New Fashion Trend: Temporary Body Art


The term ‘body art’ tends to bring to mind tattoos and piercings but these days wearing body art doesn’t mean making a lifetime commitment to having the Chinese character for Courage etched on your ankle or a hole put through somewhere soft as fleshy. The latest trend in body art has more in common with the temporary tattoos of your childhood than with looking like a modern primitive. Fashion house Channel recently launched a line of temporary tattoos including one depicting their interlinked double C logo. These are ideal for those who want to experiment with a tattooed look in the short term: they only last a few days.

Rodarte’s SS10 catwalk show featured a different take on body art with a more tribal feel. The models’ arms had been covered with black paint featuring swirls and other patterns. The look seemed to reference tribal rituals and Maori Tā Moko tattoos. This makes sense when you think about it, what is a catwalk show if not some kind of modern ritual? This look was even more temporary than the Channel tattoos but more time consuming: it took a team of painters hours to get the look. Rodarte’s head designers Kate and Laura Mulleavy wanted to create a form of body art available to all: “Body art is a huge form of expression. If someone doesn’t want to commit to permanent body art, there are ways of translating the idea through make-up.”

This seems similar to the idea of body painting in the sense of using the body as a canvas on which to display airbrushed paintings. The difference is that airbrushing is normally a bit tacky and uninspired and certainly not high fashion. While it seems unlikely that body painting will ever be considered acceptable outdoor wear  it could be a viable alternative to lingerie. Take for example the video below of model Abbey Clancy in painted on lingerie, better than the real thing I would say although you would have to be careful where you sit to avoid ruining the furniture!


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