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Belt

by Tatty Devine

by Penny Martin .

Paradoxically known as 'modern' typeface, the curvaceous numbers on Tatty Devine's belt evoke nostalgic pre-school memories of mother's sewing box or adolescent visions of the numerals stamped on rulers lurking in the average pencil case.

By definition, accessories are not the lead story. A sort of structural sub-plot, rather, contrived to support the key sartorial statement. A modest pair of gloves perhaps, trusty courts or a TARDIS-like bag; chances are you'll have them in uncontroversial black leather, chosen to match your entire wardrobe. As for belts, well, who cares: nobody's going to see them under all those concealing woollens, are they?
Yet - shocker - summer is upon us. That fleeting time when layering is no longer an option and subtle colour logic goes out the window. Take Tatty Devine's measuring-tape belt, for instance. Fashioned in scarlet leather, this accessory means to be seen, drawing attention to the waistline it so theatrically encircles. More to the point, the belt was designed to be read. Starting at the buckle and working their way round to the tip, the ascending white, printed numerals create the dreaded appearance of an old-fashioned measuring tape.

Paradoxically known as 'modern' typeface, the curvaceous numbers evoke nostalgic pre-school memories of mother's sewing box or adolescent visions of the numerals stamped on rulers lurking in the average pencil case. Not only do the hourglass lines and bulbous balls of the figures cruelly mimic the body of the belt's wearer, in a savage (and hilarious) functional detail, the fastening of the belt also simulates the measuring of one's waist ­now accepted to be the most accurate index of body fat. As the pin slots into the designated belt hole, the buckle frames the waist's measurement figure for all to see. Even worse, the holes are positioned quite far along the leather strip (beginning at 27 inches), suggesting the piece be worn with low-cut jeans, at a position on the torso closer in girth to one's hip size than one's waist.

But, wait. For the benefit of those brave enough to actually try on the demon belt, its designers have built in a sisterly twist. Underneath the buckle, there is two and a half inches of crimson grace. The 'tape sequence' doesn't actually start until it is visible, well to the left of the buckle. By the time you fasten up at the other end, you have miraculously 'lost' two and a half inches off your waist, confirmed by the smug numbers visible at the buckle's centre. So pass the cake, ladies. Thankfully, things aren't all they seem in the surreal world of Tatty Devine.

Measuring tape belt by Tatty Devine at Tatty Devine and www.tattydevine.com