Formerly associated with just the lower classes due to them working outdoors and being exposed to the elements, tanning has gone in and out of fashion throughout history. Long gone are the days of when women went to great lengths to preserve their pale porcelain like skin as a status symbol of their “refinement”, it is now seen as a symbol of wealth and that one is constantly living a life of leisure… All thanks to fashion.
Adored by high gloss brands of today like Dolce & Gabbana, Roberto Cavalli, Tom Ford, and Versace who cast and send legions of bronzed toned models down their catwalks and in their campaigns selling us sun kissed skin and a luxurious lifestyle. But why are we obsessed with the pursuing a look and lifestyle that isn’t healthy? Blame it on Coco Chanel.
While sunbathing had become a desirable activity for the wealthy in the early 1900s, it wasn’t until the 1920s when Coco Chanel got sunburnt accidentally while visiting the French Riviera that tanning took off. Upon arriving home with a suntan, her fans liking the look quickly adopted darker skin tones themselves leading to it becoming a trend due to Coco’s status and society’s longing for her lifestyle.
As someone who grew up in a hot country, a tan was just a natural thing, you developed one from a young age and it never really went away. Until I moved to London I didn’t actually know what I looked like without one, I’d never been pale. And while Coco helped to change the perception of tanned skin to being fashionable, healthy and luxurious, I’d never recommend sunbathing or going out in the sun without SPF 50. But I would recommend getting some tan leather in your life like a contrast sleeve hoodie or some Riccardo Tisci for Nike trainers. And just blame that Winter tan on Chanel.
Hoodie custom made, t-shirt Topman, jeans Zara, trainers Nike + RT, sunglasses Balenciaga