Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Fang You Very Much; in the Latest in His Series on Striking Images, Our Columnist Gets His Teeth into Some Unusual Personal Adornments

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Fang You Very Much; in the Latest in His Series on Striking Images, Our Columnist Gets His Teeth into Some Unusual Personal Adornments

Article excerpt

Byline: Charles Saatchi the naked eye

REMEMBER hip hop rapper-style gold grills worn across the teeth? Perhaps you were cool enough to wear a set yourself? If so, you will know that this little novelty eventually lost its sparkle and the sincerely fashionable found an enticing new adornment -- tooth tattoos.

But, lo and behold, now an excitingly original fad is upon us -- the Dracula fang look, achieved with attractively pointy veneers. Perhaps the recent popularity of vampire films and television shows lies behind this latest drive for individuality. It is certainly welcomed by cosmetic dentists, who are most grateful for this unexpected boom.

Of course, there will always be another trend on the horizon for us to live to regret, or simply shake our heads at with disbelief. Nonsensical fashion statements are not a recent phenomenon, a symptom of our modern era of Instagram and selfie obsession.

In Tudor England, black teeth were considered highly appealing. Elizabeth I had particularly dark top and bottom rows, probably as a result of her endlessly sucking sweets. Sugar wasn't readily available, except at prohibitively high cost, so women purposely blackened their teeth to emulate her, and to also demonstrate that they could comfortably afford lots of sugar.

Across Europe in the 14th century gentlemen wore shoes known as poulaines, or crakowes, which were so long in their extended toes that they sometimes stretched to 24 inches. Little chains were required to be strung from the tip of shoe up to the knee in order to enable the wearer to walk.

They were considered utterly essential by the wealthy, once they were seen being worn by noblemen and aristocrats in royal courts. The church, however, took strongly against these poulaines, labelling them "devil's fingers" and pointing out that they bore the stigma of vanity, and were dangerous besides.

But this hasn't stopped the current resurrection of this fashion in Mexico, where "elf boots" are highly sought after by chic young men, the elongated toes curling up in the air 20 inches or more. …

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