By: Alexis Schroeder
Images by: Andrew Manart
Greeted with Ms. Gardner’s signature cocktail specifically for the party, I was prepared for what was awaiting inside… or so I thought. I was excitedly surprised, as everyone congregated in anticipation for the collection; a cold, silver, metal table was wheeled into the room. A dark overlaying atmosphere quickly followed, making for a surreptitious precaution. As screen projectors displayed her macabre creativity, I couldn’t wait to see what she had prepared for us.
Vertebrae bracelets and rings were frequents, along with skull head rings with crowns or top hats found a deadly place onto the tray. Sutures were meticulously placed throughout the collection. My favorite of her ghoulish chefs-d’oeuvres included an octopus-like necklace. Its aquatic green head with bulging eyes sprouted several intertwining tentacles.
Her beautifully grotesque vision didn’t stop at just her jewelry. Guests were then elevated to a jewelry purgatory on the 8th floor. Groups of six were escorted into a hotel room, previously being warned not to enter if blood is a problem for you. As we cautiously stepped inside, we all became silent. The bathroom was our first exhibit, as we saw the bathtub with a woman lying naked, only having plastic wrap around her and a mirror drenched in the blood written words, “Creature Couture.” The bedroom protruded an equally disturbing encounter, as a man laid dead with another man dissecting him. The dead definitely came alive at Heidi Gardner’s jewelry collection! Brilliant!