‘Fashion permanence’ – an interview with Julia Mervis

Image description: Julia’s tattoo of a Tillering on her left forearm 

In the modern world, a culture of fast-fashion has changed our perceptions in regard to permanence and stability in design.

In an interview with Julia Mervis, we look at the Philosophy behind a form of artwork that is beyond trends and consumerism — a form ‘fashion permanence’ that also exists as visual self-expression.

Parents often wince at the idea of their child getting a tattoo. “What do you think I think?” my mum said as I asked of her opinion, it needed not to be said-she disapproved as most parents do, but it was out of her control. However, when sitting in the waiting area, I found a voice of doubt that came not from my mum, as they asked for my ID to prove my age at the salon it dawned on me, I am only 20. How can I be sure that I’ll always want the design I’ve chosen? I wince thinking back at the teenage mutant ninja turtle bag I wore aged 15, I cringe at my photo-shoot in a Pikachu Onesie. Even now I recurrently complain I have “no clothes” I like in my wardrobe. And with this awareness surely I’m not naïve enough to think I could make a decision so permanent that I won’t regret?

It dawned on me, I am only 20. How can I be sure that I’ll always want the design I’ve chosen?

Few things about ourselves and our lives are permanent, and even they aren’t guaranteed to be so. But such unique power and responsibility lie in tattoos, to agree for a permanent marker of my 20-year-old self on my forearm. I made the commitment to put something on my body that will be with me forever, something I couldn’t even say the same for when marrying my future spouse.

Will I look down on it in 15 years with shame and regret? Or will I have become comfortable and well acquainted with the new reality of my arm? As with everything, only time will tell…

Image Credit: Abigail Hodges