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Are Tattoos The New Black?

Woman with tattoos

Karl Lagerfield once said, “I think tattoos are horrible. It’s like living in a Pucci dress full-time.” While one can’t deny the word of Karl Lagerfield as the be all and end all in fashion, it would seem that in this instance, there may be a few voices of protest. Iman, Heidi Klum, and Cara Delavigne are just a few examples of the high fashion crowd to succumb to the inky trend, and judging from the growing number of tattooed fashionistas, Karl Lagerfield may soon find his opinion outvoted.

Fashion and Tattoos
Although it is traditionally thought that the body of a model should be a blank canvas on which the designer can create, it seems that more and more the canvases are beginning to have minds of their own. While some runway icons reserve their symbols of self-expression for more hidden places (Iman’s tattoo is on the back of her neck) what about when tattoos actually become the fashion?

Tattoos As Fashion
While a small tattoo in a strategic location may be easily hidden to accommodate a certain look, larger and more conspicuous tattoos often create looks of their own. Take New York bartender, Anastasia Browning whose hot rod rockabilly tattoos make her look like a misguided pinup girl or photographer Lani Lee, whose mystical tattoos give her the look of a mystical goddess. And how can we overlook tattoo queen Kat von Dee whose tatted body makes her look like a full on rockstar?

Women and Tattoos
The first white woman to be tattoos was a woman named Olive Oatman. After her family was killed by the Yavapais Indians in the 1850’s, she was adopted and raised by the Mohave Indians and given a tribal tattoo on her chin. Her photograph is pictured in a book called, “Bodies of Subversion: A Secret History Of Women and Tattoo,” by Margot Mifflin. Mifflin writes in the introduction, “Tattoos appeal to contemporary women bothe as emblems of empowerment in an era of feminist gains and as badges of self-determination at a time when controversies about abortion rights, date rape, and sexual harassment have made them think hard about who controls their bodies- and why.” Et tu, Karl Lagerfield?

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