Rosemary Mac Cabe

Hemlines, heels and haute couture – your daily dose

To sleeve or not to sleeve – on tattoos and high fashion

Here’s Katie Fogarty, in a Blackbook editorial shot by Jason Kim, via Fashion Gone Rogue. I love the unexpected juxtaposition of high fashion and the full sleeves of tattoos, although it does beg the question: have tattoos transcended the mainstream and …

Tue, Mar 27, 2012, 16:00

   

Here’s Katie Fogarty, in a Blackbook editorial shot by Jason Kim, via Fashion Gone Rogue. I love the unexpected juxtaposition of high fashion and the full sleeves of tattoos, although it does beg the question: have tattoos transcended the mainstream and become more mainstream than those that we consider so? As in, are tattoos more accessible and acceptable to general society than €2,000 frocks are €4,000 bags?

Emma and I had a discussion about tattoos one day, and she made the point that tattoos were originally designed to make a statement against the establishment, against the culture of consumerism and commodification, against globalisation and the homogenisation of style and opinion – and that now, when teenagers are having tattoos of the Playboy bunny emblazoned on their bottoms, well, who’s subverting who? Are tattoos now merely a way to fit in?

If a fashion magazine sees fit to paint tattoos on its model before adorning her in the latest couture and designer jewellery, what is the statement being made, if there is one?