CULTURE & ARTS
07/31/2015 09:27 am ET

Erotic Embroidery Artist Is Not Your Grandma's Craft Maker

Forget hearts and flowers. Alaina Varrone stitches tats and bikinis.
Alaina Varrone

Two edgy, platinum blonde girls in black bikinis pose, showing off tongue rings. Another badass pair gossips behind cupped palms; another lazes on beach towels, sipping beer. This isn't a hip Instagram feed, an Urban Outfitters catalog or even a photography series. These fun, relaxed scenes were embroidered by artist Alaina Varrone, whose work rethinks the limitations of a needle and thread.

That's because for her often erotic works, Varrone isn't inspired by other embroiderists; in an interview with The Huffington Post, she said she was mostly influenced by "history's pervs and weirdos."

"My absolute favorite saucy perv is bar none Nell Gwynne and wicked weirdos like Aleister Crowley and Helena Blavatsky, paranoid occultists like H.P. Lovecraft." 

Since we last featured Varrone's designs, her aesthetic interests have evolved; she's begun incorporating trendy fashion choices into her designs. Long, highlighted hair with pops of color, Peter Pan collars, and American Apparel-esque tube socks dress up her works.

She's also nurtured a budding interest in occult imagery -- one of her subjects rocks a Tarot tattoo -- and has begun entertaining the idea of creating a series of designs strung together by a cohesive storyline.

"I put so much thought into all these imaginary people and my little worlds, and I'd like to give them some meatier story lines in the future," Varrone says. "I do have these ongoing stories in my head, I've even reused characters."

Of course, a series isn't necessary to lend Varrone's work a narrative quality; her individual images already possess enough subtle details to inspire a story in the mind of an imaginative viewer. Check out her latest, kickass embroidery works below:

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