Tagged: fashion

All for Love

Our guest blogger Dr Natalie McCreesh a fashion lecturer and freelance writer needs your stories for a academic research project discussing the relationship we have with fashion and the body, find out more below…

Do you have a tattoo that you have gotten for the sake of love? A partner’s name, a heart shape tattoo, matching tattoos with your sibling, a tattoo in honour of a lost relative, something silly with your best friend, perhaps something more abstract representing your emotions? We are collecting stories and photos of tattoos for love and we want to hear your stories. What is the story behind your tattoo? Why was this memory so important to have permanently inked on your skin? Did you get the tattoo for yourself or to represent something to others? How did you choose the design? Was the process of having the tattoo important or just the outcome? You can tell us as much or as little as you like.

Intrigued? Ok I’ll go first, fair is fair…


This my heart and dog tattoo – the design is a play on a nick name I have for my partner. I got the tattoo not because I felt I needed to have a declaration of love for him emblazoned on my skin. But to remind myself of how precious love is. It serves as a daily reminder and for that reason (as well as its gorgeous design) it is my favourite tattoo.

To get involved you can email Natalie at fashionpearlsofwisdom@googlemail.com subject line ‘tattoo story’ or DM or tag us on Instagram @shoes_and_tattoos – all stories will remain anonymous unless permission given otherwise. Your stories and photos will contribute to a collaborative research project at the University of Huddersfield accumulating in a public exhibition and zine journal. For more information feel free to drop us a line using the contact details above.

43T Clothing

The love child of a culture crazed couple, London based fashion brand 43T Clothing was created by Oli and Steph who pride themselves on their quirky and unconventional hand-printed apparel. We chatted to the pair to find out more about their eco-friendly fashion line, cool product illustrations and what inspired their collections

What inspired you to set up the brand? The main reason we wanted to start our brand is because we both love fashion and always have growing up! We also like to think of ourselves as green people so we thought why not try and combine two of our passions?

What inspires your designs? They tend to come from things that we love or just ideas that sprout out of our head. The characters are all based on friends of ours and now they feel immortalised by the sketches.


We love your interesting sketch style product shots, what motivated you to create these? Right at the start we decided to combine our love of tattoos and art, that’s what inspired us to draw the doodles of our ’43T Characters’. We’ve chosen to use them instead of conventional models, as we both feel this aesthetically looks great and stands us out fro  the crowd! We will eventually plan to use real human models but for the moment we like what the ’43T Characters’ give us and how we can keep adding more to the site.

What are your plans for the future, any new products in the pipeline? We have lots of new products coming out over the next three months and we have already started our new range. We feel it’s important to give people more variety so every Friday we release a new item onto the website and have done this for the past four weeks. This is going to be continued right up until Christmas so there is plenty to get excited about if you’re a 43T Customer! Finally our aim moving forward is to grow and grow, but not in terms of owning a million shops but grow our idea that eco and fashion can mix! Also that we should all support small businesses, creativity, individuality, music and the arts.


Why is being eco-friendly so important to you? Well being eco-friendly is important to us for a few reasons, the obvious being is we kinda frickin love this planet! Also we don’t see that many ecological brands out there so we wanted to show that it can still be fashionable to wear eco-friendly garments. Another big  reason we wanted to go eco was because we feel there is no reason, in this day and age, that everyone shouldn’t produce eco or fair-trade clothing. Everyone that has tried on one of our famous Bamboo T-shirts can’t believe how super soft they are and what amazing quality they are!


Check out the website at 43tclothing.com

Careers: Tattooed Wholesale Manager

We chatted to 28-year-old Jenna Needham who is wholesale manager for Motelrocks.com about her beautifully dark tattoo collection and her role within the fashion company… 

How old were you got your first tattoo, what was it? Do you still love it?Shamefully I was 13 when I got my first tattoo. I bunked off school to go at get it at a local place called ‘Dodgy Kevs’. Of course that wasn’t the actual shop name but its how we all locally knew it and since me and my friends all got tattooed there so young I’m pretty sure you can guess why!

