, campaigning and finally..... taxidermy. This week we have covered a lot of ground with our Connectors of the Day. We have left, undoubtedly, the oddest to the end.

Natty or ratty? One of Peppard's creations.

Natty or ratty? One of Peppard's creations.

Reid Peppard is a London-based taxidermist and jeweller who transforms the rats and pigeons of London's city center from pests into objects of art.

Her work provokes the obvious debate as to what truly constitutes art.

Is her work genuinely meant to be worn or is its prime intention to shock? Is this cutting edge fashion or cruelty?

We'd love it if you want to join our debate on what constitutes art and if you have any questions for Peppard please let us know.

To see more of Reid's creations check out her website at http://www.rpencore.com/.

soundoff (35 Responses)
  1. Melinda Jones

    I think it's scary. I'm terrified of mice and rats anyway and I wouldn't want to wear them. I think it's probably cruel too. Animal rights activists will probaby be giving them a call.

    September 17, 2009 at 9:27 pm | Reply
  2. Maksam3

    Hi,

    Personally, I think that wearing vermin is in poor taste and someone doing so is just looking for cheap attention.

    I have a problem with people hunting game and mounting the carcasses. Taxidermy has its uses.Educational, yes.Historical, yes. Art? That's a stretch.

    Great topic.

    September 17, 2009 at 10:03 pm | Reply
  3. Ed G.

    Just wondering if Reid has given any thought at all to using politicians in her new found skill?

    September 17, 2009 at 11:00 pm | Reply
  4. Ionium

    Personally I find this really bad taste and unethical. Taxidermy has its place but there is no way I could consider this art. Whats next human feotus as footstools?

    September 18, 2009 at 7:41 am | Reply
  5. Geoff H.

    Ofcourse!

    September 18, 2009 at 11:11 am | Reply
  6. Christian jarjour

    Tell me, what would you think if I transformed Reid Peppard into an object of fashion ? I think this would work better

    September 18, 2009 at 11:14 am | Reply
  7. Agi

    NO WAY, NEVER EVER EVER, DID I ALSO MENTION : NEVER IN A MILLION YEARS? NO!

    September 18, 2009 at 11:21 am | Reply
  8. les

    Its a stuffed rat, not an ethical delimma. We all commit to some level of bad taste or extremism (according to others) in what we choose to eat, wear and find value. So this person has chosen a route with a rat and very few find it acceptable. I think it ecologically wrong to wear anything synthetic and in my mind a world full of rayon and nylon is far worse an infraction on humanity than someone sporting a renewable stuffed object.

    September 18, 2009 at 11:23 am | Reply
  9. Raitis

    Yes, if it was alive!

    September 18, 2009 at 12:02 pm | Reply
  10. ewww

    Ewwww, but how far is this from the derby hats that ladies wear on racing days? You know the ones with the feathers all over them? 1/4 a dead bird vs and entire stuffed rat?

    Still ewww. No I would not wear a dead rat on my head. Nor would I wear a live gem encrusted cockroach on a leash- another fashion trend that was too much.

    I repeat. Ewww

    September 18, 2009 at 12:16 pm | Reply
  11. Kamsterdam

    It's disgusting. Hopefully the animals aren't killed for the sake of this fashion. There's a woman here in the NL that turns dead cats into purses. Sick.

    September 18, 2009 at 12:33 pm | Reply
  12. Sophie

    I think they're cute!

    September 18, 2009 at 12:41 pm | Reply
  13. Dodie

    Oh for crying out loud!!!

    It seems obvious "wearing a rat" is meant in a fashion statement way, most likely directed at women.

    Have you media / art critic people not evolved yet from the 50's, or into anything meaningful for that matter?

    Who gives a damn about stupid fashion trends or art trends that do little except scream "Look at how avant garde and risque I can be!"?

    You've asked the wrong question yet again. To the wrong audience, if you really mean to provoke meaningful debate.

    September 18, 2009 at 12:42 pm | Reply
  14. Carlos

    Having just seen "Ratatouille" with my daughter, I can't help but think, "what if that was poor Remi?"

    September 18, 2009 at 12:42 pm | Reply
  15. Pete

    What on earth inspired you to get into this? and do you make people really angry?

    September 18, 2009 at 12:43 pm | Reply
  16. Sally

    Is this just a statement or do you think people are actually going to start wearing rats?
    do you wear your own work?

    September 18, 2009 at 12:45 pm | Reply
  17. Kin

    I think people who come up with this kind of idea has no respect for nature and animals. It just shows and they can do anything in the name of fashion. Really bad publicity stunt and god knows what these kind of people can come up with to get some media attention.

    September 18, 2009 at 12:50 pm | Reply
  18. teeleaf

    WHERE IS THE LINE DRAWN??? who do you put in charge of the process of actually killing the creatures?

    September 18, 2009 at 12:52 pm | Reply
  19. Mavis M.

    I never ever think of wearing a mouse as a fashion stuff. It's too cruel to animal and what I think is they're ignoring the animal rights..

