Sunday, September 5, 2010

Classy Ed Hardy

I don’t know much about tattooing, and unfortunately, sometimes, I judge people who have tattoos. We all have to admit that tattooing does have a certain stigma surrounding it, and it’s not without reason (see exhibit A). There are people who take tattooing too lightly, and suddenly, their bodies look like a five-year old took a crayon to them. Not to mention, tattoos are often synonymous with drunken mistakes. Throw in some Ed Hardy T-shirts, and you’ve got the makings of a horrifically bad L.A.-based reality show. Suffice to say, when I saw Paul Mullowney’s article I was unsure of how tattooing would fit into a fashion class. I’ve also seen too much of Ed Hardy designs on Jersey Shore-type individuals to have any good impressions about the brand. This article surprised me.

I’ve never really connected Ed Hardy and tattooing together. Mullowney states that Ed Hardy is considered to be the "Godfather of "Modern Tattooing’". In fact, Ed Hardy is credited with "carefully and lovingly looking after the spiritual and cultural growth of what is now a world-wide boom of Japanese-style tattooing." With a little extra research on Japanese tattooing (specifically irezumi), I found out about a kind of tattooing that takes way more time and commitment than it takes for a person to drink a few shots. In fact, irezumi “can take up to five years of once-a-week visits to complete and cost more than US$30,000 to complete” (Tao of Tattoos). This kind of tattooing is a respectable artform. So how did Ed Hardy, an avant-garde artist, become associated with an over-exposed and (sometimes) tacky brand of clothing? It’s the money and the marketing. Celebrities were one of the first to popularize Ed Hardy designs in 2008, and the public, as always, latched on with fervor. Clothing with Ed Hardy designs were affordable and can now be found everywhere. What was once reserved for the sensible artsy types is now readily available to people with questionable motives (see exhibit B). Now, I won’t be caught dead in an Ed Hardy T-shirt, and it’s a shame because his artwork is really beautiful.

Compact Challenge: Just one more week! Yay! I’m excited for a shopping trip but this past weekend, I did something distinctly anti-consumerist: I dug out my mom’s old clothes and fixed them to be a bit more “trendy”. I haven’t used my sewing machine in a long time, nine years to be exact, and I’ve never before used it to fix up old clothing. The other times I’ve looked through my mom’s closet, I’ve dismissed her clothes as being too Catholic-school-girl or having too big shoulder-pads, but its fun to make something new out of something old.

Sylvia Lee

Blog 6

Inside source: Paul Mullowney Ed. “Wood Skin Ink: The Japanese Aesthetic in Modern Tattooing” reader.

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1 comment:

be green 101 said...

Pretty fascinating when we get to the origins of trends, huh? good job. 5/5