Category: Unexpected tattoos

Alex and Zoe Binnie – the tattooed love story

Ever wondered how one tattoo artist proposes to another?
Read on to find out. Here is the love story of Alex and Zoe Binnie… 

Zoe and Alex Binnie
Zoe and Alex Binnie

How did you meet?

Zoe: He was tattooing Mo Coppoletta and I came into the shop to bring something in for Mo on my way to work – I worked in a bar at the time. And we just sat down and had a little chat while he was working.
Alex: And I really fancied her and this was, what, 12 years ago. I thought there was something about her I really like, a lot, so…a couple of years later, I found her number and called her – I didn’t ask her out on a date, I offered her a job. I thought that was the best way of getting her in my life. I said we needed someone to be our glamorous new receptionist and desk girl.
Zoe: And he said under no circumstances is this an apprenticeship, so don’t even think about it.
Alex: Is that what I said?
Zoe: Yep, don’t even think about it. So I was like, fine OK and I accepted the offer and came to work for him.
Alex: (looks at Zoe) And actually you learned to tattoo in the shop a few years later…you terrible girl!
Both: And then…
Zoe: I left the shop.
Alex: with Miles – she ended up having a relationship with one of my guys, Miles. Which was fine, I was in a relationship myself and I had two young kids.  It was cool, I always loved her, but I didn’t need it to be consummated in that way – I was happy just having her around.
Zoe: Then I was away in Australia for about five or six years. Then I came back…
Alex: And we’d always kept in touch – as friends, of course.
Zoe: When I came back Miles and I had split up. And that was about a year and a half or two years ago now…and Alex and I went out for a few dinners, like we always used to, as friends…
Alex: Well, we went out for one dinner as friends and then it got a bit “not friendly”…
Zoe: it was weird…
Alex: We think the scales were lifted from our eyes at exactly the same time…
Zoe: He liked my new fringe…
Alex: It was a different fringe from this one. Obviously I like this fringe, too… Then, we were together and here we are. We’ve been together as a couple for a little over a year.

It was like the scales had been lifted from our eyes
It was like the scales had been lifted from our eyes

So when did you propose?

Zoe: Valentine’s day.
Alex: Yep I proposed on Valentine’s day.
Zoe: It’s a very romantic story.
Alex: Go on, you tell it then.
Zoe: I was working and Alex was in Brighton – doing what I’m not sure…
Alex: I was busy.
Zoe: He told me he couldn’t come to see me and he was like “You don’t care about Valentine’s day anyway, do you?” and I was like “No, of course not…it’s fine, it doesn’t matter”. He got flowers sent to the shop during the day, saying really sorry he couldn’t be with me. I was like “awww that’s nice”. Then I went home and I was making dinner with my flat mate and I got a phone call from Into You London (Alex’s shop) and it was Alex. I said, “What are you doing in London?” and he said “Babes, you didn’t think I’d really miss Valentine’s day, did you?” He’d booked a table to ‘our’ restaurant – the one where the scales had been lifted from our eyes. He said he would be there at nine, so I only had half an hour to quickly get dressed and get there. I got there and went to sit down and his hat was on the chair. I lifted the hat up and there was a big, sort of diamond and Alex said it was a taste of things to come. I was just like fine, whatever, thanks and I sat down.
Alex: And then I told her she had to come outside, as I had something to show her.
Zoe: And he was checking his nails every five minutes and looking nervous…and as he lead me outside I saw he had a little box in his hand. I was like oh my god, oh my god – I think I know what’s going to happen. Then when we were outside he got down on two knees – he has a dodgy knee – and he lifted up his shirt and he had ‘marry me’ tattooed on his chest. He said “Darling, will you marry me?” And I said “of course, yes”. Then, he said he didn’t have a ring yet, but he had picked a diamond.
Alex: I did have the diamond with me.

Marry me?

Zoe: And then we went back inside, so I could have a look at the diamond. And of course the next day, I went and got the ‘yes’ tattooed on me… then in two months’ time I will be (scary voice) Mrs Binnie.
Alex: (in scary voice) Yes Mrs Biiiinnnie…

Yes

 So do you two ever tattoo each other?

Alex: Yeah we have.
Zoe: (Looks at Alex) I am supposed to be tattooing you at some point soon.
Alex: I have to admit, I find it a bit difficult to tattoo her now, as I don’t want to hurt her.  (Looks at Zoe) I don’t want to hurt you babe.
Zoe: And then you’d have to stare at it every night.
Alex: It’s tricky, there’s too much stuff going on, as the great Hanky Panky (Henk Shiffmacher) said you should probably never tattoo your other half. It can be weird, but who knows I might tattoo her again one day.