    September 18, 2009 at 12:54 pm | Reply
  20. Charles Linden

    Hey, it´s cool. It´s a vermin and now we have a useful way of minimizing the possible usage of other, well-more preferable creatures. How about a "rat-stole" instead of mink?

    September 18, 2009 at 1:26 pm | Reply
  21. les

    how much greenhouse gas is created by sewer rat food digestion?

    September 18, 2009 at 1:46 pm | Reply
  22. Peg

    Why not?! Afterall, don't we pay an arm and a leg in order to wear leather shoes? carry crocodile skin bags? Python sandals?? I bet you all, especially the ones who are against, that if only one celebrity makes this move, you will be seeing hunters chasing the wildest rats in NY and montmartre, and you will be wearing it with pride and with a big smile on your face!!! Plus, for the "animal rights activists", what do you do when you find a rat in your house?? cuddle it and take it to a nursery??

    September 18, 2009 at 2:11 pm | Reply
  23. ejohnson

    The pictured rats are domestic pet store animals, not wild urban vermin. She bought and killed some kids pets for her 'art'.

    September 18, 2009 at 2:15 pm | Reply
  24. Guido

    I have a question for Reid: my dog Spark recently died, and i was thinking of having him mounted. He was a loyal friend throughout his life and i'd just like to keep his physical form around as a comforting presence. Reading this topic, i thought woudln't it be great if he could be with me always? Could Reid do something here? perhaps make a headpeace, or other accessory?

    September 18, 2009 at 2:20 pm | Reply
  25. Fred P

    The sad part is that there´s even the scope for someone to produce something like this. A small number of people will look on in awe and think this means something while the rest of us just shake our heads and move on to the next sound bite.

    September 18, 2009 at 2:40 pm | Reply
  26. Neil

    You people and your high and mighty talk of how you'd never wear a dead rat because it was killed. Think of the thousands of poor, defenseless cotton plants slaughtered for your shirts and jeans. Those helpless plants with no voice to scream with against the agony of the senseless genocide.... and you have problems with a couple of dead rats?

    May the lord have pity upon you for condoning such vegetal violence - killing in the name of fashion!

    September 18, 2009 at 2:48 pm | Reply
  27. J love

    I love it!

    September 18, 2009 at 4:06 pm | Reply
  28. Penelope

    They are horrid. Peg – are you seriously comparing a leather bag to a rat?!?! you are obviously a man...
    Those objects are not fashionable and they never will be, they shouldn't even be associated to fashion.

    On the other hand, we have a woman that disposes of already dead rats and keeps our streets clean. I'm not gonna complain about that....!

    September 18, 2009 at 5:33 pm | Reply
  29. Ionium

    "You people and your high and mighty talk of how you’d never wear a dead rat because it was killed. Think of the thousands of poor, defenseless cotton plants slaughtered for your shirts and jeans. Those helpless plants with no voice to scream with against the agony of the senseless genocide…. and you have problems with a couple of dead rats?

    May the lord have pity upon you for condoning such vegetal violence — killing in the name of fashion!"

    Ah the violence against flora and not fauna....

    September 18, 2009 at 6:19 pm | Reply
  30. PETER MERRIN

    I'M SURPRISED CNN WAISTS ITS TIME BROADCASTING AND GIVING PUBLIC ATTENTION TO SUCH GARBAGE. YOU HAVE TO RESPECT PEOPLES TASTES AND THE ARTISTS CREATIVITY AND INNOVATION, BUT THIS !!!!!

    YOU CALL THIS ART ? THIS IS PURE STUPIDITY !!!! SOMEONE IN CNN CONNECT MUST HAVE BEEN DRINKING A LITTLE TOO MUCH TO INCLUDE THIS....MS PEPPER IS CLEARLY AN EXAMPLE OF BRITISH DECADENCE AND BAD TASTE !

    ART IS SUPPOSED TO GIVE HUMANITY A USEFUL MESSAGE ! PLS.....THIS IS CNN !!!!

    September 18, 2009 at 9:14 pm | Reply
  31. og warner

    hey
    Reid Peppard
    you should skin the rats make urself a fur coat and change careers because i think in the art field u dont belong

    September 18, 2009 at 11:42 pm | Reply
  32. Dee

    Crazy!!! Only Britons can think of it...If these people have so much money to waste in this recession, better help other people to come out of it.

    September 19, 2009 at 1:34 am | Reply
  33. medknowsbest

    It’s disgusting. Hopefully we will be loosing the animals for the sake of this fashion. Back in history animal skin where used as clothing during the time of our fore fathers in Africa, but thanks to civilization Afrcans are not using such skin anymore. Please try to fine somethingels let preserve our animals, they have the right to live like you and me.

    September 19, 2009 at 2:44 am | Reply
  34. John D

    Anyone who wears headgear with stuffed rats on it, and does it outside, may have to deal with hawks and other predatory birds of prey.

    September 22, 2009 at 7:37 am | Reply
  35. Ionium

    "Anyone who wears headgear with stuffed rats on it, and does it outside, may have to deal with hawks and other predatory birds of prey."
    Now could be a Utube video worth watching 🙂

    September 22, 2009 at 7:26 pm | Reply

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