I went in and picked my favourite Chinese symbol off the wall (that was big in 2000) and had it put on my butt!  I had to have it there to hide it from my mum, he just sketched it free hand with a biro and away we went! I can’t say I’m a massive fan of it now but for comedy reasons (and the fact no one ever sees it) it doesn’t bother me too much. It means tiger in case you were interested!

What drew you to tattoos, did anyone influence you?
From a young age I was into a more alternative scene and so naturally from that point I saw more people with them. Not that I think tattoos are bound only to the alternative scene but I was definitely more exposed to them in that environment at that time.
I can’t really remember what it was that first attracted me to tattoos though to be honest, no one in my family has them but I was always drawn to them and the way the art looked on skin.

Can you tell us about your tattoos? I can tell you there’s not enough of them!
My tattoos are just a random collection of my likes and memories really. I have a few that I’ve had done that mean something to me and people close to me, some while travelling to remember a time or a place and then some which are just a memory of me getting tattooed by someone I admire and perhaps a point in my life.

When I got tattoos when I was younger I didn’t really think about what I wanted and getting a tattoo was just walking into a shop and picking something off the wall. Now it’s like having an artwork collection on my skin that I can see everyday. I remember when I first started to find peoples whose work I loved like Thomas Hooper and just being so excited to be able to put their designs onto me and finally finding people’s work that was in the style I like. My favourite thing to do on Instagram is find new tattoo artists, I think its amazing that now it’s so much easier to find so many amazing artists across the globe.

Are there any artists you admire?
Too many! I pretty much admire all tattoo artists. Being a person who is unable to draw I appreciate all their amazing skills.
Of course everyone I have been tattooed by I have the utmost admiration and appreciation for which is why I want their art on my skin and that includes, Raph Cemo, Grace Neutral, Rebecca Vincent, Jack Ede, Tiny Miss Becca, Aaron Anthony and Jemma Jones just to name a few!

What are your future tattoo plans?
I really want to get my back done and my arm completed in the near future but I don’t actually have anything booked in right now.
I never really focus on an area I just seem to know where something is going to go when I have it and so my pieces are generally just scattered around.
A few of my current dream people to get tattooed by are Guy Le tattooer, Sway, Thomas Bates, Kelly Violence, Thomas Hooper and Ryan Jessiman.

How did you get your current job? What did you do before? Did you study for it, did you work your way up?
I was living in Wales at the time, I’d moved there for my boyfriend  and although I absolutely loved my time there and the people I’d met, when we broke up I felt I needed a fresh start. My friend at the time had just moved to Bristol and we were obsessed with shopping on Park street it was full of independent shops, vintage and clothes you definitely couldn’t buy in Newport! We were shopping in the Motel store and I noticed they were advertising for an assistant manager position in that store and I just thought why not! Got the interview a week later (which I actually don’t think I performed that well in) and just got on so well with the two girls who were interviewing, they called me back a few days later and said they wanted to offer me the job. At the time everyone thought I was mad because I was moving to a flat with rent three times more than what I was paying and a salary that was half of what I was currently earning but something just felt right and I guess it was the universe telling me I was making the right move.

When I started with Motel in 2007 it wasn’t that well know or big and one of the girls from the shop used to model for the website which only had a handful or products on it then we started to get more PR activity around our clothes including celebrities wearing the brand and everyone just started to notice Motel more and more. No one was doing printed dresses like Motel were at that point and so we were way ahead of the game!

From assistant manager I became store manager, then the website started to boom so they moved me over to work on that, managing the in-house buying, promotions etc. I was also already helping them with the wholesale trade shows in Berlin, Las Vegas and New York during that time so then when they eventually decided to open a London showroom and offered me the chance to work on the wholesale team I jumped at the chance.

