MUGLER: THE TATTOO
“Seems that we were busy doing something close to nothing but different than the day before. That’s when we saw him, ouuu we saw him, he walked in through the out door, outdoor.” Well, kind of – we’re not as lyrical with the words as Mr Prince. Our description of events, without re-appropriating the words of others, would have read more along the lines of: we’re in Paris. At 66 rue de Turenne, in the third. It’s a Wednesday. The time is 6pm. We’re sitting front row (where else?) at the Mugler show. It’s that talented Formichetti’s showing as creative director and we’re quietly jazzing with excitement, careful to show absolutely no feeling on our faces. Emotion isn’t something that’s done. Unless you’re Polly Mellen and we’re obviously not. So, anyway, show starts. A grey glow from the LCD screen backdrop lights up the space. A model appears. His skin is black, as though it’s been coated in oil. He starts to claw at himself, pulling the black layer away. With every movement yet another patch of heavily tattooed skin is revealed. He has no bare skin. His name is Rico. He has recreated himself as a zombie. He comes out on the runway. Black tuxedo jacket and ripped leather pants. No shirt. He doesn’t need one. He has his tattoos. They act as underpinning. Modern, we say. Mugler pushing the boundaries once again. Skin as outfit. Is the T-shirt obsolete? The tattoo is infinitely more interesting. And it doesn’t run like one of those inked body stockings. Adds a new texture to the equation. We like to think of it as a commentary on the use of print in menswear. On the use of tattoos as an accessory. Something to be displayed in an unexpected way, adding depth to what would otherwise be a rather classic look. Adds individuality, too. That’s not an easy feat in a world where everything is so rigid. Sure, you can add a flourish here of there, hankie in the pocket, personalised cuff links, cheeky bow tie, but it’s not quite the same. No two tattoos are ever the same. That’s about as individual as it gets.
by Natalie Dembinska