Art and Suffering

“Tattoos detract attention away from the clothes in which you are modeling.” OLD NEWS! Thankfully it seems, the fashion industry has histrionically evolved from a time in which that was a collective actuality to pastures new, embracing the art form as a means of accentuating personality, something we here at The Stellar Boutique are tremendously appreciative of. Firm believers of suffering for our art (we have matching ink here at Stellar HQ,) we really think that the cultural shift toward tattoos is directive in concerning our desire to live in an incessant flow of art-directed personality, but is this a new age of professionalism, or is it strictly the acceptance of the creative industries?

A sign of the times...
Vintage lace and tattoo inspiration
Tattoo design

We’re not so sure, but in accordance to The Guardians online article “The Rise and Rise of the Tattoo” in 2010, one in five Britons are tattooed with those figures on the increase, precipitously. It’s almost 2014 and we’re pretty sure that art expression isn’t just a tendency but a way of life. Something that dates back 5000 years ago and once an art form of sailors, bikers and assorted deviants, this is a trend (if you can possibly call it a trend) that has quintessentially stepped up to the mainstream on a whole new and incomprehensible level.

Gang inspired tattoos
Navel tattoo
Sailor Jerry tattooist
Jean Paul Gaultier "Le Male' Ad Campaign with tattooed sailor

Ink is everywhere and has been for a pretty long time – in the 18th century, prominently historical explorers such as James Cook brought back drawings and told tales of Polynesian islanders’ spectacular inks with the intentions of warding off evil spirits. Ultimately, as time has progressed, tattoos have moved from symbolism of great cultural importance to that of artistic forms of self-expression. Like a sewing machine without the thread, the modern twin coil electromagnetic tattoo needle was patented in 1891 and was the catalyst of something beautiful. No longer a partition of class, displays of creativity and eccentricity are present on the streets and in the palaces alike – They are not dissident; they are not contravened and they are not a mark of the outlaw. A slave to the art of individualism, even Winston Churchill’s mother had a discreet snake tattoo on her wrist.

Kat Von D tattoo needles
Tattooed Maori family
Tattoo gun

Nowadays, they have personal meanings of original symbolism alongside a historically perceived meaning – Scarlett Johansson never discloses the meaning of the sunset tattoo discernibly extant on her forearm and why should she? And in regards to inspirational artistic phenomena, we read an article about Marc Jacobs’ views on tattoos in the industry in New York Magazine in which he expresses that his tattoos are a diary of his creative life – of his interests and his relationship to the world. “In what is perhaps the greatest fashion shift of a generation, tattoos are now as desired and admired as a Céline bag, a Prada shoe, or one of those long mountain-man beards.” He speaks the truth! Tattoos are distinguishable and expresses diversity and disposition, with Kate Moss’ bird tattoos drawn unambiguously for her by Lucian Freud and Chanel’s ad campaigns conspicuously featuring Freya Beha Erichsen’s ‘breathe’ tatt in synchronization of the release of their very own transfer tattoos in 2010 for the less inclined of fortitude.

Kate Moss, Lucien Freud tattoo
Chanel transfer tattoos on the S/S 2011 catwalk
Freja Beha Erichsen by Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel S/S 2011
Freya Beha Erichsen by Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel S/S 2011

Alongside this we’ve seen the current Valentino ad, a brand renowned for their modest femininity and contemporary glamour, feature not a pure, fresh-faced model but the big, hairy tattooed arm of photographer Terry Richardson, clutching heels and handbags for the female form. And to finish with a real insight into the future of the self-expressive nature of tattooing we’ve seen the House of Holland take a “trip to balmy Mexico City by way of the tattoo parlours of Venice beach,” with the designers Spring Summer 2014 collection showcased at London Fashion Week yesterday, capturing an existing and new generation with dazing ink printed luxury in a sugar skull, antiquated floral and love heart frenzy.

Terry Richardson for Valentino A/W 2013
Henry Holland for House of Holland S/S 2014
Henry Holland for House of Holland S/S 2014

Excuse us while we suffer for our art! View the full Stellar Collection here.

Vintage rose and crucifix
Dream catch me

The Thrills & Frills of London Fashion Week A/W 13/14

Another inspirational season of catwalk shows has come to a close, and what a dazzling showcase of British design talent it has been!

