Swedish-American artist Michele Pred is known for promoting social change through her work, whether she’s tackling consumerism, the workforce, or reproductive rights. And just last weekend, Pred’s work made it to the 2018 Oscars. Her latest line of handbags — or, in Pred’s words, mobile art pieces — is aptly titled The Power of the Purse, and you’re about to become obsessed.
Each vintage purse is individually sourced, and words or phrases are created using electroluminescent wire. The text ranges from “MY BODY, MY BUSINESS” to “EQUAL PAY.” Some of the most striking purses light up with percentages: 79% (as in, the amount of a white man’s salary that a white woman earns), 64% (the figure for black women), and 54% (for Latina women).
“I chose purses as my canvas as a way to marry the powerful, politically-charged language of today’s resistance with representations of women’s modern economic power and the possibilities for change that come with it,” Pred said in a press release. “For me, the use of purses from the mid-twentieth century also calls back to that critical era in the women’s movement, and reminds us how much power we can have to effect meaningful change.”
Only ten purses are made with each phrase, and many of them are already in the hands of some kickass ladies. Actresses Sarah Jones and Jodi Long carried Pred’s creations on Sunday, and so did Oscar-nominated costume designer Deborah Landis and reproductive rights advocate and member of the Dolby Sound family Dagmar Dolby. One of Pred's designs, modeled by Lindy West, was also featured in our fashion editorial with #ShoutYourAbortion in BUST's February/March 2018 issue.
Check out some of the photos from last weekend below, and Pred’s website here.
Top photo courtesy of Michele Pred
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Lydia Wang is a writer, pug enthusiast, and hopeless romantic. She lives in New York, writes for BUST, and overshares on Twitter: @lydiaetc.