Art and Suffering

“Tattoos detract attention away from the clothes in which you are modeling.” OLD NEWS! Thankfully it seems, the fashion industry has histrionically evolved from a time in which that was a collective actuality to pastures new, embracing the art form as a means of accentuating personality, something we here at The Stellar Boutique are tremendously appreciative of. Firm believers of suffering for our art (we have matching ink here at Stellar HQ,) we really think that the cultural shift toward tattoos is directive in concerning our desire to live in an incessant flow of art-directed personality, but is this a new age of professionalism, or is it strictly the acceptance of the creative industries?

A sign of the times...
Vintage lace and tattoo inspiration
Tattoo design

We’re not so sure, but in accordance to The Guardians online article “The Rise and Rise of the Tattoo” in 2010, one in five Britons are tattooed with those figures on the increase, precipitously. It’s almost 2014 and we’re pretty sure that art expression isn’t just a tendency but a way of life. Something that dates back 5000 years ago and once an art form of sailors, bikers and assorted deviants, this is a trend (if you can possibly call it a trend) that has quintessentially stepped up to the mainstream on a whole new and incomprehensible level.

Gang inspired tattoos
Navel tattoo
Sailor Jerry tattooist
Jean Paul Gaultier "Le Male' Ad Campaign with tattooed sailor

Ink is everywhere and has been for a pretty long time – in the 18th century, prominently historical explorers such as James Cook brought back drawings and told tales of Polynesian islanders’ spectacular inks with the intentions of warding off evil spirits. Ultimately, as time has progressed, tattoos have moved from symbolism of great cultural importance to that of artistic forms of self-expression. Like a sewing machine without the thread, the modern twin coil electromagnetic tattoo needle was patented in 1891 and was the catalyst of something beautiful. No longer a partition of class, displays of creativity and eccentricity are present on the streets and in the palaces alike – They are not dissident; they are not contravened and they are not a mark of the outlaw. A slave to the art of individualism, even Winston Churchill’s mother had a discreet snake tattoo on her wrist.

Kat Von D tattoo needles
Tattooed Maori family
Tattoo gun

Nowadays, they have personal meanings of original symbolism alongside a historically perceived meaning – Scarlett Johansson never discloses the meaning of the sunset tattoo discernibly extant on her forearm and why should she? And in regards to inspirational artistic phenomena, we read an article about Marc Jacobs’ views on tattoos in the industry in New York Magazine in which he expresses that his tattoos are a diary of his creative life – of his interests and his relationship to the world. “In what is perhaps the greatest fashion shift of a generation, tattoos are now as desired and admired as a Céline bag, a Prada shoe, or one of those long mountain-man beards.” He speaks the truth! Tattoos are distinguishable and expresses diversity and disposition, with Kate Moss’ bird tattoos drawn unambiguously for her by Lucian Freud and Chanel’s ad campaigns conspicuously featuring Freya Beha Erichsen’s ‘breathe’ tatt in synchronization of the release of their very own transfer tattoos in 2010 for the less inclined of fortitude.

Kate Moss, Lucien Freud tattoo
Chanel transfer tattoos on the S/S 2011 catwalk
Freja Beha Erichsen by Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel S/S 2011
Freya Beha Erichsen by Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel S/S 2011

Alongside this we’ve seen the current Valentino ad, a brand renowned for their modest femininity and contemporary glamour, feature not a pure, fresh-faced model but the big, hairy tattooed arm of photographer Terry Richardson, clutching heels and handbags for the female form. And to finish with a real insight into the future of the self-expressive nature of tattooing we’ve seen the House of Holland take a “trip to balmy Mexico City by way of the tattoo parlours of Venice beach,” with the designers Spring Summer 2014 collection showcased at London Fashion Week yesterday, capturing an existing and new generation with dazing ink printed luxury in a sugar skull, antiquated floral and love heart frenzy.

Terry Richardson for Valentino A/W 2013
Henry Holland for House of Holland S/S 2014
Henry Holland for House of Holland S/S 2014

Excuse us while we suffer for our art! View the full Stellar Collection here.

Vintage rose and crucifix
Dream catch me

No One Is Innocent

It’s officially “bedtime for democracy” (excuse the pun,) mind control is no more and the nostalgia of youth culture domination has overwhelmed the world! The Stellar Boutique loves punk and in merriment of the Met Museums up and coming punk exhibition, Punk: Chaos to Couture, we have seen the art of punk celebrated through an array of exhibitions such as Southbank’s Someday All The Adults Will Die: Punk Graphics 1971-1984 and most prominent, the University of the Arts London’s LCC campus’ accolade to the iconic punk graphics style in The Art of Punk in order to celebrate the unveiling of their significantly influential graphic design lecturer, Russell Bestley’s new book of the same title. Offering an assortment of punk designs and illustrated art from album art covers to ephemera, the reserve represents an interesting indication of, in the words of the author, “an ugly and brutal side that can’t be appropriated,” from artists like Jamie Reid and Peter Saville  expressive of bands of The Sex Pistols and The Damned. Combining this with the rebellion of anarchy we saw on the Autumn Winter catwalks from Versace’s “vunk” collection of safety pinned understatement (no sarcasm…,) it’s no wonder we have seen the likes of luxury fashion retailer Moda Operandi prospectively launch a collection deliberated by renowned designers from Balmain to Vivienne Westwood and Givenchy to Moschino paying homage to punk with exclusive pieces as a means of providing women with the opportunity to encapsulate the spirit of punk through a combination of high fashion and rebellion.