With 56 runway shows squeezed into just 5 days, fashion royalty Tom Ford showing for the first time in London, Julien Macdonald making a return to LFW and the London debut of L’Wren Scott (complete with dinner at the Café Royale co-hosted by her boyfriend, Mick Jagger) it certainly didn’t disappoint the eager global fashion crowd with a whirlwind of excitement, celebrity and creativity.

Unable to go this year I had to make do with drooling over the weird and wonderful creations from the confines of my desk. No way near as exhilarating but certainly a lot warmer!

Of course the usual suspects were there in the prestigious front row, strategically placed to gain maximum exposure for themselves and the fashion brand on show!

Michelle Dockery, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Freida Pinto, Rita Ora and Kate Beckinsale at Burberry
Alexa Chung, Daisy Lowe and Sarah Ann Macklin at J. W. Anderson.
Olivia Palermo at Antonio Berardi
Juno Temple, Lana Del Rey and Alexa Chung at Mulberry
Jessica Biel and Justin Timberlake at Tom Ford
Kate Bosworth at Topshop Unique

The emergence of young British ‘Model of the year’, Cara Delevingne, as “the next Kate Moss”  has created quite a buzz, consequently she could be seen on all the major runways….

Cara Delevingne backstage

But the celebrity limelight it seems was stolen by none other than Rihanna as the pop singer unveiled her first collection for British retailer River Island. The British press has reported she is being paid around $1.2 million to front the collection, not bad considering she probably didn’t design a single piece of it!!

Rihanna for River Island

But that’s enough about the glory hunting celebrities, it’s London’s designers that are the real stars of the show!

So what were the emerging trends for this winter? Monochrome had a huge presence at numerous shows, black & white was everywhere. But as an antidote to the black & white theme, colour makes an unexpected appearance with bold and bright yellow, pink, green, orange and blue popping up all over the place. Yep, no more dull winters in grey and somber shades, winter 2013 is set to be a surprisingly rainbow bright affair! But if neon winters are not your thing, never fear, a deep palette of burgundy, wine, navy and bottle green was also very popular. Other key trends include metallics, colour blocking, animal print (leopard and zebra in particular), polished tailoring, boxy jackets, cut-out detailing, shiny PVC, tribal patterns, florals and stripes.

Here are some favourite outfits from my pick of the most beautiful, creative and contemporary collections on show this year.

David Koma

Like works of sculpted art, David Koma’s stunningly constructed collection was inspired by sound, rhythm and movement.


Fun-loving chic with a touch of humour, Ashish’s collection is a visually ironic take on urban/rural work wear.

Burberry Prorsum

An absolutely gorgeous collection by Christopher Bailey at Burberry. Cute sweet-heart prints, stylish leopard print and trench coats with metallic silver, bronze and gold panelling detail, this collection is among the most wearable, chic, feminine and flirty. Love it!

Matthew Williamson

As always, a beautiful collection from Matthew Williamson, full of vibrant colour and glamour.

Sass & Bide

Stunning, elegant and contemporary, Sass & Bide worked the monochrome, metallic and cut-out trends with a vibrant splash of bright yellow throughout. Born out of an exploration into internal structures and mechanics, the collection references industrial frameworks and mechanical notions which are sensualised by contrasting elements of nature.

Mary Katrantzou

Beautiful bold graphics and creative pattern cutting, the collection focuses on architectural structure of both nature and man, mapped around the female form.


More monochrome at KTZ with some acid brights and a nod to the occult.

House of Holland

Prints don’t come more retro than these! HOH must have looked to 70s style lounge walls for these bad boy graphics!

Vivienne Westwood Red Label

All time favourite Vivienne Westwood never disappoints, cleverly constructed, edgy glamour is what she does best.


Acid brights and sharp, feminine tailoring add a new aura to powerful dressing at PPQ.

Julien Macdonald

You can always rely on Julien Macdonald for unashamed sparkle and glamour. This collection sees the use of metallics in a big way creating sexy, high octane clothes for powerful, liberated women.

Moschino Cheap and Chic

A fun and sassy collection from Moschino with monochrome, bold animal prints and bright girly pink.

And of course it just wouldn’t be fashion week without some outlandishly conceptual creations. Here’s a look at one of the more eccentric British designers, Pam Hogg, and her take on fashion for winter 2013. Clearly warmth and practicality are not high on her list of priorities! I don’t think I’ll be adding any of her range to my winter wardrobe in a hurry!

Pam Hogg

And so, 1000 air kisses and a tonne of hairspray later, life gets back to normal as the fashion pack jet off to Milan for the next round of catwalk creations and autumnal trends, Italian style.