Kiss
Sealed with a kiss - how romantic

So there it goes, the tale of two love-struck tattoo artists – how they found love and how he proposed to her. 

This interview took place at the London Tattoo Convention in September 2011 and the couple wed at the end of that year, massive congratulations to you both. Check out my tattoo film series, filmed with Papercut Pictures for Zeitgeist, with lots of other artists (including the infamous Mr Binnie) talking about their craft at the convention. The London Tattoo Convention film series.

Visit Alex’s website alexbinnie.com
Zoe now works at Cult Classic Tattoo

Forget Me Not – the Noten Family Tattoo

Forget me not - the family tattoo
Forget Me Not - the family tattoo

A beautiful story about people we will never forget and Forget Me Not tattoos.

I have known the Noten family since I was about five years old. They were the exotic  family who moved to the sleepy town of Market Harborough (my midlands hometown) from Holland. They wore bright clothes, while I was forced to wear school uniform. They talked openly about sex, while I blushed at the thought of a snog. They were different and I instantly fell in love with the whole family and their dutch eccentricities.

At the end of our primary school days, the Notens decided that England was no longer for them. So they packed up and moved back to the land of clogs, bicycles and *whispers* weed. My family and I have never lost touch with them and we remain the best of friends. When we meet up it is like we have never been apart, the drinks and the laughs always flow with ease.

The Noten family
The Noten family
forget-me-not flower
Never forget

So, when the news came out that Mama Noten (Annemie pictured middle, above photo) had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, everyone whose life she has ever touched was shocked and upset. Although the years have proven tough, Annemie and the Noten family have dealt with her illness with the  same spirit they have in  life – with passion, with determination and with individuality. Annemie has even had her makeup tattooed on, if she can no longer do her own makeup, then she will ensure she still always looks good.

Noten Family Love - Floor, Micheal and Marcela Noten
Noten Family Love - Floor, Micheal and Marcela Noten
Forget me not tattoos
Forget me not tattoos

I met up with them all a couple of weeks ago for Annemie’s birthday. The family drove over to London and all the familiar faces from Annemie’s English past gathered in a pub on the banks of the Thames to surprise her. It was an emotional, but very lovely day. We caught up with each others’ lives and Annemie told me a beautiful story about about how she had always wanted to have matching tattoos with her children (Floor, Marcela and Michael pictured). A simple Forget Me Not flower to ensure that they never forget the bond that they have shared in life. I know that they will never forget Annemie Noten, I don’t think anyone who was ever met her will.

I love you all.

Forget me not tattoo


Royal wedding tattoo special

OMG. As royal wedding hysteria sweeps the nation, a crazy tattoo story was bound to hit the press. The Mirror was first to get the scoop…

Shop manager, Steve White, decided to commemorate the wedding celebration of the year by getting Wills and Kate’s silhouette tattooed to his leg. Steve is not a fan of the royals and got it after a couple of beers. The 29-year-old doesn’t think he is marriage material himself, so decided to celebrate someone else’s. I am sure Steve will be able to find a royal wedding fanatic to marry him now…any takers?

Wills and Kate tattoo

An afternoon of tattooed love.

This afternoon, between working, tweeting and general April foolishness, I have mainly been browsing a Tumblr blog featuring tattooed couples, Tattooed Love. Here is a selection of my favourite photos…you can discover the raunchy variety for yourself…

Rock n Roll Bridetattoo metattooed loveTattoos and espadrillesPhotos: Rock ‘n’ Roll Bride, Tattoo me, unknown, unknown.

Probably not Born this Way.

I have a confession to make…I think I am in love with a zombie boy.

Rick Genest (aka Rico, aka Zombie Boy, aka the Mugler Muse) is fashion’s latest unconventional star. Moving from sideshow (used to star in a Montreal Circus) to main attraction (Mugler, Nicola Formichetti and Lady GaGa).

Rick and Nicola
Rick and Nicola
Rick and GaGa
Rick and GaGa - for her Born this Way video

 

The Muse of Mugler
The Muse of Mugler

Genest walked in the Thierry Mugler Fall 2011 runway show, and he was recently photographed by Mariano Vivanco, (styled by Formichetti) for a spread in Vogue Hommes Japan, Hard to be Passive.

hardtobepassiveIt it these pictures – along with about a million views of the GaGa video and constant stalking of his tumblr – that have made me slightly obsessed with this unconventional hotty. He encompasses two of my loves (fashion and tattoos) in a form that in theory sounds unappealing (sexually not in a human intrigue sense), but with those cheekbones, that body and an undeniable sex appeal, I just – like many others – cannot resist.

And for those of you intrigued  to see the before…which I know you are…feast your eyes on this… (unfortunate about the unattractive mouth-open face he is pulling).