Moda Operandi, May 22 2013
Versace Autumn Winter 2013/14
Peter And The Test Tube Babies Artwork

Where did it come from? The most revolutionary event of the 1970’s was the notable youth movement that happened presently late in the decade. A state of mind, punk was built in on Kings Road by The Sex Pistols manager, Malcolm McLaren (1946-2010) and one of the most influential designers to date, Vivienne Westwood with their ability to transform youths into extremists and anarchists, just by the way in which they wore and styled their clothes. Much to the public’s dismay, the profligate identity of the Punk movement referred to that of political and sexual bad taste and down-right filth with the deployment of anything set to irritate those worth rebelling against – t-shirts were sold audaciously at Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren’s shop displaying distasteful phrases, like “Paedophilia” and “Cambridge Rapist” as well as indecent displays of exhibitionists, of which they were arrested for. We can only imagine such manifesto led to a larger number of congresses, in a time where rebellion against politics and the undertaking of “anarchy in the UK” was the way forward!

Vivienne Westwood Swastika Tee
Vivienne Westwood in the shop that she and Malcolm McLaren owned in the 1970's

Punk style created imagery of lost adolescence and the anguish and pain of losing their childhood, through destructive, asexual clothing centring on self-mutilation.  Au natural was demolished, making way shocking deployment of decorative elements and attire.  Political bad taste was addressed and teenagers ran free wearing Swastikas’ teamed with cheap taste bin bags and safety pins and filthy lavatory chains seen this season by the likes of Givenchy and Moschino. The metamorphic “Queen of Punk” became revolutionised by her creation of aggressive, pornographic looking accessories and everyday attire for hers and Malcolm McLaren’s band The Sex Pistols.  Her unconventional readiness to take risks and fascination for different cultures still assists in her ability to push the boundaries, displaying liveliness and eroticism teamed with elegance and potency in her works, encouraging wearers to be individual and non-conformist, an attitude that has been adopted by designers such as the late Alexander McQueen and Jean Paul Gaultier in more recent years. Phenomenally and most monumental, the “Pirates” collection, inspired by 17th century theatrical and historical dress of Pirates, buccaneers, dandies and highwaymen of which she explained style as “just putting things together that aren’t anything to do with fashion.”

Vivienne Westwood photo shoot
Punk fashion circa late 1970's

With fashion comes art and with art comes music. Idols of the time saw bands like The Clash and The Sex Pistols rise to fame with bassist Sid Vicious originating the most offensive and inventive punk fashions of that time – he was only in the band for the way he looked and his anarchist insurgence after all. Their 1977 hit record “God Save the Queen” was released at the same time as the Queen’s silver jubilee, with Artist Jamie Reid causing major offence after defacing the original Cecil Beaton royal portrait, and in his ransom notes styled lettering, writing “You too can be a punk.” Loves young dream, Sid Vicious and Nancy Spungen became the talk, with teenagers idolising Sid’s dirty and somewhat unkempt look compared with Nancy’s “heroin-chic.”  Sadly, living fast and dying young was taken literally, with both dying under tragic circumstances – Sid’s suicide note reading “We made a death pact, and I have to accomplish my part of the deal. Please bury me next to my baby. Please bury me with my leather jacket, jeans and motorcycle boots. Goodbye. With love, Sid.”

Sid Vicious and Nancy Spungen
Joey Ramone and Debbie Harry, 1977
The Damned
Siouxsie Sioux

Bringing punk back to the future, it’s all about the fabric! Think heavy duty with leather and studded embellishment spikes, dominatrix patent and bondage slashes to reveal flashes of flesh, leaving it all to the imagination. Unassuming is no longer standard with traditional tartans, oversized furs and dishevelled leopard prints. An inconspicuous fall? Chances are “pretty vacant!”

Agyness Deyn in punk editorial feature
Street style
Agyness Deyn Chinese Vogue editorial feature 2011
Street style

View The Stellar Boutique fashion collection here.

Gone Wild For A While

We’ve always loved a strident, wittily droll slogan and a vintage band t-shirt here at The Stellar Boutique and it looks as though we are not alone! Whether it be vintage, comprehensively notorious quotations or up and coming graphic printers the world has gone crazy for the latest in vogue obsession and we are no different! From our “Your Eyes Lie circle vest” to our “like a flash” t-shirt to our most favourite of all, the “gone wild fringed t-shirt,” at The Stellar Boutique we love to mix it up with diverse refrains and mantras printed on the highest quality materials whilst maintaining our fashion forward edge for our fashion conscious customers!

