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The bling rings: How fashion fell for bespoke piercings

September 22nd 2015 / Anna Hunter


Gone are the days of standard studs and being shot with guns; piercing has gone seriously high end…

My memories of first piercings are probably familiar to many; from clinging onto friends’ sweaty palms in a familiar high street accessories outlet to anticipating the shock of a gun, and longing to remove my regular issue studs and exchange them for something spangly just days later, ear piercing was a right of passage to be endured, but you were most definitely on a customer conveyer belt. There was little choice jewelery wise, and you were encouraged to go for unobjectionable middle of the lobe stuff. You could break out and do a Britney belly number, but your mum wouldn’t talk to you for months/ until you saw sense and removed it. In general remove them we did, pretty much after we got Genie in a Bottle out of our heads, but piercings are most certainly having a resurgence, and these days they’re anything but standard issue.

We’re not implying you go quite as far as Givenchy’s AW15 full facial piercings (imagine the healing time), but tailoring your piercings to your personal style is the order of the day. If lobe doesn’t appeal to you, no worries; ear piercing specialists are for the most part extremely perceptive and can incorporate your ideas and unique taste to find the ideal placement for jewellery you actually love, rather than shooting in bulky, ugly items that will see you through the six week healing period, just because.

One such expert is Maria Tash, who has set up shop at Josh Wood’s prestigious Lansdowne Mews Atelier for the duration of London Fashion Week. You’ll have to be quick to bag an appointment as her pop-up ends today, but you’re highly unlikely to regret a spontaneous hoop or stud as administered by Maria and her team; the likes of Beyoncé adore her delicate Venus range, and the pros know exactly where to put her beautiful creations. Maria and her piercing partners are highly knowledgeable, adept at making you feel at ease (think deep breathing techniques before you even see a needle) and can even supply you with a pain chart for various areas of the body, so that you know what you’re getting into. For the record, I had a blood test on the same day as my upper lobe piercing, and the former was a far more uncomfortable experience. There’s a reason that Tash’s New York piercing and tattoo spa is oft visited by the good and great of the film, beauty and fashion industries; she knows how to tailor a hoop, stud or gem to low key editors and edgy FKA Twigs types alike, plus her jewellery designs are subtle and highly covetable. Your boss will more likely be begging for Maria’s number rather than packing you off to HR post-piercing.

The beauty of the new piercing scene is that the jewellery itself is so sophisticated and dainty that multiple piercings don’t look in anyway OTT (see the likes of Daria Werbowy, Erin Wasson and both Yasmin and Amber Le Bon). At the Maria Tash x Josh Wood launch party, mothers and daughters picked piercing placements that may once have been considered too try hard or banned from school, but the elegant variety of trinkets on offer made each and every piercing choice look refined, no matter how many holes they were rocking, or where for that matter. Stack them up or choose just a statement piece; whichever piercing path you choose, tailoring it to your vibe and really consulting a top notch expert on what you might suit is where it’s at. We refuse to pierce by numbers from now on.

Josh Wood x Maria Tash Pop Up ends today, but walk-ins are welcome. To pre book or for more information, call 020 3393 0933.

Piercing from £20, not including cost of jewellery

Venus by Maria Tash jewellery available from £25

Follow me on Twitter @AnnaMaryHunter or Instagram @AnnyHunter

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