Before Rick Genest
I thought long and hard about what I really wanted, what my passion was. And I decided I wanted to be a fucking zombie.

So who’d have though it? I think the skeletal look is rather becoming. With the face above, I fear, he would never have made it onto the Mugler Catwalk or the pages of Vogue (although I am intrigued to see more before shots of the un-photoshopped variety).

Rick, I salute you , your vision and your overactive imagination. You’re a celebration the art of obscenity and the macabre in a high-fashion form.

To read an in interview with the man himself go to www.bizarremag.com

and Rick I truly hope that one day I will get to meet you in person…

Illustrated bodies.

ACOFI Cover imageCut and PasteDon’t rub me it’s Fake.

Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration invites the reader to ‘be inspired’…and it is certainly inspirational reading, in more ways than one.

Amelia's Compendium of Fashion IllustrationOpening the beautiful book (also becoming slightly giddy from the wonderful new book fumes) you instantly get lost among the beautiful pictures. The book features the work of emerging illustrators and they depict the work of 50 ethical fashion designers.

123 store

I was very lucky indeed to be invited to the launch of this inspirational book, an intimate affair with entertainment from 6 Day Riot and the Pipettes. The event was held at – small but perfectly formed – 123 Bethnal Green Road in east London.

Display of books

ACOFI goodie bagLucy Bag

I could not resist purchasing a book and I was lucky enough to receive a wondrous goodie bag filled to the brim with treats from Tatty Devine and Dr. Hauschka. Much merriment and dancing ensued…


Kissy

Number 8 ponderings
Drunken pondering on the number 8 bus

..and so on the journey home myself and Lucy, a little tipsy on  Adnams beer and tonic mixed with Vodka O, perused the pages of ACOFI (as it is know in the Twittersphere) and decided that not only are the illustrations beautiful, but they would come alive as tattoos. So here is a selection of some of my faves from the book and let’s see how they work on the body…inkspired.

Antonia ParkerKatherine TromansNancy Dee

Natsuki OtaniNina Dolcetti

ACOFI tattoosNow who wants one of these? I love them

All illustrations are taken from Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration. Go buy it now…also do let me know if anyone does already have one of these beautiful illustrations as a tattoo….

ACOFI Goodie Bag

If the slipper fits…or the lips…

Olivia SnapeOnce upon a time there was a girl called Olivia. She was a quirky girl with lots of flair. She worked in fashion and possessed a unique style to match. The boys stared and the girls often glared. The envy of all that looked upon her. To enhance her look she wished to etch that individuality onto her body. Style that remained when her clothes did not. ”What on earth would be the perfect fit?” a question this stylish young girl often pondered.

One sunny day in Brighton Olivia sat amongst her friends, her lips painted her calling card red. Then the thought dawned. The lips that encapsulated her flamboyant flair could be painted on her skin when her lips remained bare. So Olivia printed her scarlet red lips onto a napkin. “This is just not right”, she proclaimed “this just won’t do”. She realised she did not want her own lips, but something so much more. Her friends called out, “why not mine Olivia?” So she put them all to the test and they all kissed a napkin wearing Olivia’s trademark red lipstick, but which lips would win?

Ed
with a pout like that how did he fail...?

First up was Ed ‘Deathwish‘ Higgins, the napkin he did kiss. “Olivia, use mine, use mine” he cried. However the napkin impression did not impress young Olivia. “These lips are too thin, these lips were not meant to be painted red, imagine how silly they would look on my skin!” Olivia decided Ed’s thin lips were just not meant to be, they would provide no artwork on her skin.

Next up was Jorunn, how would her lips compete? Would they become the fairest lips of them all and adorn Olivia’s body for life? And so she kissed, however they missed. “Something is just not right” Olivia cried in despair, almost tearing out her peroxide blonde hair. Jorunn looked glum, she just hadn’t won. Olivia was sorry, but for her it had to feel right.

Kissed napkin

Liv and KeelyThen there was Keely. In their eyes pure love, they gazed at each other across the table. “It’s meant to be” proclaimed the young fashionista. “Keely your lips are mine”. So Keely kissed and left was the perfect imprint. These lips are for life. Forever, Olivia and Keely, best friends and tattoo buddies.

So here it stands. Olivia and Keely and a memoriam of their friendship ever lasting.

Olivia lips

This is a story based on the real life experiences of Olivia Snape. A beautiful young stylist (see her blog here) who left Market Harborough to pursue a career in London. Her style remains iconic, she has won awards for it…I’d like to think it all began on that sunny day in Brighton…let’s hope there is much ink to come…I will endeavour to keep you updated on her story.

Finished lipsFeaturing: Olivia Snape

After lipsAfter lips