Fashion is a constantly-changing field filled with colors, designs, and ideas. New ideas are created almost every day, yet some traditions and established ideas remain strong even as the years pass. And when it comes to fashion design, one of the lasting images is the skull. What is the history of the use of the skull in fashion? What makes it so appealing, and what allowed it to stay relevant for such a very long time?
The first thing that makes the skull such a compelling image is the numerous and deep meanings associated with it. Seen in just about anything from media products to artwork, it’s easy to say that the skull has universal appeal. The first meaning associated with the skull is death. Usually combined with other death-related images such as tombs and creatures from the afterlife, skulls are a lasting image of man’s mortality. The skull can also be a symbol of toughness and bravery. There are moments when situations resemble a life-and-death struggle. The use of a skull can be a powerful message of defiance in the face of adversity and risk. Lastly, skulls can also be a symbol of life. In the same way that it’s a death symbol due to its association with mortality, skulls can also mean the celebration of someone deceased or living each day the best way possible.
Because of the numerous underlying meanings associated with the skull, fashion has embraced it wholeheartedly. One thing that made the use of the skull in fashion such a big hit is that most people can relate to it. People can easily identify to what it means, and as such, compels them to get one of these pieces of clothing. Another thing that made it such a popular fixture in fashion is the sheer versatility of the image. The skull can already be used as a design on its own, or it can be seamlessly integrated into a much more complex piece of art.
Both stars and fashion icons have been seen time and again to rock skull-related apparel. The reasoning for this is obvious. And most of these reasons are already mentioned in the earlier parts of this article. Skull designs are seen sewn or printed in the most basic pieces of apparel such as t-shirts and pants. These designs are also seen in stages as big as the most prestigious ramp events in the world. Other skull-related artworks such as pin-ups, sugar skulls, and mythical images are also very common in these clothes. It’s mainly a testament to the superior flexibility of the skull as a fashion bit.
The skull is one of the most attractive and fashionable motifs around. But for some people, the skull means more than just another design, but rather a statement. With its simple yet iconic silhouette, deep meanings, and superior versatility, there’s no doubt that the skull will remain a fashion icon for a very long time. Expect to see the ubiquitous skull in fashion items worldwide for the foreseeable future.