What is a typical day like for you?
So I basically sell the collections that Motel creates to other boutiques and stores that buy third party brands. At Motel we sell 12 collections a year which pretty much means I am selling product all year round (as well as an additional swimwear line we now do!).
I deal with all our international agents/distributors, all of our UK key accounts and any boutique smaller accounts where we don’t have an agent servicing that area.

The best thing about my job is the variety of things I do really. I might have the wholesale manager title but I’ve been with the company so long I can’t help but get involved with other areas of the business and share my ideas! I’ve helped create a promotional street team family for Motel, I organised the recent Grace Neutral collaboration we did, ran the clothes show, designed a print, helped organise events and held sample sales as a few examples!
Mainly though on the run up to the ranges I spend time with design and production and we all discuss requirements and needs for future seasons, we go over any upcoming collections in sample form and will go through pricing and design to make sure the range is completely as we feel it should be.
Selling the range I am speaking with customers, maintaining relationship and meeting their Motel needs while also trying to source new relationship with potential new customers.
I work on exclusive designs with some of my customers and bridge the gap between all the agents and Motel helping them meet their customer needs to.
Its definitely not a 9-5 role but I’m fortunate that I love my job and that’s why I’m so passionate about it.

How do you dress for work, do you show off your tattoos? I’m pretty lucky that fashion is possibly one of the easiest sectors to work in and wear whatever you like.
I of course wear a lot of Motel anyway and I try and do this for meetings especially. Generally anything black, grey and a shade of in-between!
I don’t purposely get my tattoos out but I don’t hide them either. So long as it’s not a cold day I will happily have my tattoos on display for meetings, the office or any trade show we do!

What kinds of reactions do you get? From work colleagues, family and the general public. 
I think my mum has the typical parent reaction and worries about how many I have and if I will still like them in the future, like I say no one else in my family has them so I’m slightly different, but that said she often tells me she’s proud of me for being vegetarian and having tattoos. She’s happy that I express myself and stay true to me.
I generally get a really good reaction to my tattoos from the general public, work colleagues and anyone I might have in for a meeting. My hand is the most commented on, I guess because its the first people see a lot but I’ve never had any negative comments said to my face. I of course have had to challenge a few “what about when you’re older” comments like most!

What advice would you give other people considering their careers when getting tattooed?
I personally think that you shouldn’t let anyone tell you what you can and can’t do to your body. That’s the skin you have to live in and if you want to decorate your home, your body then you should. A tattoo doesn’t define who a person is or change their skill set or mind and therefore it shouldn’t change the jobs that you can to do. That being said there are still jobs/companies/careers out there which feel tattoos which can be seen in the working environment are not professional, so I guess at that point you have to make a choice on what’s more important to you and perhaps think more carefully about placement of what you want done. It still shouldn’t stop you though, there are plenty of ways to keep expressing yourself but just maybe avoid the hand, neck and face area.

At the box office with Sophie Elizabeth

Sophie Elizabeth is a 24-year-old social media/SEO executive and part-time blogger from London. We chatted to Sophie about her love for films, her fashion style and reactions to her ink at work… 


When did you start blogging, how did you get into it? I started blogging around three years ago and it was more just an outlet to improve my creative writing and share what I was interested in. It started out as a way for me to write film reviews and then I introduced the odd outfit post and it sort of just grew from there. The more I posted, the more people started to take notice and now here I am. I think at the time, I felt that there weren’t many bloggers out there (who I followed anyway) that really represented me and my style and so I figured I’d just create one myself.


What kinds of things do you blog about? My blog is essentially film and personal style although over the last year or so it’s progressed more in to London lifestyle, events, food and a bit of beauty also. It’s pretty much all the stuff I’m interested in and the random things I get up to.

How would you describe your style? I think my style changes like the wind – I tend to combine vintage inspirations with modern trends and I love all things 80’s and 90’s. I wear a lot of black (perhaps too much) and I love to play around with textures and prints.


