Sunday, October 19, 2008

Tattoo Recap

I consider the job of a model to be a beautiful blank canvas -- a vehicle through which a designer conveys his or her creative point of view. One of the things I find so intriguing about Freja is that she isn't a blank canvas. Instead, she has chosen to adorn her skin with multiple tattoos. How does she survive with these permanent markings, much less attain notable success, in an industry that triumphs mutability and the ephemeral? I think you would be hard pressed to find any other model would could continue to get the caliber of work Freja does if she were sporting 13 (and counting!) tattoos. For me, herein lies the basic foundation of Freja's appeal and mystery. She is completely part of the fashion machine; an established girl with many campaigns, covers and editorials under her belt who has walked the catwalk in all the big cities at all the major shows. And yet, she simultaneously asserts herself outside of and apart from this world as well. I hope to explore this idea in depth later on, but for now I give you a visual recap of it's most obvious aspect.

1. "Float" located on the left side of her neck


2. Upsidedown Triangle located on the back of her neck

First Freja had the outline, then she had it colored in:


3. Unknown graphic design located behind her right ear


4. "Serendipity Is Life" located on the back of her upper right arm


5. "This Too Shall Pass" located on the inside of her upper right arm


6. "This World Tonight Is Mine" located around her right wrist


7. Colt revolver located on the inside of her upper left arm


8. "Redemption" located on her upper left forearm


9. Three circles located on the inside of her left wrist

Again, Freja had them outlined first only to fill them in with color later:


10. Small star located on the upper left side of her torso


11. "M" located on the upper right side of her torso

Mysteriously, the "M" was later replaced by a lightning bolt:


12. Lines located on the middle finger of her left hand


13. Graphic design located on her lower stomach, of which no picture has ever appeared and understandably so.

I end with an excerpt about Freja from the 'Models' Ink" feature in the August 2008 issue of British Vogue:
She got her first tattoo, a graphic design low down on her stomach, when she was 16. She hadn't really planned it, but passing by a tattoo parlour late one night, simple decided to get something done. Her modelling career appears to have been similarly spontaneous. "When I was 15 I did a little modelling as a summer job. I didn't think it would become anything serious, but the little jobs led to bigger jobs and two years later I was walking down the catwalk for Prada." And Prada didn't mind her tattoos? "Nobody has minded so far, I don't think," Erichsen says, "but then they weren't in obvious places at the beginning. They were easily covered. Still, I did make a deal with my agent about a year ago: she said I could get as many tattoos as I wanted as long as I didn't cut my hair."

Erichsen now has 12 tattoos - several distinctly visible - as well as a short, boyish crop. "I just felt like it," she says of her hair, "and so I cut it myself. I don't think it affected work either way." Her tattoos include a star under her arm, a gun on the inside of her upper left arm, three circles on her wrist, and various bits of writing, including the phrase "this world tonight is mine", which comes from a PJ Harvey song ("My version of carpe diem"), and the phrase "this too shall pass" ("Obviously I was going through some stuff when I had that done." What stuff? "Just personal stuff"), as well as the word "float" ("as in float through life, don't sink") on the side of her neck. "I just like getting them done," Erichsen explains. "I like the whole process, especially coming up with something you want, which never takes me long. Like the revolver. That's not a heavy symbol for me. I like guns and I think the design is pretty, and once I have an idea I have to go there. I'm definitely hooked on getting tattoos."

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

thanks, this is always helpful!

La Abstinencia me puede said...

I love that phrase "this too shall pass". one of the most encouraging phrases ever.

jin young said...

Thanks a million. i really wanted to know what she has and what they mean. xo

Rebecca Machalek said...

I think the triangle is my next tattoo

Anonymous said...

it's "serendipity is me" NOT "serendipity is life"...

Anonymous said...

She has no tattoo on her lower stomach... You can confirm it with the Purple Magazine photos...

Rrose Sélavy said...

^^It's been stated as "Serendipity is Life" in various publications and most specifically in Freja's Vogue UK interview/feature. Magazines have things called fact checkers....they would not get something like that wrong.

^It's there....you're not looking close enough. And she talks about it in a very early interview. It was the first tattoo she got.

beha said...

aww... she's amazing!

Epscheid said...

do you know the font of her "redemtion" tattoo and the PJ Harvey quote on her wrist?? very urgent!!

Anonymous said...

It's funny I didn't even know she had "this too shall pass" and i just got it done as my first tattoo. it is really inspiring

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