The curated ear has been quite the phenomenon of 2017 and one of the top trends. Personally, I adore the trend – it has meant that you can add a little touch of luxury to your life but in a subtle and understated way. In order to learn more about one of the top trends of this year, I reached out to the team at Maria Tash to learn more about the curated ear.
For those not aware of what the curated ear is – it is where you have a series of small piercings in your ears that go perfectly togeather. It is a far cry from when you used to go to your local shopping centre and get your ears pierced by a gun! Often the piercings are carried out by a piercing artist and involve high-quality diamonds and fine jewellery placed in different locations in the ear. The result is seen as a personally designed curated stylish piece of body art.
There are many piercers who have led this trend in 2017 and in the UK and Ireland it has certainly been Maria Tash. Maria herself has been professionally piercing since 1993. She has a stand-alone piercing studio in Liberty in London (where the photos in this post were taken) and has also visited Brown Thomas, Dublin with some pop up piercing events. And today we spoke with the Maria Tash team to learn more.
Maria has had such an interesting career – can you please tell us a little about how she first got into the world of piercing and jewellery design
Maria had a natural interest in adornment since high school where she delved into the body modification scene in the late 80s. She studied and researched and eventually took a course with Fakir, a teacher who pioneered some piercing techniques. This led to her accepting private appointments at her home and by the ’92 she opened her first piercing studio in the East Village and launched her career.
The rise of the curated ear is certainly one that many of us in the fashion world has taken note of. What do you think gave rise to this being a central focus?
Maria always credits stylists and editorialists as the people on the forefront in the fashion world. We were lucky to have had some key people in the fashion world take note of our designs, beginning in London at a pop-up event at Josh Wood and Liberty, where we eventually opened inside this amazing, historic department store.
Being in London where the punk rock scene began, the fashion of this particular aesthetic has evolved from rebel attitude and fashion to now where the celebration of the individual is everything. The curated ear is definitely part of this movement to express ourselves as individuals.
Piercings have become such a key element in many of the fashion stages – from the catwalk to the red carpet. There is quite a feminine feel to the delicate pieces – is Maria trying to change the perception of piercings?
Maria always designs with beauty in mind. What is pleasing and appropriate for the wearer. Our stylists always take into consideration the clients’ anatomy, skin tone and lifestyle when guiding customers in choosing jewellery that best fits that individual, from a size of the piece to placement on the ear, to what colour of gold to best accentuate the wearer’s skin tone.
Who is the customer that Maria Tash sees having a beautifully curated ear?
Our clients range from young teens who want their first piercing to the mature woman who wants to pamper herself with diamonds and has the means to buy for herself. We have mothers, daughters and grandmothers coming in to get pierced together. We love the women who love their designer’s pieces and want to layer in Maria Tash pieces to their Cartier and Hermes bejewelled bodies. They value luxury and quality.
What’ is the Maria Tash jewellery signature?
Our diamond eternity is the signature piece that every woman should have. We also offer threaded studs that are comfortable in any piercing, featuring a flower flat back which you can sleep in without taking them out. Our jewellery is meant to become part of you and oftentimes are never taken out. Most clients change our just their first lobes, the rest is kept in.
Maria has created a stunning jewellery collection – can you please tell us about the materials used in her pieces?
14-18k gold, nickel free since most allergies are due to this metal, safe to use for initial piercings
Which ear piercing has become the most popular at your NYC and London studios? Does what clients want different in London to NY?
As far as what is popular, the daith pierced with our Apsara is trending, along with a tash rook and anti-tragus.
London and NY clients are not drastically different. Because we are inside Liberty London, we do find a lot of celebrity and fashion world presence there daily. In NY, we are experiencing that too with many press loan requests for magazines and red carpet events.
For those thinking of entering a career in piercing – are there any tips that you would share — something that you wish everyone was aware of?
Maria trains all her piercers in her specific method of forward facing piercing. This ensures correct angles so the jewellery sits flatter to the wearer instead of protruding out or having an awkward angle and the jewellery not sitting correctly in the ear.
Everyone piercer should be trained professionally and understand standard OSHA practices and state regulation/ guidelines for where they are piercing.
Although I am sure hard to choose – what has been Maria’s brand highlight been to date?
There have been so many, it would be hard to pinpoint! We have been very fortunate to have so many celebrities wear our jewelry and get pierced by us: notably, Julianne Moore, Zoe Kravitz are regular clients, Jennifer Lawrence was seen in our jewelry this week, along with Lady GaGa personally purchasing our triple spikes, Charlize Theron wearing our jewelry to her Atomic Blonde press tour, to JK Rowling recently getting pierced in London…..and the list goes on and on!
Massive thanks to the Maria Tash team for taking the time to answer our questions! I adore the overall aesthetic that these dainty piercings can provide. They are also not as permeant as getting a tattoo but can still allow you to show your personality. What do you think? Would you create your own curated ear to reflect your personal style?