What inspires you? For me, it’s totally film. Filmmakers, directors and other critics really inspire me to write and learn more. I love going to the cinema and, for me, it’s always been the experience and the nostalgic values that come with it. I think I’m also inspired by other tattooed women – I’m very much in awe of them a lot of the time. I have a major girl crush on Hannah Pixie Sykes.

Do you have a favourite designer/artist? My boyfriend is a designer and so I’m probably supposed to say him! I follow a lot of tattoo artists such as Claudia De Sabe, Matty Darienzo and Thomas Hooper – I think they’re probably among my favourites.


When did you get your first tattoo? Do you still love it? I got my first tattoo aged 16 and under age tattoos are never good tattoos. It was well done and by a good artist but it’s six stars on my stomach and very emo. I wouldn’t get rid of it though and I completely forget it’s even there now.

Tell us about your other tattoos? Most of my tattoos are traditional Navy inspired with thick, blown lines but I like to put a girly spin on it. Lots of flowers, animals and bright colours. I think my favourite is the Victorian lady on my thigh by artist Naomi Smith – I love the lines in her hair, the colours are amazing and how she’s got kind of a big nose. She’s perfectly imperfect.


Do you have any future tattoo plans? I’d love to get more in the future as I haven’t had any in a while – I have some plans to get some dot work or menhdi and I find myself really drawn to bold, black tattoos lately. I’d like to add more to my legs and maybe get some more film inspired pieces too.

Do you consider yourself a tattoo collector? I don’t think I ever set out to be but given the amount I now have, I imagine I am. I am running out of space now though so not sure how much longer the collection can go on for.

How did you get your current job? I worked in retail for about seven years, from turning 16 to finishing university, before finally making the move in to an agency environment. I applied as an Office Administrator originally, to get a foot in the door, but luckily I was able to work my way up very quickly.

Did you study, did you do work experience? I did my degree in Film Theory and Major Production and I don’t think I’d even heard of SEO or anything at that stage. I wasn’t 100% sure of what I wanted to do and had lots of experience but not necessarily in the correct fields. Luckily, because of my blog, I was able to use that as a sort of portfolio. I’m surprised how many doors it’s opened for me. If you can show you’ve done work off your own back and followed through with it then that’s good experience to have.


What reactions do your tattoos get at work? Do you cover them or show them off? When I first started I was terrified of having them on show in case someone said something or it upset the directors. Thankfully, after a few months I eased up and they didn’t care either way anyway although I don’t think they’d ever seen anything like me before. I have them out sometimes at work (especially when it’s unbearably hot in summer) and hide them for some clients but that’s my choice to do so. I think I’m very lucky to be in an agency that’s very laid back and embraces individuality. I know a lot of other corporate companies may not see it that way. I’ve always said that if they asked me to cover them, that’s fine – I’ll do that; but it also doesn’t affect my work performance.

Skin Deep – an exhibition featuring photographic portraits of male models

Cheshire born and now London based, photographer Danny Baldwin explored a range of art forms, from drawing and drama to music and modelling, before finding his niche as a photographer. It was actually while modelling that Danny discovered a world where his creative vision could be channelled by flipping sides from in front to behind the lens. Influenced by fashion and counter-culture, Danny’s style mixes colours, tones and textures, and emphasises the power of beauty and shapes.
In his new exhibition, Skin Deep, Danny  documents a seismic mood change within the fashion industry that has seen agencies shift from representing only models with no tattoos, or those that are easily hidden, to building entire campaigns around elaborately inked individuals. Encouraging acceptance and celebrating individuality, freedom of expression and creativity, Skin Deep features 100 black and white nude images of professional tattooed male models shot against a stark black, signature background.
We found out more in this interview with Danny…


> What attracted you to photographing tattooed models? Why?

