Thursday, 22 March 2012

Fashion moment - Tattoos

Tattoos dubbed by many as ‘tramp stamps’ are commonly associated with those who insist on wearing clingy velour tracksuits in public or perhaps notorious gangs in South American prisons. Although these are negative connotations, at the Jean-Paul Gaultier Spring/Summer show there was a definite nod to tattoos. From neck-pieces to tights and even the model’s themselves showing off their own ink, it was definitely the focus of the new collection.

“Not one great country can be named, from the polar regions in the north to New Zealand in the south, in which the aborigines do not tattoo themselves,” the great Charles Darwin said this expressing how widespread the phenomenon of tattooing once was. Although it is believed that the first tattoos were probably created by accident, women in Ancient Greece soon became fascinated with tattoos and considered them as exotic beauty marks. Quite the contrast to the way we receive a tattoo peeking over someone’s exposed under-garments today.

Tattoos were still very much associated with ‘primitive natives’ in Britain until Captain Cook returned from his voyage to Polynesia. Tattooing then became tradition in the British Navy. This lead to the nautical trend in tattooing. Popular tattoos consisted of swallows or anchors and we see this echoed in Jean-Paul Gaultier’s designs. Anchors were printed on to white tights creating the illusion of the models having these images tattooed on their own skin.

Jean-Paul Gaultier isn’t the only one using tattooed models on his catwalk. After Nicola Formichetti used Rick Genest, also known as Zombie Boy, for his Autumn/Winter 2011 Thierry Mugler catwalk show, he is also now the face of Brazilian label Auslander for their Spring/Summer ad campaign alongside androgynous male model Andrej Pejic. Could this be a step towards tattoo’s being widely accepted as art or even fashion? Or is it just a technique to cause controversy to get campaigns and collections recognised? Either way, it’s working.


Monday, 19 March 2012

A slight contradiction.

Although yesterday I decided to preach to you all about how much you needed 'it' accessory, the umbrella, and how April showers were well on their way I am about to contradict myself. Although you will definitely need an umbrella at some point (and I am again going to remind of you of the lovely Fulton creations) you will also need to think about investing in an equally important weather-related item; sunglasses.

Now due to being very clumsy and, if I'm being honest, careless I've never made the choice to spend an extortionate amount of money on a pair of sunglasses. Instead I decide to pick up Primark wayfarers in various colours for one pound each and then continue to scratch the lenses in my bag or sit on them. Needless to say they don't hold up too well. I also have been known to haggle and stock up on poor imitation Ray-Bans in Turkey. Not my proudest moment.

This February I was lucky enough to visit my Dad in Peru where he is currently living and the weather was beautiful. I strolled around in flip-flops, got out last year's shorts and frolicked in the sea whilst England was snuggled up under a blanket of snow. Before heading off to South America I wanted to treat myself to some new summer gear but it being February and all, I didn't have a lot to work with. I headed to Primark to get some shades that were so cheap it didn't matter if I lost them in the Pacific Ocean. Unfortunately I was left with two options, some diamante encrusted, over-sized 'diva' glasses or some large, black wayfarers that sat wonkliy on my face. Needless to say I went for the latter. So I headed off, wonky glasses in tow, into the sunshine.

My Dad greeted my brother and I in his usual fashion, wearing his Ray-Ban aviators indoors, at nighttime. A few days later we were reclining on some sun loungers when my Dad said to me in his Spanish accent, 'These wayfarers are back in fashion?' Yes, indeed they are Father. He continued to tell me he had some old Ray-Ban wayfarers from the 80's back home which he didn't use anymore. My heart skipped a beat at the thought that he might hand them down to me in some Father-Daughter ceremony. In the end he did give them to me, minus the ceremony and since then I have been too scared to wear them. Until today. Tomorrow is officially the first day of spring and at least I know I'm prepared for rain or shine!

Spring is here! Some pictures I took from just outside my front door!

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Brolly good Madam!

Her Royal Majesty. The Queen of England. The ruler of our Kingdom. An 85 year-old woman with penchant for Corgis and matching her umbrellas to her clothing. Although I am not stating that I am going to stock up on attire similar to Queen Elizabeth’s, I am giving her recognition for her dedication to maintaining a colour scheme in all her outfits. When I first saw the photos of her perfectly coloured umbrellas it made me happy. Here is a woman who dresses herself in beautiful colours and honours us by using a clear umbrella so we can see her lovely little face. Why hasn’t this been done before? Spring is approaching and although we have been blessed with some unexpected sunshine, we need to remember we are in England and more often than not we’re going to experience some pretty glum weather. We’ve got to be realistic- we are definitely more likely to need a carefully co-ordinated umbrella than a pair of Havaianas.

The Queen purchases her umbrellas from Fulton in London’s East End. Fulton has grown to become the largest supplier of umbrellas and rainwear accessories in the UK today and they have an extensive range to choose from on their website You could go for Her Majesty’s choice of rain protection gear, see-through ‘birdcage’ style for around £16 or perhaps a slightly more detailed pattern. I particularly like the ‘Pink Daisy Pagoda’ for £35. Slightly more pricey but a good investment- if we’re talking cost per use then it’s going to pay for itself especially with the infamous ‘April showers’ looming. In the meantime, I think I’ll keep one eye on Lizzie for future inspiration.

(Images courtesy of


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