Archive for May, 2012
For every body or facial piercing, there is a set of common sizes that the majority of persons will be pierced at. Knowing these sizes won’t be a failsafe, but it can help tremendously when buying body jewelry. Here they are:
20 Gauge: This is the smallest gauge that regular body jewelry will come in, and is used almost exclusively for nose piercings. Some people who had their piercing performed in India, the Middle East, or very select areas of the US, UK, Australia, or Europe may require an even tinier 22 gauge, which would normally be considered a specialty size, and may need to be handmade by an artisan.
18 Gauge: This is the gauge used for larger sized nose piercings, some single piercings of the ear cartilage, standard ear lobe piercings, and very occasionally for piercings of the lip (mostly on females.) Slightly larger than a 20 gauge, you’ll normally find small studs, regular pierced earrings, nose rings, and circular jewelry like BCRs in this size.
16 Gauge: Piercings performed in a 16 gauge vary widely, and will include various piercings of the ear, the septum, the facial area around the mouth (labrets, monroes, medusas, etc.), the eyebrow, and infrequently possibly even the belly button, eye lid, nostril, or some surface piercings. Due to its variability, you’ll find sixteen gauge jewelry in circulars, straight barbells, curved barbells, studs, and various retainers.
14 Gauge: The 14 gauge size is even more versatile than the 16, including the vast majority of belly piercings, tongue piercings, nipple piercings, surface piercings, and many of the lip piercings, like the labret. Piercings of the septum, ear cartilage, eyebrow, and upper lip may also be made in a 14 gauge. Thus the jewelry will usually be found in almost all types ranging from circular, to spiral, barbell, shield, stud, spike, retainer, and even small plugs or eyelets.
12 Gauge: Although a 12 gauge isn’t generally the standard, piercings of the ears, lip, or septum in particular may be done in this larger gauge, especially those piercings on men that would generally be worn slightly smaller on a woman. Also, because the sizing difference is easily overcome, many who are in the beginning stages of stretching a piercing of the nose, lip, or ear may require this gauge, which can be readily found in barbells, circulars, and plugs.
Most gauges larger than a 12 will be found in circulars, straight barbells, and plugs or tunnels only, as these larger gauges require a piercing to be stretched in order to accommodate them.
It’s our favorite time of year again. The end of school, graduation, a well deserved dose of Summer fun, and of course, the prom.
For those who are pierced, tattooed, or otherwise modified, styling for prom can be a little tricky. But individuality is an amazing thing, and pulling together a unique and one of a kind prom look is a breeze if you just stick to your own signature style and mold it a little to fit into this more girly aesthetic.
Traditional prom wear is usually feminine and sweet, with pastels and ribbons, but even a classic style dress can be accessorized to reflect the inner you. One of the great things about the prom for those who have tattoos that are normally hidden or covered, is that for this one night soiree you can proudly let them show. And for stricter dress codes that say tattoos must remain covered up, a strategically placed strap or accessory can work wonders.
Modern alternative “occasion” styling is all about color, so feel free to experiment with neons and brights.
And for an extra focus around the eyes, temporary tattoo art takes the guess work out of fantasy makeup. Popular right now: florals, tribal swirls, stars, and lace.
Hairstyling looks fresh and updated if allowed to remain imperfect and slightly undone rather than sculpted. Try plaits, tiaras, Victorian style embellishments, or splashes of color that enhance your natural glow.
Floral remains one of the top motifs for prom. For solid color dresses or those that have a gently gothic feel, tones of fuchsia, pewter, violet, and indigo give an unexpected touch.
Other widely available elements that easily translate from modern to retro or vintage include bows, hearts, and butterflies.
For facial piercings, stick to a solid color, clear gem solitaires, or standard titanium, particularly if the dress you’ve chosen has lots of sparkles or embellishments.
Now our hair is curled, our makeup is set, and our accessories are flawless. Prom mission: accomplished.
All fashion photography sourced via WGSN
Modern primitivism or retro tribalism? Maybe it’s a little bit of both. Seventies hippie styling and modern grunge, nomadic, and coastal chic blend with traditional tribal elements for a unique and lush look.
Tribal Tattooing and Body Paint
Drawing inspiration from North African tribal body paint, large scale Maori body art, and Eastern mehndi tattoo, decoration of the skin is a major style element. Whether monochrome or brilliant hued, create temporary masterpieces with temporary tatouage.
clockwise from top left: American Indian doll, “Sticks and Stones and Broken Bones” by TooGood, Native spirit guides, mountains of the Midwest, Hopi Indian katsina doll, and Peruvian grain bundles (source: WGSN)
Reinvention of traditional Native American, Peruvian, and African cultural staples heightens the aesthetic. Think medicine man artifacts, worry dolls, desert flora, and animal totem.