The underlying message is to encourage acceptance and freedom of expression, Skin Deep has been created over the course of a year to show the versatility of beauty and ink, and is something I could relate to myself. I needed it to be something that I understood, had knowledge about and was part of my life – and I wanted to represent and celebrate the rise of the tattooed model and its acceptance, slowly, into the fashion industry.



> What is your background? Have you always photographed people?

Yes I did a general photography course at college in Cheshire when I first started as a photographer and this covered all types of photography, when I was doing landscapes etc i used to have imagine people there to be able to create the image. I decided very quickly one of the main reasons I am a photographer is because of the people, so I continued my studies at London College of Fashion studying fashion photography

> Why only men in the project?

I decided when I started this as a personal project that It had to be relatable to myself, it had to say something from me and be pure to my vision and I felt – as a tattooed male myself – I would be able to better understand the body of the male and their process of thought. I want to represent the male models in a way I haven’t always been able to represent them due to client limitations.



> The portraits are in black and white… is there a particular reason for this?

Due to the scale of the project and the timeframe of over a year of shooting, I wanted to create something distinctive that showcased the models and their tattoos in a consistent way and I felt this was the best way to do it. I shoot a lot in black and white as I love shape, line, texture and movement and really feel this can be explored a lot deeper with a black and white image.



Are you tattooed yourself?

I do have a collection of tattoos and plan to have more done in the future months and years. I have my left top arm , finger, both feet, all my toes and most recently I have had the title of this project “skin deep” on my inner lip which was done at One By One tattoo studio in soho, London. All my tattoos have a deep rooted and significant meaning to me and are connected to parts of my job as a photographer, people who have impacted my life and the evolution of myself. They look quite macabre but they are more my own personal affirmations.

What are your hopes for this exhibition? How many portraits does it include?

The exhibition will feature over 100 portraits of the selected agency signed male models, which I hope will showcase their diversity. I want to show a wider audience something that is visually stimulating and celebrates how these people are breaking the mould. They are being true to themselves in an elite industry and expressing who they are through the medium of tattooing, which I think is an incredible art form and I don’t know why it has taken so long for the two worlds of tattooing and fashion to collide and be more accepted in the mainstream. I think the bigger picture is about encouraging acceptance and celebrating individuality, freedom of expression and creativity.

Danny has just reached his fundraising target on Kickstarter, so it looks like there will be a physical exhibition of Skin Deep in London next year. Look out for updates from @thingsandink and @skindeeplondon.

Horror influencing fashion

Our guest blogger is Jade-Bailey Dowling, fashion writer and creator of Nouvelle Noir, a blog dedicated to dark fashion. This is the first in a series of post where she looks at how horror influences fashion and how you can draw fashion inspiration from the movies… 

Horror has influenced fashion in many aspects over the years. Designers have taken obvious inspiration from a particular horror heroine, such as Carrie or Wednesday Addams, or adapted their new season style to fit the aesthetic of a film or genre; it is undoubted that horror and fashion sit on a precarious diversionary line.


Wednesday Addams

In this fashion series, I will discuss how designers past and present have looked to the horror genre to gain inspiration for their clothes, and further still how these have been translated by the high street and enable horror fans to take their love of horror from film to fashion.

First up, Stephen King’s coming-of-age combined with kinetic powers heroine Carrie White. The novel has been adapted for film various times, most recently in 2013 with Chloe Grace Moretz featuring as the infamous Carrie.

Carrie is a firm favourite costume choice for Halloween and fans often pour red paint or dye over any cheap white or light coloured dress they can find for an easy yet striking outfit for the night. Carrie can be a fashion icon without the need to reference this, albeit pivotal, moment.



The infamous blood scene from Carrie 1976

For those familiar with the novel or film, Carrie White’s style is very much reflective of the modest, strict upbringing inflicted by her religious mother, Margaret White. However, this granny chic style is set to be very much en vogue for Autumn/Winter 2015, as seen on the catwalks of Miu Miu, and Prada.

