We are introducing designer Anna Melenteva and the collection: Painful beauty. Photography by Elena Drus. The hair and Makeup artist is Anna-Lena Jorewitz. Models are Leonie Hümmeler, Nika Schmidt, and Talisha Yombi.
“I am a graduate student at Fashion Design Institut in Düsseldorf, Germany. I love travelling, fashion and art.
Once when I was in Myanmar, I saw women with long necks who surprised me. They seemed happy and cheerful, but the neck rings must have made them uncomfortable. For example, when they tilted their head or slept.
I became interested in the reason for this tradition and began to research it. And I saw many other ideals of beauty, which also shocked me. And why women made such sacrifices. That is why I decided to dedicate my graduation collection to the ideals of beauty in different cultures and I named it „Painful beauty“. Women who were “beautiful” and “trendy” made such sacrifices and suffered so much. And that is all just for a successful marriage. After all, natural beauty seemed wild and not perceived by society…
Here are such traditions as the long neck of the peoples of Myanmar, the lotus feet in China, the face tattoo in the form of a smile of the nation Ainu, and scarring on the body of the peoples of Africa.
Did you know that for the treason of a wife, her husband could in Myanmar remove the rings from the long neck and she could die?
Or that no girl with a normal leg could get a job even as a servant in China?
Or when scarring from non-sterile blades, did many in Africa die from all kinds of infections and diseases, including AIDS?
Or did the bride of the Ainu peoples get a smile tattooed on her face on her wedding day and have her lips incised? Imagine, on her wedding day, on such an important day for a girl, she was subjected to such torment.
I wish that, especially in our time, girls could choose their own ideal of beauty and stop suffering.