For a wholly indistinct and eclectic outcome, blend branches of African, Asian, and Middle Eastern tribal style. Perfect for a touch of the well-travelled and enigmatic.
Braiding and fringing, natural material like bone and feather, beading featuring glass or driftwood, antiqued or eroded metal with geodes and organic crystalline shapes, layering and stacking, and woven or dream-catcher-like pieces.
Stretched lobes- fake it for fun with cheater plugs or tapers that give the illusion of a large gauge piercing.
Feathers- go natural or modern, with a choice of neutrals or blazing brights.
Beaded bracelets- stack a little or a lot for a unique and eclectic style step-up.
Memorial Day originated in the 1860′s, following the American Civil War, and is celebrated officially on the last Monday in May. Traditionally, the Holiday was to commemorate Union soldiers who had fallen during the Civil War by decoration of their graves, but since then this holiday has come to encompass all American soldiers who were felled in battle.
Gradually, the day of remembrance blossomed from simple grave decoration to include services honoring those deceased military men, picnics (sometimes also held within the cemetery grounds), family reunions, and even parades, beach parties, and fireworks. Because Memorial Day often marks the beginning of Summer vacation, all type of general warm weather festivities may be included as well.
As with the Fourth of July and Flag Day, one common method of modern celebration is the wearing of patriotic clothing, jewelry, and accessories. Popular items include those bearing military insignia, depictions of famous war memorials, and of course, items emblazoned with the American Flag.
Depending on the type of piercing, there are four basic styles of jewelry generally worn in the lip. Those are: the stud, the talon, the curved barbell, and the circular.
For those who have a vertical labret piercing, an inverted vertical labret (also called an Ashley), or a jestrum (the vertical version of a medusa piercing) which lays just above the top lip’s center underneath the septum, curved barbell jewelry will be the standard. The barbells are usually small, with a length of about half an inch or less.
Persons who have a standard Medusa piercing or a Monroe will generally prefer a stud (jewelry that has a flat backing and a visible ball or gem that either screws on or pushes into the back). Studs can also be worn by those who have standard labrets, lowbrets, dimple piercings, or any variety of “bites” including Dahlia bites, cyber bites, spider bites, snake bites, etc.
Talons, also called claws or hooks, are worn almost exclusively in regular labret piercings or “dolphin bites,” a set of two piercings underneath the bottom lip. This style is often referred to as “Disturbed Labret,” after famous wearer David Draiman, frontman of the rock band Disturbed.
Finally, circular jewelry can be worn in piercings of either the bottom or top lip. Common types of circular include the ball captive ring, the horseshoe ring, and the lippy loop, which gives a look similar to that of a vertical labret piercing, but for those who have a regular piercing.
All of these types of jewelry will commonly be found in either a fourteen or sixteen gauge, and will be measured by length for barbells or stud ring shafts, and by diameter for circular pieces.
Mood: Dark, mystical, powerful, and everlasting. The vampire has risen from the annuls of folklore to take a place in modern society, but an ancient, slightly unnatural, and very lush sensibility remains in the forefront of its fashion sense.
Color Palette: Black and white, pastels, shades of gray, regal violet, and blood reds.
Inspiration: Vampire movies, books, television series, and general popular mythology. Artwork that reflects that mythology and has strong substance. Examples both historical and contemporary, including iconography.
Mixology: A range of pales, pastels, jewel tones, and brilliant reds mixes with monochrome for a powerful contrast and maximum effect.
Practicality: Stick to single statement pieces that give maximum impact for minimum effort, like ornate gothic drop earrings, a single dark floral hair accessory, or a statement necklace, preferably with beading. Solid black studs for labret and nose piercings keeps the look cohesive.
All fashion photography sourced via WGSN
Unstoppable is exactly the name that you might think of when you lay eyes on a guy like Pauly Unstoppable. Even in the United States, it’s extremely rare to see someone who has multiple facial mods, especially at a regular job, but that’s exactly what Pauly is. A hairdresser by trade, celebrity is something that seems to have happened naturally to such a normal guy.
Originally from Canada and living in Indiana, Pauly is still in his twenties and is arguably considered the most modified person in the world. Often referred to as “the king of extreme body modification,” his mods include several piercings, multiple stretches, tattooing, an ocular tattoo (on the white of his eye), different types of implants, scarification, branding, nullification, tongue splitting, and several other things.