Screen Shot 2015-09-21 at 12.05.35

Mui Mui A/W

Although the 2013 version, directed by Kimberly Peirce, is set in a modern setting, the fashion choices of the costume designer follows that of the original film that aligns itself with the novel and is set in the 70s, another source of A/W 2015 style inspiration such as at Burberry.


Screen shot from Carrie (2013)

Channel your inner Carrie White with 70s inspired florals, a-line denim skirts and chunky shoes.


Denim dungaree dress, £20, Boohoo
Shirt £19.99, New Look
Brogues, £19.99, H&M
Knee High Socks, £2.99, New Look
A Line Demin Skirt, £30, Topshop

Despite Margaret White famously stating “Red. I might have known it would be red”, the famous prom dress is actually very light pink. For those who wish to steal Carrie’s prom look, pre pig’s blood of course, opting for a nude, or light pink dress can pay homage in a delicate and sophisticated way. With loads available on the high street at reasonable prices, should you wish to cover yourself with a red substance that will, hopefully, come out in the wash you can transform your look from Prom Carrie to Bloody Carrie with no major expense, while looking more authentic than other Carrie Costumers.


Screen Shot Carrie 2013

Carrie Dress

Left to right:  Miss Selfridge – £55, Rare @ Topshop – £45, Glamorous – £25

Next time, see how the 90s iconic witch film, “The Craft” has inspired fashion, from catwalk to street style.

When Tattoo Culture and Fashion Collide

Our guest blogger is Jade-Bailey Dowling, fashion writer and creator of Nouvelle Noir, a blog dedicated to dark fashion. In this post she explores tattoos in the world of fashion… 

Fashion and tattoo art appear to have very little in common . While fashion is fleeting by its very nature – trends change twice a year – tattoos are a life-long commitment. Yes, there are, of course, “trends” in tattooing (take the tribal mania of the ’90s, or the current love of the mandala), but when deciding to get tattooed, you put far more thought into it than which new season shoes to purchase.

However, fashion has repeatedly looked towards the tattoo community to gain inspiration for their own craft.


Designer Jean Paul Gaultier has repeatedly drawn inspiration from body art in his designs. His signature style originated from nautical influence, and this too included the body art and tattoos sported by sailors. While the Breton stripe was prominent in his early work, traditional Japanese style patterns were seen in the Spring/Summer 2012 collection – printed on women’s shoes and handbags, as well as earlier in the Gaultier menswear. His tattoo infatuation was enhanced further when designing the Diet Coke bottles (also in 2012), a campaign that saw Gaultier cover model Daisy Lowe in temporary body art to promote the collection.

Coca Cola

And Jean Paul Gaultier is not alone in bringing tattoo art to haute couture. In 2012, Karl Lagerfeld, creative director of Chanel, sent models down the catwalk covered in Chanel-esque temporary tattoos. Designs included pearls, the brands signature interlocking Cs and brands namesake and creator, Coco Chanel’s favourite flower, a camellia. They had been designed by the brand’s former make-up director Peter Philips, and at £45 a sheet, fashionistas could get the tattoo trend without the commitment of a lifelong addition.


This seeming ‘tattoo trend’ looks to continue into Spring/Summer ’16, McQueen has designed a new take on the brand’s signature skull scarf to incorporate traditional flash style artwork alongside it. At £95, tattoo flash sheets become wearable in these silk scarves.

Alexander McQueen

Kate Moss is noted for having a small swallow tattoo on her wrist, but previously models, in particular female models, were discouraged from having large, visable tattoos in the fear of hindering their careers. This seems to be changing gradually, with the likes of Cara Delevingne proudly showing off her many visable artworks, including a lion on her finger. Also, at the Met Gala this year – a yearly fashion event held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art by U.S Vogue editor Anna Wintour – Cara Delevingne decorated herself with cherry blossom airbrushed body art, done by New York tattoo artist Bang Bang, in keeping with the theme of Chinese Whispers: Through the Looking Glass.

