“I

Harper’s Bazaar (Malaysia) - - The Style -

lit sage, we took our time, cleansed the room. We talked about some re­ally pow­er­ful, spir­i­tual things ... ” J Colby Smith starts. You could be for­given for think­ing that the cel­e­brated piercer from cult par­lour New York Adorned was re­call­ing some kind of sa­cred cer­e­mony. In fact, he is sim­ply de­scrib­ing one of his more poignant pierc­ing ses­sions with a client, an ap­point­ment that has be­come some­thing of a rit­ual ini­ti­a­tion of the city’s style elite.

With a client list that in­cludes Scar­lett Jo­hans­son, Zoë Kravitz, Rosie Hunt­ing­tonWhite­ley, and ev­ery no­table fash­ion ed­i­tor you can think of (his busi­ness in­creases about 40 per­cent in the weeks lead­ing up to New York fash­ion week), Smith has be­come the pierc­ing or­a­cle for those seek­ing style nir­vana.

Al­though not all ses­sions are as spir­i­tu­ally in­clined, Smith sug­gests the ap­peal of the process lies in its in­her­ent holis­tic na­ture as much as its aes­thet­ics. “In our cul­ture, we’re never in the mo­ment,” he ex­plains. “[Pierc­ing] forces you to be 100 per­cent present. It can be very ground­ing—you can learn a lot about your­self through be­ing un­der that kind of pres­sure.” Pos­si­ble re­me­dial pow­ers aside, there is no deny­ing that de­sign­ers and the style elite are now adorn­ing them­selves amid this new wave of state­ment pierc­ings.

Once re­served for so­ci­etal fringe dwellers, reach­ing peak punk dur­ing the ’70s and ’80s as a sig­ni­fier of sub­ver­sion, pierc­ing is now en­joy­ing a re­nais­sance of a less ex­plicit kind.

Cham­pi­oned by the likes of Ric­cardo Tisci at Givenchy, as well as style lead­ers Kate Moss, FKA Twigs, Cather­ine Mc­Neil, Daria Wer­bowy, and Ri­hanna, pre­vi­ously outré styles such as sep­tum rings are now at the fore­front of the fash­ion con­ver­sa­tion.

Fur­ther talk­ing points may be gleaned from Au­tumn/Win­ter ’16—

Alexan­der McQueen Au­tumn/ Win­ter ’16

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