Top Picks for Lobster-Chic: From McQueen to Etsy

Wow.  Way to go, Alexander McQueen (I can’t find the collection date, so feel free to school me..)  To me, this invokes “lobster” without getting your fingers stinky.  I wonder:

  • What is the shape of the bottom piece (pieces?)?
  • Cartridge pleating?
  • What keeps the bottoms pouffy?  Tulle?  Something else?
  • How FIERCE could this look with a beautifully smooth beehive with miniature top-hat perched on the swell of hair instead of that dirty mermaid wig?

This illustration by a Paris artist is especially *wink wink* given Dali’s obsession with lobster phones.

This is Jessica Rabbit’s version of the McQueen gown.  Cartoonish?  Still kind of alluring?

Gill slits?  Do lobsters have those?  I wonder what it would be like to walk around wearing a hard lobster shaped exoskeleton?  With an extended corset to the knees, jointed for movement.

This is another Schiaparelli, from 1948.  Perhaps not exactly a lobster, but I like the crustacean shape of the skirt.

Oooooh!  This is slightly more wearable- a vintage Lisa Cobb/Saks Fifth Avenue dress I found on Good Morning, Glouchester.  I like the use of table-linen look fabrics paired with the lobster motif.  Check out the blog post for detail shots.  I’d be tempted to wipe my mouth on my collar.

As I dug around for other lobster dresses, I found a truly shocking volume of lobster-printed or embellished clothing.  Is this a trend?  How did I miss that?  Are the women of America parading through the streets with these bright red creatures emblazoned across their bodies?

Even Anthropologie has their own lobster dress.  It’s not bad, not bad at all.

I found this strangely understated lobster tee on Etsy- check out Xenotees for several colors and sizes and sleeve types.   The words in French translate to “I have a liking for lobsters. They are peaceful, serious creatures. They know the secrets of the sea, they don’t bark…”

Carry the baby around in a big pot on Halloween?  Is this the kind of thing parents always find funny and the baby in question never does?  Is it funny or tasteless?  (If it’s tasteless, try more butter…)

I can’t help but add this.  Why?  Is it wearable?  Does it provide any meaningful support?  If not, why?  I like my underclothes to be both surreal and serviceable…. Otherwise, where’s the point?

No more lobsters for a little while, I’ve had my fill of hard-shelled whimsy for the time being.  If you’re hanging out for more lobster-kitsch goodness, check out The Terrier and the Lobster.

Would you wear any of these clothes?  Why are lobsters a “trend”?  Is it a celebration of all that is ridiculous?  Random chance? The collective unconscious?

(I’m nearly finished with a new “perfect shirt”, the TNT pattern I refined and balanced in another post.)


  1. I feel like there some kind of Northeastern American feel for lobsters. I’ve seen the J. Crew catalogue sell their ‘preppy’ clothes with an optional lobster embroidery motif, for example.

    I like those t-shirts with the Nerval quote – cute shop! I’d translate that first bit as “I have a taste for lobsters” though, to get the full pun. :)

    • That sounds cute. In a preppy way. :) I never lived in that region, but I do ponder how to “authenticize” the lobster motif for my own geographic location…

      Thanks for the translation, I knew someone would be able to tell me if that was a quote… Now I’m off to google Nerval.

      Found it- “In an article about the life of Nerval by his contemporary, Théophile Gautier, Nerval is quoted as having said “Why should a lobster be any more ridiculous than a dog? …or a cat, or a gazelle, or a lion, or any other animal that one chooses to take for a walk? I have a liking for lobsters. They are peaceful, serious creatures. They know the secrets of the sea, they don’t bark, and they don’t gnaw upon one’s monadic privacy like dogs do. And Goethe had an aversion to dogs, and he wasn’t mad.”[4]”

      very interesting, from the wikipedia entry:

  2. I now have a liking for lobsters too… prints that is. There’s something really quirky about them, more so than the usual animal-themed prints you see around these days. I imagine tracking down such fabric will be tricky though…

    • I like skirts inspired by flowers, too… Though they often end up looking like something the Queen of the Faeries would wear… One of these days I’ll get it right…

  3. Eating at the ultra classy (in our neck of the woods thats date night fare) Red Lobster would be so much cooler if they made the hostess where the lobster picnic shirtdress…heck, I’d apply…

    • I’m imagining a long line of women applying for the job, they get the uniform and Red Lobster never sees them again… Though it would be cool to inject that kind of whimsy into my eating experience…

    • Yeah no probs.. It’s only fair to link back, right? I read that Nerval walked his lobster through Palais Royal gardens on a blue silk ribbon leash. heheeh. When I went to UT, there was a girl who walked her rabbit on a leash through the grassy main mall.. She always brought a smile to my face.

  4. I am thoroughly bemused (I’ve also lived my life thoroughly landlocked, lobsters are strange and sad creatures to me, mostly seen at the supermarket). I really love the T-shirt with the quote, though.

    I believe lobster gills would be external, attached to their legs. Although I seem to recall something about “book lungs” from my comparative biology classes… can’t remember if that was lobsters or crabs or both, though.

    Obviously Google or Wikipedia hold the answers, but it’s early and I’m lazy.

    • I’m actually pretty afraid of lobsters… Stephen brought one home wrapped in paper so he could paint it. I didn’t know what it was and got an almighty shock when I unwrapped it.

  5. A commercially-produced lobster Halloween costume for children was very popular in the mid 1990s, in the U.S. My neighbor made her little boy wear one. Hard to walk in, hard to see out of the whole-head mask part. It was at least partly padded, so when he fell down — over and over — he didn’t skin his knees or his nose on the sidewalk. He carried a plastic jack-o-lantern for candy collecting. Perhaps he should have carried a steamer pot.

  6. I love the ‘Jessica Rabbit’ version. Now I just need an event that requires a strapless cartoon lobster gown…

    • Yes, if only.. I’d be tempted sorely to make one up in cotton, bind the edges in black, and viola- a surrealist house dress.

      Maybe one day when I need a giggle project… Or as a wearable lobster muslin. You’re a genius!

  7. oooo- yes! to the beehive and perching top-hat.
    and as someone from New England, the lobster merch always seems to be on the tourists and maybe the monied seasonals, not the year-round citizens, nor the people actually making their living on the ocean. That can probably be said of many co-opted wild lives though around the world-
    thanks for your blog!

    • I do love beehives… Thanks for the Yankee insight. It makes sense. When I lived in Florida, it was mostly tourists who were into the whole pink flamingo / alligator thing (not to be confused with the football mascot Gators, which are everywhere)…

      Hmmm… I’m learning so much about lobsters as a fashion-motif/symbol… Preppy tourists in New England favor this creature, as well as French Romance poets, Italian designers and Spanish surrealist painters….

  8. I don’t like crustaceans – either to eat or to look at – but the 1948 Schiaparelli is gorgeous. Soooooo not my colour, but gorgeous. The lobster baby is adorable, and the bra creeps me out. its just.. no. totally no.

    I imagine the first dress would be fun to walk in, too.. all rustle-y.

  9. Pingback: Nothing Makes My Merry Christmas Like a Blue Crayfish « 3 Hours Past the Edge of the World

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