W Magazine

More recently, cult shoe brand Dr Martens looked towards tattoo artistry for inspiration. Their Spring/Summer 2015 collection included shoes, satchels and dresses adorned with traditional style tattoo patterns. Similarly, for Brighton Pride 2015, Dr Martens teamed up with tattoo artists from the local area to come together for a charity raffle with prizes including shoes and bags custom decorated by local tattoo artists.

Dr Martens

Tattoos and fashion have collided in a more permanent way (forget the temporary tats) on the high street too… A few years ago, consumers could not only get their fashion fix, but they could also get a tattoo in the Metal Morphosis studio in Topshop’s flag ship store in Oxford Circus. And last year, legendary department store Selfridges had a pop-up tattoo parlour for two weeks.

Although it’s great that body art and tattoos are seemingly being more accepted into society, especially within fashion, taking inspiration from the late Yves Saint Laurent quote, perhaps trend seekers should remember that fashions fade, while tattoos are eternal.

Dolly Donshey Monstruosité

Dolly Donshey creates spectacular hats inspired by the macabre, and as her new collection is modelled by tattooed women, we had to talk to her!

You can see her latest collection on the Nolcha Fashion week catwalk in New York. Nolcha Fashion Week takes place this September and showcases independent fashion designers to a global audience. Over the past five years the award-winning event has established itself as a platform of discovery, promoting innovative fashion designers.

Tell us a little bit about your brand Monstruosité, how did it form and how has it evolved?

I learned the art of hat making in 2010 by studying under Jan Wutowski, alumni of the Melbourne School of Millinery in Australia. After I returned from my training, I started my independent millinery brand, House of Donshey. After discovering my brand aesthetic and bringing on new team members, I re-branded and that’s where Monstruosité was brought to life. Monstruosité means “monstrosity” French, and I thought that really captured the essence of my line. Every human has a monstrosity within their lives and a deep story to tell, so the name was perfect for the dark feel of our brand.

What is Nolcha fashion week and how did you become involved? Have you showcased your designs there before?

This is our first time showcasing at Nolcha and we couldn’t be more excited. We were drawn to Nolcha because of their reputation as a leading platform for independent designers.

On your site you explain that your collections tell a story, what is the story of your current collection? 

Our Spring/Summer 15 collection is called “The Rise of Ostara.” Ostara, in the Pagan Religion, is the celebration of the Spring Equinox. Our collection is a journey from winter to spring that celebrates fertility and life. It is the “prettiest” collection we have ever done but also the most dramatic.

What draws you to tattoos?

I love tattoos because each one represents a part of someone’s history. Even if you got a tattoo one drunk night in Vegas, or you got a tattoo with your mother, both have importance and should be celebrated.

Why have you chosen to use tattooed models to wear your hats?

Since our brand deals so heavily with concepts and stories, tattoos are the perfect way to highlight this. When we shoot an editorial with a tattooed model, we are not only shooting the story of our work, but the model’s story silently on display as well.

Do you have any tattoos? Do they have specific meanings or are they purely aesthetic?

I have 6 tattoos, and they each have very important meaning. Most of them are in places no one can see like both upper thighs and my entire left side. I decided to place my tattoos in these obscure places because they were deeply personal and everyone’s favorite question when it comes to tattoos is, “Why did you get that?” I just hate having to explain my actions or my life story to total strangers.

To view Dolly’s stunning creations visit www.monstruosite.com

www.nolchafashionweek.com facebook.com/nolcha | @nolchafashionwk #nolcha

The Face of Bloody Mary Metal

Things&Ink chatted to Lucy “Tomatoes” Wilson who created jewellery brand Bloody Mary Metal.

Bloody Mary Metal

This is an edited version of an interview first featured in The Launch Issue of Things&Ink magazine published in November 2012.