Your Eyes Lie Circle Vest
Like a Flash Tee
Gone Wild Fringed Tee

With specialist illustrative and watchword independents growing and the likes of Hype, The Ragged Priest and Catchpenny attracting us minions and celebrities alike, the trend that was once associated with grunge looks set to linger for a while. We’ve beheld in reverence at Fearne’s Siouxsie and the Banshees, Alexa’s Arctic Monkeys and Agyness’ The Clash. We’ve witnessed the humorous witticisms and quips of Praduh, Chanel’s Chicken Cottage and Yves vacant Laurent. Alas, who could forget the famous “We Love You Kate” tee Alexander McQueen wore during his catwalk bow in 2005 after Kate Moss’ “cocaine Kate” scandal resulting in the likes of H&M dropping her as the new face for their future campaigns and Chanel declaring that they will not be renewing their contract with her that was to be terminated in October, yet reassuring that it was nothing to do with recent drug claims.

Fearne Cotton's Siouxsie and the Banshees Tee
Homies Tee
Praduh Tee
Agyness Deyn's The Clash Tee

If there is one person alone we can rely on to catapult this trend into stellar space and beyond it is the deity Delevingne, with her “WTF,” “Ain’t No Wifey,” and “Last Clean T-Shirt,” tees spiraling this crazed inclination into oblivion. It’s not just us here at The Stellar Boutique who saw this one coming and branded Miss Delevingne as a fashion presumptuous, a known trend facilitator to fashion insiders back in February this year, Grazia created the in-house Black Score t-shirt with top illustrator Simeon Farrar nipping in to design a selection of tees exclusively for London Fashion Week.

Cara Delevingne at Paris Fashion Week Autumn/Winter 2012
Cara Delevingne Ain't No Wifey Tee
Cara Delevingne by Terry Richardson for Boy London
Black Score Tee

Where did it start? You can thank the tourist souvenir industry for this one! T-shirt decoration was propelled into our existence in the early segment of the fifties with branded resort tees and Disney screen prints with the sixties seeing the emergence of tie-dyeing and screen printing countenancing the establishment wearable art we are still irksome today.

80s Vintage Mickey Mouse Tee
Vintage I Heart NY Tee
Ramones Tee
Vintage Led Zeppelin Tee

100 Years of Support!

This month we celebrate the 100th birthday of the Bra! To commemorate this momentous occasion we’d like to show you the highlights during the life of this most important garment.

It all started in 1913 when Mary Phelps Jacob, a New York City socialite, was granted a patent for inventing the modern bra. She used two handkerchiefs and a pink ribbon to create the “Backless Brassiere”. Amazingly, cup sizes did not exist until the 1920s and its hard to imagine a one size fits all bra but it appears that was the case for about 10 years! The first padded bra came in 1947, created by businessman Frederick Mellinger with the first push-up bra a year later, and wallop the cleavage was born!

In 1968 feminists protest the Miss America pageant, calling bras “instruments of female torture”. Though the protesters intended to burn their bras, they were not able to because of the police. Instead, they ended up throwing them into a garbage can, but the term “bra burners” stuck.

1990 saw Madonna get her cones out in a bra designed by Jean Paul Gaultier for her Blond Ambition tour and subsequently started the trend of underwear as outerwear that is still going strong today.

In the year 2000 fashion goes too far as Giselle Bunchen goes down the Victoria Secret runway in the most expensive item of underwear ever created, the $15 million ‘Red hot fantasy bra’ made from Thai rubies & diamonds.

So here we are 100 years later, blessed to be able to choose vintage treasures from any era we like or take comfort in the latest designs, may you live another 100 years yet!

New Sunglasses for Spring/Summer 2011

As summer nears, it is essential that strong accessories are apparent in any summer wardrobe in order to accompany that perfect beach and festival look.  And so, here at The Stellar Boutique we have been hunting high and low to bring the fashion savvy stylish, on trend and highly protective sunglasses at very affordable and competitive prices!

A must have necessity for the blisteringly bright sunshine summer has to offer, this extensive range of fashionable sunglasses takes inspiration from this Spring Summer’s key trends. This collection of 70s & 80s style eyewear is perfect for achieving that retro look when teamed with palazzo pants or a vintage summer kaftan. This exclusive range of beautiful and authentic sunglasses are brilliantly wearable and versatile – perfect for combining with the exquisite vintage treasures The Stellar Boutique can bring to any wardrobe.

With strong inspiration taken from an array of different eras, this range of eyewear for men and women makes the flawless accessory when creating that effortless, Woodstock festival look!

View the full collection here: www.thestellarboutique.com