Worn by Rihanna, showcased by Chanel and sold in Topshop - Katie Robertson explores the rising trend of unconventional piercings and their growth in mainstream popularity
It would be fair to say that I am somewhat addicted to piercings. For me, they’ve always been a little like seasonal trends - a way to express my changing style in a new form, and as easy and thrilling as investing in a new pair of shoes. However, what initially started out as a few innocent ear studs quickly became a fortnightly ritual of me adorning whatever space I could find on my body. I currently have 12, all of which I adore - nine in my ears, a tongue piercing, a nose piercing and a belly piercing. Until most recently, I also had a surface piercing in my wrist - one of my less charming piercings to say the least.
In the past, the majority of my piercings would have been considered ‘alternative’, ‘punk’ and something that belonged to angst-filled teenagers with a riotous, rebellious streak. Now however, it seems piercings are finally coming out of the proverbial closet and have been popping up all over couture catwalks, immaculately groomed celebrities and in mainstream fashion campaigns. It’s official - piercings are now in and I couldn’t be more thrilled about it.
First making an appearance on the 2012 catwalks of Givenchy and Chanel, models in Art Deco gowns and couture suits were paired with ornate nose rings, septum hoops and door-knocker sized earrings. Following this was a story ran by UK Vogue in January 2013 which included stunning beauty shots by Patrick Demarchelier of model Hedvig Palm, adorned with multiple ear and nose piercings that were decorated with thousands of pounds worth of exquisite studs and hoops. Speaking of the growing trend, British Vogue Editor-in-Chief Alexandra Shulman recently stated “I had my ears pierced, but…I have never been tempted by any other kind of piercing. However, recently I’ve found myself starting enviously at those who have multiple piercings”. Even in the most recent LFW for SS15, models at Rodarte were seen sporting multiple (faux) brow piercings - a nod to the 90s eyebrow ring trend that was given a sleek, modern makeover.
Celebrities too have been partaking in the piercing revolution during the past year. From Rihanna’s nipple piercing and Drew Barrymore’s tongue ring to Scarlett Johansson's anti-helix and Zoe Kravitz's septum ring. Not to mention the social media frenzy that erupted following a post by besties Jennifer Aniston and Gucci Westman showing off their new matching cartilage piercings.
No doubt helping to boost the growing popularity of piercings is the feminine, indie makeover the jewellery has undergone. Chunky, butch and industrial styles have now been replaced by delicate, elegant designs that are as discreet as they are unique. Leading the way with her opulent jewellery is New-York based designer, Maria Tash , whose ornate pieces are worn by some of the worlds most rich and famous.
If your budget doesn’t stretch quite that far, or you’re more of a fair weather fan and don’t want to commit to the real-life piercing process, the high-street is filled with cheaper options and faux body jewellery. Head to Urban Outfitters for countless options of indie Earring Multipacks , £14, or Fake Tribal Nose Rings , £3.00. Similarly, River Island holds a selection of sleek Septum Nose Rings , £3.00, while Topshop boasts a bevy of Sparkly Lip Rings , £6.50. To hone the look, wear these decorative pieces with paired down makeup and understated, feminine styling for the perfect indie edge.