Wednesday, March 18, 2009

I, Fashion Robot

Here is an inspiring video currently doing the rounds - of Aimee Mullins talking at last month’s TED conference. Mullins’ name is no doubt very familiar to many. Born without fibulae in both legs, Mullins had both of her legs amputated below the knee at age one. Twenty years later, in 1996, she made world headlines by setting Paralympic records in Atlanta in the 100m dash and long jump, whilst wearing a pair of spectacular carbon-fiber prostheses, whose design had been inspired by the hind legs of a cheetah. Highly photogenic, Mullins became the focus of a 10-page feature in Sports Illustrated and was swiftly adopted by the fashion world. She appeared in a score of fashion magazines and notably, on Alexander McQueen’s runway in 1999, wearing a pair of hand-carved wooden legs.

Mullins has since made a tentative foray into the acting business and, judging by this presentation, has developed into a charismatic and highly confident motivational speaker.

As Mullins talks in this video, a stage hand delivers to the podium some of her 12 pairs of prosthetic limbs, via which she says she is able to adjust her height from 5’8” to 6’1”.

As inspiring as Mullins and her story are, frockwriter can't help get the feeling that there's something strangely unsettling here - especially following the video of the Japanese "runway" robot which swept the net yesterday (see below).

Not to mention reports of elective surgery to increase height.


districtofchic said...

I met her about 10 years ago when she came to speak at my high school. She's lovely. Very eloquent and funny. She had a great story about walking a Versace show, wearing these specially made carved wooden legs. Afterward, Bjork came up to her and said, "I love your boots!!" and Aimee had to keep telling her, "no, these are my legs!" Very cute.

districtofchic said...

Oops sorry, clearly she was talking about the McQueen show.

Anonymous said...

OMG!! the Japanese runway robot has BREASTS!!
Is it their Victoria's Secret prototype?

Anonymous said...

Aimee was in Matthew Barney's Cremaster (Cycle 3) which is also worth noting.. appearing in fabulous glass legs in a scene filmed at the Guggenheim I believe
As an aside Matthew Barney is Bjorks partner....

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