The humble safety pin. Its usual purpose is to act as an emergency fastener when a zip or button breaks, but it has evolved into a legitimate item of alternative fashion. Long gone are the days when it was only worn before the age of three to hold our nappies (diapers) together (scary! – how did our generation actually survive?) It quickly became an iconic symbol of British punk in the late 1970s, as sported by Johnny Rotten. In addition to holding together carefully and deliberately ripped jeans, the bravely stupid with a blatant disregard for hygiene safety, wore them through ear, nose and anywhere-else piercings.
The whole punk spirit is embodied in the above London Calling t-shirt by PaulinaClothing with mesh, rips and safety pins all over the union jack print. If it’s safety pins galore that you’re after, then take a look at the DeathBy13 store which sells some wickedly punky clothes, including these trousers with those massive pins all over.
They can be so versatile too: link loads together to make all kinds of necklaces, bracelets, key chains and use to pin on patches. So just reach for that annoying pile of safety pins in your stationary and other junk drawer when you feel your outfit needs a little bit of punking up. This men’s hoodie by 57thirtythree has a huge punk patch with safety pins all round.
When Liz Hurley wore that infamous Versace Little Black Dress to the premier of Four Weddings and a Funeral in 1994, the safety pin enjoyed a fashion revival and I remember a teen magazine suggesting we wear them in our hair – a look which I actually copied on a mufti day at school! She proved that they could be glamorous though, and I love the embellishment to this dress by lissabean.