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The art of piercing is hardly a new phenomenon. It’s a trend that has been going in and out of fashion for millennia, with the first-ever earlobe piercing dating back to more than 5,000 years ago on a mummified body found near present-day Austria.
Piercing noses in the Middle East (to alleviate child birth), tongues in Mayan and Aztec civilizations (as offerings to the gods), and lips in Alaskan Eskimo tribes (for religious reasons) soon followed. And long before Rihanna freely flaunted hers, Isabella of Bavaria, the queen of France, introduced flashy nipple piercings to women in the 1300s.
The 21st century has seen its fair share of piercing trends, too, and thanks to a handful of designers these past few seasons, partaking in the ancient art can be as easy and painless as putting on a T-shirt.
Tiny metal bars, rings, barbells, and studs are having a major resurgence in the fashion world: see the over-the-top facial jewelry on Givenchy’s fall 2015 runway or the grunge-inspired brow rings at Rodarte spring 2015. The trend was still very much alive during the fall 2016 collections, with pierced angora sweater dresses at Alexander Wang and leather barbell handbags and blouses at J.W.Anderson.