Psychopathic ladies, go ahead and ditch your boring, unfashionable tools of torture in a dumpster in a remote location immediately. Designer handbag label Her Royal Flyness has your needs covered.
The Australian brand has released a limited-edition product it calls an Ex-Boyfriend Revenge Kit—"the perfect item to partake in a glamorous revenge mission."
• 1 Teal woven leather tote (43cm long x 26cm high x 16cm deep)
• 1 matching teal balaclava, for hiding your face and looking fabulous
• 1 teal mini crowbar, for gaining entrance with style
• 1 pair of soft teal leather gloves; to keep hands and surfaces clean
• 1 injection kit with a single dose of Amytal Sodium (truth serum)
• 1 roll teal bondage tape and matching teal rope
• 1 pair of limited edition high impact resin knuckledusters. Good for 1-2 punches only.
The whole set comes in a cute shade of teal, because if there's one thing that really ruins a girl's day, it's when her tie-downs totally clash with her torture pliers. The site notes: "Not all the items in the kit are able to be legally sold in all countries and may require permits."
Eek! The product is clearly meant as a joke, but a joke on what? The image of the spurned woman as batshit crazy? The fact that some 30% of women worldwide report having experienced violence at the hands of a significant other, and a significant number of women in jail were incarcerated for killing their abuser? Not totally sure. At more than $1,600 U.S. dollars, the kit's price tag certainly suggests that for most women, revenge is wildly out of reach.
Her Royal Highness founder and designer Lani Devine tells Co.Design that the company doesn't "promote any type of real-life violence," and the items even scared her at first. From a design perspective, though, she hoped to explore how an elegant design might change how we view ostensibly dangerous objects. Would they seem even more dangerous, or less? Could they even fit in with a designer bag's aesthetic? Could something used in an ugly way ever be beautiful?
There's a case to be made for using weapons to explore the relationship between design and violence. In fact, a new experiment at the Museum of Modern Art, called, aptly, Design and Violence, aims to examine just that relationship by looking at products and projects "that have an ambiguous relationship with violence, either masking it while at the same time enabling it; animating it in order to condemn it; or instigating it in order to prevent it."
So does making a set of brass knuckles a little more sparkly mask the damage they can do? Would we take an armed woman less seriously if she were wearing a dainty set of gloves? Probably. As transfixed by violent imagery as we are, we rarely see something unabashedly pretty—as these products clearly aim to be—as dangerous.
On the bright side, if you're into handbags but don't have any use for a balaclava, you can buy the purse sans weapons. Come for the violence, stay for the fashion!
[Hat tip: DesignTAXI]
Update: Devine clarifies that although no one has tried to buy the product yet, she doesn't plan on shipping any kits out. Any customers who bought the product would receive an instant refund, and "we'd probably put a note in there that suggests they seek counseling before contemplating any type of revenge mission on anyone," she says.