Tatul, an accessories company based out of Bulgaria, is based on a simple concept: beautiful temporary tattoos that actually look like the real thing. The method by which it is applied might come as bit of a surprise to you, though. Instead of the traditional press on, peel off route that most conventional temporary tattoos still adhere to, founder and designer Silvana Ilevia instead uses, wait for it, tights.
There are countless types of temporary tattoos, and almost none of them, save for the ones that are designed by an actual tattoo artist, are good. Unfortunately the market is saturated with poorly designed temporary tattoos that lack any sort of artistry, and flake off almost as soon as you put them on. But who in their right mind would pay upwards of $15 for an incredibly bad rendition of a feather that looks more like a sticker than a tattoo? Ilevia feels and understands the temporary tattoo struggle, and has since decided to put her own spin on it.
Using fair-medium toned stockings, Ilevia hand paints tiny masterpieces that when worn actually mimic a real tattoo. “My painting method is a modern interpretation of ancient Asian techniques,” Ilevia says. “Compared to printing, hand-painted tights have softer, deeper, and warmer color tones.” Unlike most temporary tattoos, Tatul’s tights actually move with you.
Favoring natural elements, she often paints animals like cardinals, mice, cats, and dragons, as well as a whole slew of plant life. “My main inspirations are vintage botanical drawings and old book illustrations,” Ilevia says. “I've always admired tattoo designs that manage to capture this very vibe and style. And this is exactly the type of imagery that I use for the Tatul tattoo tights.”
But what’s truly impressive is her ability to effortlessly transition from neo-traditional, to Japanese-inspired, and even illustrative work. Ilevia has mastered multiple tattoo specific styles without ever laying a hand on a tattoo machine, and it’s remarkable. A scenographer by day, she created her first pair of tattooed tights as part of a costume for a play she was working on, spending hours and countless test runs researching how to make them as convincing as possible. Ilevia says that when she reached a final product she was proud of, she decided to open an online store, and Tatul was born.
Furthermore, the “tattoos as tights” concept brings about and furthers the age old discussion on tattoos as wearable body art. It even plays with the idea that they could be considered an accessory, one that should speak just as much about the wearer as a person as any handbag or piece of jewelry would, and inadvertently opening up a dialogue about the normalization of tattoos.
So whether you’re already tattooed and are in need of some stockings for winter, or are just looking to try a few styles out before committing to one, might we suggest the beautiful tights of Tatul?