What's With all the Skulls?

Ancient death symbol becomes a favorite modern fashion accessory
By Clay Dillow,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 5, 2008 10:53 AM CDT
What's With all the Skulls?
In this image released by Paramount Pictures, Harrison Ford is shown in a scene from the film, "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull."    (AP Photo/Paramount Pictures, David James)

Heavy metal and Halloween, make room for haute couture. “What used to be a symbol for borderline-sociopathic tough guys with weird design fetishes—Hells Angels, pirates, Nazis—has become a trope de luxe,” writes Stephen Marche in Esquire. The skull, a symbol of death with deep religious significance, “has suddenly become hypermodern, totally in and of the moment.”

The latest installment of the Indiana Jones series is just one manifestation of the craze. British artist Damien Hirst’s diamond-encrusted platinum skull sold for $100 million in 2007, and yuppie fashion has co-opted what was once the accessory of rough-hewn metalheads. Writes Marche: “We stare into the face of death and ask ourselves, 'Can I get it in pink?'” (Read more skull stories.)

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