As Paris muses on Friday's Maison Martin Margiela show, we consider the tattoo-inspired piece created exclusively for AnOther's cover story with Kate Moss
Legendary ink-man and mariner Sailor Jerry, aka Norman Keith Collins, made his name in the 1930s tattooing sailors. He originally practised on drunks brought in from skid row, and learnt his trade as a child while hopping freight trains across California. He was enlisted in the United States navy aged 19, and remained a sailor for the rest of his life, retelling his experiences at sea through his skinwork. He was noted for his white T-shirts and exposed sleeves, with signature designs including snakes, wild cats, bottles, anchors and his infamous “Aloha” monkey.
"In the end, it was friends dressing up” — Alister Mackie
For 2014, Maison Martin Margiela have reincarnated Jerry’s retro designs within their artisanal couture collection. It pulls on signature Margiela nostalgia, deconstructed silhouettes and reinvented everyday items, from ring-pulls to fabric scraps and crystal keys. For Alasdair McLellan’s cover story with Alister Mackie, Margiela created a special alternative version of look 8, tattooed with the immortal line, Love Kate Forever. Photographed near her house in the Cotswolds, it embodies the legacy of Kate, referencing iconic editorial moments throughout her career. “The shoot was really just a personal expression of my admiration of Kate,” Mackie explains. “There were pieces she had worn before like the Dior Couture jewellery and pieces I thought she would love like the Meadham Kirchoff jumpsuit. In the end, it was friends dressing up.”
A specially commissioned piece from the Maison Martin Margiela Couture S/S14 collection
Top — made from an assemblage of “tattoo” embroideries based on designs by Sailor Jerry (c.1950)
Production time — 51 hours
Material — Silk organdy, silk pongé, sequin embroidery and mixed needle embroidery: glass beads, half and whole glass tubes, crystals, and silk, cotton and metallic threads.
Text by Mhairi Graham