Alas, Poor Yorick

Jeffery West death's head cufflinks

Today’s New York Times contains an disappointing article about the current widespread use of skulls in fashion. Although the paper is right to note the trend, one Izzy touched upon a while back, it fails to give any recent history of the death’s head as decoration, including its use on Nazi S.S. uniforms or its place in the iconography of heavy metal, something the British shoemaker Jeffery West tries to market. The article claims that the skull has largely lost its edge as a symbol, but Izzy thinks its connotations depend upon the sex of the wearer. It’s one thing for a woman to borrow style cues from pirates or Hell’s Angels; she is clearly playing dress-up. But when a man does the same, he is liable to come across as threatening or uncivil, far from a good thing in Izzy’s estimation. As for me, I’ll stick with more traditional cufflinks from Alfred Dunhill.)

3 Responses to “Alas, Poor Yorick”

  1. Lori July 28, 2006 at 2:27 pm #

    My sister got a tattoo of a skull and bat wings in the 80s. She wasn’t playing dress-up; she really was in the Hell’s Angels. Would that she were still around to show it off now!

  2. Tad Early July 31, 2006 at 3:39 pm #

    One may wish to come across as threatening and uncivil. For example, I remember hearing about a banker specializing in “problem loans” who had a tendency to wear skull & crossbones suspenders when meeting with recalcitrant debtors (can’t remember his name, but I believe Tom Wolfe based a character on him). This seems like a good way to make your braces do double duty.

  3. Graduation Gifts August 7, 2012 at 7:25 am #

    Once scary, then edgy, and now solidly entrenched in the chic mainstream, the look is everywhere. Not my taste, but popular in ‘fashionable’ circles, which is why its probable not my taste!