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    This Woman Is Turning Periods Into Jewels

    And it's bloody lovely.

    This is 23-year-old art school graduate Lili Murphy-Johnson.

    Murphy-Johnson believes there is a “stigma” attached to periods, which she blames on the “long history of superstition and inequality of women”.

    "There is an interesting conflict with the perception of the female body, being seen as so perfect, yet also as so grotesque and unclean," she says on her website.

    She goes on to explain that pharmacies and supermarkets have aisles dedicated to the management of periods, which in turn "play up to the idea that periods are dirty" and are something to hide.

    So, as part of her final degree assessment, Murphy-Johnson made a range of period-themed accessories, from blood stains to tampon wrappers.

    Lili Murphy-Johnson

    The pieces have been influenced by Murphy-Johnson's own stressful experiences of menstruation.

    "My own experiences with pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS) inspired this collection," she told BuzzFeed.

    "The anxiety and stress were really holding back my work, and I tried to replicate these emotions and symptoms into jewellery to get me started."

    Murphy-Johnson said that PMS affects her ability to concentrate and work effectively in the days leading up to her period.

    "That sort of negative dark feeling can be really overwhelming and can make it impossible to feel that any of my ideas are worth pursuing.

    "The initial pieces that I made based on these feelings were necklaces that fell apart when you picked them up and bracelets that you couldn't find the clasp to open them up."

    Lili Murphy-Johnson

    Each piece falls into one of the "three main stages of menstruation" – hormones, products, or blood.

    Lili Murphy-Johnson

    "Over the course of my degree, a lot of my work focussed around the human body, and in my final year, my work on periods went in a lot of different directions," she said. "The final collection is an edit of these pieces to try and get across what I wanted to say about menstruation."

    The collection focuses on what Lili sees as the three main stages of menstruation – the hormonal mood swings that come with having PMS, the period paraphernalia that helps manage periods, and lastly the blood itself.

    Lili Murphy-Johnson

    The collection has been carefully crafted, using an array of luxury materials.

    Lili Murphy-Johnson

    The collection includes a charm bracelet with things like tampon packets, soaps, and towels hanging from it. That's made from gold plated gilding metal.

    A used sanitary pad ring is topped with topaz and rubies, and comes in at £840, while embroidered blood stains are made from beading and textiles, and cost around £150.

    "I wanted to try and make each piece using a different technique and material," Murphy-Johnson said.

    But this isn't the designer's first foray into bloody jewels; she had previously created a pervious line of period pendants.

    Lili Murphy-Johnson

    Murphy-Johnson's line, On the Rag, was made during her second year in art school and focuses exclusively on blood stains, using a series of red Perspex to replicate bloody stains and areas.

    “That was a shorter project where I just focused on the image of periods,” she says. “But my final collection tried to explore menstruation further than just bleeding.”

    Lili Murphy-Johnson

    Murphy-Johnson says that although most of her friends have been supportive, she has experienced some less-than-positive feedback online.

    "Most of my friends have been very positive and some people have found it funny but there have been people online who have said it's disgusting.

    "People have commented things like 'Stop with the period crap, it's disgusting!' or 'This is not what being a lady is about, get some class!' – but everyone I've actually met have been really supportive."

    It's clear from these attitudes, Murphy-Johnson believes, that there is a problem with the way the mainstream perceives menstruation.

    "It can play quite a major part in people's lives, and because it's such a regular, normal thing, it shouldn't be hidden and people shouldn't feel bad or wrong for talking about it – which they do."

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