The London Lassie explores the rising trend of piercings and their shift from ghetto to glamour.
Hedvig Palm in Vogue Jan’13
Piercings aren’t new: some of the oldest mummies discovered wore earrings, nasal studs and hoops date as far back as 1500BC and lip and tongue piercings have commonly been found in African and American tribes. Even nipple piercings date back to Ancient Rome and female genital piercing dates back to Ancient India. Price Albert famously pierced his genitalia to help hide the appearance of his large penis in tight trousers (lucky Victoria) and thus, the name for that specific special piercing was born.
It’s true that piercings have been around for eternity, but it feels like the way they are perceived is about to change. In modern times, puncturing the body (apart from the ear lobes) has been seen as rebellious. Punks in the seventies adorned their faces with spikes, nineties kids pierced their brows, Christina Aguilera changed her name to X-Tina and pierced every part of her body, and remember the absolute horror of the Royal family when teenage Zara Phillips got her tongue pierced? Nevertheless, it seems this shock factor is about to disappear as the fashion world embraces body modifications.
British Vogue Editor-in-Chief Alexandra Shulman recently stated “I had my ears pierced, but…I have never been tempted by any other kind of piercing. However, recently I’ve found myself starting enviously at those who have multiple piercings”.
Hedvig Palm in British Vogue Jan ’13
January Vogue included stunning beauty shots by Patrick Demachelier of model Hedvig Palm adorned with multiple ear and nose piercings decorated with thousands of pounds worth of exquisite studs and hoops. Model of the moment, Abbey Lee Kershaw recently said of her 10 bodily punctures, “I see my body as a blank canvas that’s aching to be decorated. 40-year-old model and Vogue contributing editor, Laura Bailey says of her newly pierced ear cartilage “I did it to feel a tiny bit like that pretty, carefree teenager. To make grown-up life and fashion feel a bit more punk, a bit more free”. With a boost in popularity with the fashion pack could it be that piercings are now chic?
Chanel RTW and Givenchy couture tried it last year. With elaborate nose ornaments and pearly punctures we all stared in awe, partly due to our love of the movie Girl with the Dragon Tattoo where the heroine had plenty of piercings. But they didn’t really catch on. Too much too soon perhaps? It seems like steadily we are seeing more discreet piercings on the catwalk and even earrings are becoming much more ornate, large and impossible to miss at Dolce and Gabbana, Balmain and Gucci this Spring.
High fashion piercings at Givenchy Haute Couture (left) and Chanel pre-fall 2012.
In London’s east end you are never more than 10 paces away from a facial piercing, but more and more ‘mainstream’, pretty girls are adopting bull hooks and nose studs. Also, very few people now have a single stud in the ear, with every groove on the lug being a possible puncturing spot. Celebs like Miley Cyrus, who used to be girly, now have nose rings.
Singer of the moment Emeli Sande with her nose ring
So you want to go for the plunge and get pierced? According to New York’s prestigious piercing salon, New York Adorned, a consultation is recommended. J. Colby Smith, resident piercer says “Everyone’s ear is totally different. One thing works for you, it won’t necessarily work for her. I spend the majority of my day batting with people about that” As for the trends he recommends, “Septum chains have gone out a little bit, and backdrop chains are in”.
Yes, this could be a trend that could come and go, but they’re not permanent! Getting a piercing is like jumping on a seasonal trend. So for Spring Summer ’13’s trend piece, if you’re undecided between a nose piercing and the Prada toe-break platforms-we suggest the nose ring. After all, it’s exceedingly cheaper, and to be fair, less shocking.
As published on the Avanni blog.
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