Last week I finally bagged myself a pair of fancy hosiery. The hand-painted tights you can see in these pictures depict all kinds of sailor girl naughtiness: Mermaids with burlesque nipple tassles, oriental snake sweethearts, vintage swallows, tattoo stars..... It's all right up my street, like a charm bracelet for tights. A fashion talisman for the would-be land-locked sailor girl.
Sailors and fishermen have a long history of wearing tattoos, and the styles and motifs they popularised in the Western World are a rich source of inspiration for many a modern designer and artist. From La Moss'S Topshop range which carries a vintage swallow motif as part of the brand to parts of the ED Hardy's clothing range and lest we forget Amy Winehouse's entire body, sailor tattoo art is a guaranteed crowd pleaser.
As Eleanor Barnes from the Seaman’s Institute has been quoted as saying, “Some people pour out their colorful stories to juries. Others relieve the tension by writing for the confession magazines. The sailor enlists the tattooers needle upon his own body in dull blues, vivid reds, greens, and yellows to record the story of his loves and hates, his triumphs, his religion, and his patriotism.”
VINTAGE SAILOR TATTOO BABY GROW
That's right - a babygrow adorned with sailor tattoo motifs such as I LOVE MUM & DAD in sacred hearts and anchors. I purchased this for a friend's newborn at a tattoo convention and she LOVED it. Once the child grew out of it, she passed it on to three other babies to wear. It is still doing the rounds of the Notting Hill-set babies.
Venus Tattoo: Appreciation Notes
Back to the tights - although the sailor tattoo tights look quite whitish, they are more transparent than they look in these pictures, with a slight silver sheen. They are 15 denier with a silk base, so one snag and I will become a very pissed off woman unless the cause for that snag is passion.
These particular tights are called Venus. A few months back I wrote up a small review on tattoo hosiery and it is incredible the sheer amount of traffic this blog receives based on those very key words (the other key word is wheelie wig by the way).
So here we go again: I bring you tattoo hosiery part 2: From Suzie to the Sphinx
BRAND PROFILE: BEBAROQUE
Crafted in Scotland by Chloe and Mhairi using hand embroidery and print, the bebaroque products have the power to instantly update your wardrobe and turn you into the edgiest girl around. If you have not come across any of their designs before, you must visit their website: www.bebaroque.co.uk
Expect to pay anything between £20 - £50 for the privilege of walking around with adorned legs and inviting comments from cute strangers – which is a lot of money for something so easily damaged. The flip side to this is that they are a very original item of clothing and there is nothing else like this out there.
The current collection is all about Russian fairy tales: "The collection draws upon Russian fairy tale imagery, exploring dark and Gothic themes with refreshing bright and colourful twists. This playful contribution for AW09 uses bold gem colours, opulent embroidery, crystals and bows to magically evoke the country's enchanted story telling," state bebaroque.