Skull Printed Scarfs from Dangerfield

14/8/12 – Skull Printed Scarfs Instant Fashion Statement in Ladies Fashion?

Over the past few days I have been trying to find a skull t-shirt around Melbourne and Geelong. I wasn’t able to find a skull t-shirt although I did come across a skull printed scarf in Dangerfield that featured a colourful and decorative design.

Of course I have seen other women around the city wearing skull t-shirts, bags, shoes and scarfs, although my visual observations have identified that the skull is very popular in men’s fashion. As soon as I walk into the men’s fashion department in stores such as Target or Myer there is a range of skull t-shirts in different styles, patterns and designs. Why are there more skull t-shirts for men than there are for women?

In some of my previous posts I have examined interpretations of death within the Western culture. I began to question why does the image of the skull feature masculine qualities or characteristics?

There is limited information on this particular subject although I have recognised that the majority of men’s t-shirts feature morbid and sinister representations of the skull. On the other hand there are vibrant and illustrative depiction’s of the skull that are specifically designed for a female audience. Some of the t-shirts and the fashion accessories that I have recognised may have been influenced by the sugar skulls in the Day of the Dead Celebration. Perhaps the skull appeals to a female demographic through the decorative patterns and designs.

Elizabeth Carmichael and Chloe Sayar investigate Mexico’s cultural celebration with the dead and the illustrative imagery of the sugar skulls. Carmicheal and Sayar quote “In Mexico death is often personified as a woman. This is not logical because men and women are both destined for death. But we speak of la muerte or la calca (death) in the feminine gender” (Carmichael and Sayar p.124 2003)

When I had recognised this scarf in Dangerfield the style reminded me of the Mexican Day of the Dead Celebration through the use of colour such as pink and yellow. I have also noticed that the skull printed scarfs have become very popular in ladies fashion especially in stores such as Pulp Kitchen and Dangerfield, which may have been inspired by Alexander McQueen’s skull collection.

The skull is becoming extremely popular within the Melbourne urban culture especially in contemporary fashion that has also spurned an ongoing interest from the mass market.

Carmichael, Elizabeth, and Chloe Sayar. The Skeleton at the Feast: The Day of the Dead in Mexico.  Texas: Texas Press Printing, 2003.

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