Oddly enough, the nickname “Unstoppable” is less a reference to his super mods, and more a confirmation of his super-human luck. Pauly has reportedly survived being hit by a car, shot, and even set on fire, and was once in a coma for over two weeks. And that’s not to mention having several painful modification procedures, and managing to overcome the stigma of his somewhat odd looks in favor of a creative and professional career. He’s also been credited as the first person ever to receive an eyeball tattoo. Talk about being truly unstoppable.
In recent years, Pauly has had his awesomely large stretched earlobes reconstructed, going from over 3 inches in diameter to an average shape. He’s also discontinued the stretching of his nostril piercings, which had reportedly reached almost an inch and a half. He is still recognized often when out and about, and asked for photos or autographs.
Location: Through the bottom lip, normally in the center, but on an angle so that both ends are visible, one atop the lip and the other just underneath it.
Alternate Names: vertical labret piercing, inverse labret piercing, vertical lip piercing
Piercing: The piercing of a vertical labret is done much the same as a standard labret. The bottom lip will be thoroughly cleaned, a marking will be made to assure proper placement, and a pair of piercing clamps will be used. The lip will then be pulled away from the gums, and a hollow piercing needle of about 14 gauge will be pushed through, followed by the jewelry. To insure placement and safety, it’s recommended that a seasoned professional piercing perform this piercing.
Aftercare: As with other oral and lip piercings, sea salt soaks or sprays and mouthwash are recommended for aftercare of a vertical labret. Avoidance of certain foods, alcoholic beverages, and cigarette smoking may also be required or strongly encouraged. One of the advantages of a vertical labret over a standard labret is that because the jewelry doesn’t sit inside the mouth, the risk of associated dental issues is nearly eliminated.
Jewelry: Most vertical labrets will be initially pierced and worn with a small curved barbell, though occasionally a straight barbell or spike may be used, usually after healing is completed.
Prevalence: Although no specific studies have been completed, it is commonly asserted that women are more likely to get a vertical labret piercing than men. Oddly enough, the modern history of vertical lip piercings suggests that they first came to prominence as an imitation of regular labret piercings that had gone awry due to a piercer’s inexperience.
Worried that everything’s gone down the toilet? Then viciously satirical fashion might be just what you’re looking for. Skewer the trends, give a little tough love, and get ready to poke pop culture, right in the eye.
Friend or foe, make the mustache a vehicle for expression. With mustache mania in full swing, it’s on everything from bling to bookshelves, and it’s time that everybody picked a side. Love it? Hate it? Go everywhere with your heart (and your stache) on your sleeve. This is one bit of pop fodder that’s so bad that it’s good.
Stuck in suburbia and about to be driven crazy? Time to let yourself go bananas. Banana yellow, that is. Yellow is the fun side of retro, so next time someone asks you, “what’s your sign,” let your accessories speak for themselves. Caution: side effects may include uproarious laughter, a round of high fives, and offers of free drinks.
Poke fun at the thug life without breaking a sweat. Roll your bandana, turn it up to eleven, get a little gucci gucci, and don’t forget to polish your pistol. Why be a gangster when you can be a gangstar?
Show the world that real girls kick butt! The best antidote to rude boy behavior is a feminine touch with just the right amount of spunk. Girly kitsch is dead, and the roller derby buried it. Bonus: independence is almost as hot as we are.
*All fashion photography sourced via WGSN
Those of you who follow our blog on a regular basis will probably recognize our team member, Cat. You might remember her getting funky with some cocktail rings, showing off her dark side with a perfectly poisoned apple, or being pierced in front of the camera with a wonderful smile.
What you might not recognize though, is her lovely new tattoo. Now when you take a look, don’t be confused; this tattoo isn’t finished. It seems as though the plan is to fill in this stunning array of flowery blooms with shades of purple, ranging from lavenders and violets, to a pinkish tone. The thing is that our fabulous friend isn’t in any huge hurry.
While she may subscribe to a retro rockabilly type fashion sense that could be commonly recognizable, our Cat is truly a one of a kind gal, and many things about her look are incredibly unique. Every mod she gets has special meaning, like her recent Monroe piercing, lovingly perforated in honor of one of her idols, Marilyn Monroe. Or her long-standing nose piercing, made with a safety pin and pure adrenaline when she was just 14 years old (certainly not recommended). And if you look very closely, you’ll notice that this new set of ink actually covers an old one, bearing a poetic phrase (quoted by the way, from cult classic The Rocky Horror Picture Show) that our resident sweetheart plans to get re-inked in a larger size.
So Cat waits, with an almost zen-like patience that can only be derived from the acceptance that, like life, the decoration of the human body is a constant work in progress, another step towards completion. With every new addition, the skin is less altered than made whole. And just like the person it’s a part of, it will continue to grow and change, picking up new scars along the way, each more memorable than the last.