Over the centuries, tattoos have become an increasingly popular type of body modification. Although the reasons for getting a tattoo range from person to person, tattoos can transform the human body into an artistic canvas - tattoos may symbolise a rite of passage, symbols of identity or just be designed to look aesthetically pleasing!
I have from time to time considered what it would be like to get a tattoo (something small like a rose, a bird or some written text), but I have never felt quite able to commit to something so permanent! Temporary tattoos are all very well, but wouldn't it be fantastic to have something that won't rub off to leave half of the design on your skin?
My prayers were answered when I came across Tatu Couture - a brand that combines tattoos with my first love..lingerie!
Tatu Couture is a new luxury lingerie brand which made its debut at the Lingerie Collective in 2011. Designed and developed by Luisa Sidoli, Tatu couture merges lingerie with 'trompe l'oeil' tattoo motifs, printed on to mesh panels.
Luisa is no stranger to the world of lingerie design, possessing 15 years of experience in the lingerie industry after graduating with a first class honours degree in Fashion and Textiles from De Montfort University. In the years following her degree, Luisa designed for a variety of well-known names such as Marks & Spencer, Knickerbox, La Senza, Next, Victoria's Secret and also worked for three and a half years as Senior Designer at Ann Summers. With this impressive resumé, Luisa's strong commercial and creative background led her to create something that she had always dreamed about...her very own lingerie line: Tatu Couture.
Recently I met up with the lovely Luisa to find out a little more about her exciting new lingerie label. When asked what inspired her, Luisa mentioned Jean Paul Gaultier's Spring 2012 ready-to-wear show, whose models sported tattoo-inspired fashion garments on the runway. Luisa has fused the idea of faux tattoo prints with statement body wear pieces to create an innovative and stand-out new lingerie line.
In creating Tatu Couture, Luisa has given full reign to her creativity, stating that "Tatu Couture's unique vision is to push the boundaries of design and innovation with its trend setting lingerie and body wear." Whilst developing the range, she also worked alongside professional tattoo artists, which has been key to the authenticity of the tattoo designs used in the finished collection.
The collection comprises 8 different lingerie styles; from bodysuits to high waisted knickers, to a basque and boy shorts. The pieces feature cut-out panels in nude mesh (which come in light and dark tones to suit different complexions). The panels boast printed tattoo motifs with graphic floral designs and elegantly calligraphed inspirational mottos, such as "Give your heart and soul to me and life will always be La Vie en rose" or cheeky slogans such as "Being good isn't always easy."
Keen to see some of the designs in the flesh, Luisa kindly lent me two of my favourite pieces, which were packaged up in a sleek black box with 'Tatu Couture' emblazoned on the front:
One of the garments that I chose as a 'stand out' piece from the collection was the 'Grace' high waisted knicker:
High waisted knickers are a big lingerie trend at the moment, so the 'Grace' knickers are right on point. However, these knickers steer away from convention with provocative sheer mesh panels, which reveal a tantalising hint of skin beneath!
The 'Grace' knickers also feature a 'suspender belt' style detail at the waist, which adds to their boudoir sex appeal. I loved the tattoo script writing: "We love only what we do not wholly possess" on the lower back mesh panel - an understated tattoo that retains both visual (and philosophical) impact.
As you can see from the pictures below, the 'Grace' knickers look even better when worn. The stretchy polyamide and elastane combination with power mesh act as shapewear fabrics. The knickers are smoothing and follow the lines of the body, whilst the 'belt' detail nips you in at the waist to define your curves.
(Although the colour of the mesh panels is slightly darker than my skin tone (which is paler than most), the effect is still very visually arresting.)
This brings me to talk about my absolute favourite piece from the Tatu Couture collection...the 'Talitha' bodysuit:
The 'Talitha' bodysuit is a stunning black one piece with black mesh on the chest area and contrasting nude mesh cut-outs running from below the bust to the lower stomach and hips. The design of the bodysuit draws emphasis to the waist and hips with 'wrap around' cut out sections. The cuts-outs mimic the illusion of skin, giving a risqué edge to this piece.
The 'Talitha' body channels the 'underwear as outerwear' trend, being sexy enough to wear in the bedroom on its own, but working equally well as a fashion piece to be worn on a night out. I would style the 'Talitha' with skinny jeans and a pair of vertiginous heeled shoe boots - the bodysuit would do all the talking (and definitely turn some heads in the process!)
Unlike many bodysuits that are just slipped on and off like a leotard, Luisa has thought one step ahead by adding popper fastenings at the crotch - a big triumph for design and function!
The back of the 'Talitha' is largely made of nude mesh, featuring a stunning dramatic blue and black shaded crysanthemum tattoo print running from shoulder to lower back - a testimony to true tattoo artistry! Although the tattoo print is quite large, the elaborate swirls and artistic shading makes the design very feminine and beautiful. The 'Talitha' is undoubtedly a piece to be worn with confidence - the back mesh panel dips quite low at the back, so be aware that you may flash a little derrière when the body is worn on its own!
The Tatu Couture collection has made a very impressive debut and the range of garment styles is comprehensive (with something that will appeal to many different people), whilst the tattoo prints are immaculately executed.
Not only are the designs a feast for the eyes, but thanks to the 80% polyamide and 20% elastane fabric content and powermesh panels, the pieces are also sculpting and flattering to the curves of the body.
Tatu Couture pieces are luxury items and come in sizes S, M and L and range from £45-£190. The quality of the garments is of a very high standard, meaning that you can see exactly where your money is going. There is also no doubt that these pieces will gain you huge style points from fashionistas everywhere!
I am very excited by Tatu Couture and love Luisa's play on 'illusion dressing' with 'trompe l'oeil' tattoo prints and sheer mesh panelling. The range is versatile as both underwear and outerwear and in my opinion, the designs are too good to keep covered up!
If (like me) you are the indecisive type with regard to getting a real tattoo or just want to channel your inner 'rock chick' for a night, this collection is ideal. Tatu Couture delivers style in abundance and although a new label to the lingerie market, its directional shapes and edgy prints make it a brand to keep firmly on your radar!
To find out more about Tatu Couture, visit: www.tatucouture.com