If you like what you see, Lucy has offered T&I readers a 10% discount code, simply enter BMMLOVESTHINGS&INK at the check out… we know what we’ve got our eyes on (Bone Wrap and Defend Blaze rings, oh yeah)

PHOTOS: Grace Isobel

How did you become a jeweller? I started an apprenticeship with Phil Orton, with a view to creating my own company, eventually. I seemed to pick things up fast and loved being creative. I was soon taking wax blocks home with me at night to carve my own designs. I kept at it, until I had my own mini-range and then Phil allowed me to cast them into silver. The reaction to my designs was pretty awesome, and a girl in New York bought two of my first designs straight away. I continued designing and creating, and over the last few months things have really taken off. I can already see the growth in Bloody Mary Metal (BMM), from the start back in March (2012) up to now. I’ve got so much to learn, I don’t think the learning curve will ever stop, but I’m loving working with my hands, and I’m proud of what I’ve achieved with the brand so far. 

1oz bone 1oz Bone


What inspires you? I’m lucky that I love my work, and I’m in control of it. So the things that inspire me in day-to-day life are often the things that inspire my designs. My love of heavy metal is a massive influence in my work, and I’d say that in general, “the darker, macabre side of life” is fascinating. Our history, bones, weapons, religion are all really interesting to me. I’m Cornish, so the sea is a massive love in my life – there’s lots of nautical- and pirate-themed pieces in my collections. 

What draws you to jewellery? I’ve always loved jewels, I’m a bit of magpie. I love statement pieces, but I also love layering up lots of smaller pieces. I’m really into mixing metals – silver and gold, high shine and matt. Combining colour and texture can look decadent and interesting.

Antler Antler



Is your work inspired by tattoos? To an extent. I spent a long time working with some amazing tattoo artists before BMM, so their artistic approaches are bound to be rattling around in my brain when I’m designing. A lot of my designs are, as I mentioned, nautically-themed, which is obviously a hugely popular theme in tattooing too. Anchors from Sailor Jerry through to new-school designs are popular. So there are definitely likenesses to my collections.

BMM hope and anchor Hope and Anchor


What is your favourite piece you have created? I love the Hope
& Anchor pendant. I designed it as a tribute to my dad, who I lost to Pancreatic Cancer. I donate all of the profit from the Hope & Anchor to Macmillan Cancer Support, so every time I sell one, we’re helping another family. It’s amazing the stories people send me when they buy it, their own personal battles. I feel honoured that people are so touched by my design. I also love the 1oz bone – it was my first design and I am so proud of it. The thing about BMM is that it’s basically the jewellery I want, but can’t ever find in stores, so I wear most of it.

What did you do before BMM? I guess selling tomatoes on the London farmers markets was a pretty big part of my life. I did a degree at drama college too, and slaved for a few fashion brands. Right before BMM, I worked at Jolie Rouge Tattoo in London. It was the best thing I did. I met some of my best friends and it inspired me to get creative, to do my own thing, and make things happen. All of the artists who work there are amazing. They all have such a distinctive personal style, and they all work so hard. They took me under their wings and encouraged and supported me.

Can you tell me a bit about your tattoos? Well, apart from the usual tiny “didn’t really think that through” stars, my first big piece was down my back, by Dave Bryant. It’s a feather and birds, and I had it done when I lost my dad. A lot of my tattoos are tributes to my family, and most of them signify big steps in my life. I have a full sleeve by Charissa at the Jolie Rouge, which is all linked to my home in Cornwall. My tattoos are fun and bright and will always remind me of people and places I love.

BMM back tattoo Lucy’s back by Dave Bryant


Do you think there is a relationship between fashion and tattoos? Unfortunately, yes. Working in a studio opened my eyes to the whole “scene” and how predictable it is. I think you should have tattoos of what you love, by artists you love, and have them done for you – not because some pop star has “a owl” tattoo, or whatever. It’s also really obvious when people have just Googled “tattoo design”. The amount of times I saw the same rose vine reference in a year was unbelievable.  ❦