The glamorous grandmother, who has been in the fashion business nearly 50 years, says getting a tattoo in her youth would have been seen as “taboo”, and has labelled the body art on stars such as Cheryl Cole as “extreme”.
Celia, 63, gave her verdict on tattoos after Maria Walsh — who has inkwork on her forearm and behind her ear — was crowned this year’s Rose of Tralee.
“A lot of my models have them,” said Celia. “I’m not in love with them when they are very prominent.
“I don’t allow them to be on view on the ramp if at all possible. The models have them here, there and everywhere and they can cover them and that suits me fine, so I have no issues.”
During her own days as a model, getting a tattoo “never even came into my head”, Celia said.
“It was something you would never do. They were taboo, taboo. Do any of those young girls think when their skin starts to age what the tattoo is going to look like then? Not very pretty, may I tell you!
“When the skin gets older and a little bit saggier, they are not pretty things to look at. Don’t overdo it — it’s as simple as that.”
While she said she has no issues if a tattoo is subtle, large tattoos in a prominent place are a big no-no.
“Maria’s Walsh’s tattoos were subtle, but I would recommend that no young women get a big tattoo,” said Celia. “I personally think Cheryl Cole should not have gone to that extreme — she calls it art. To cover your body so much with a tattoo, I don’t personally like it — that’s just me.”
With her cropped hair and body art, Mayo native Maria has dominated the headlines since she was crowned.
According to Celia, Maria is “incredible”, and “a thoroughly deserving winner”.
“The word I would use is a doll — so nice, so terribly nice, and nice the whole time,” said Celia. “She was the same person every time I met her in Tralee.
“She is a new style Rose. But that is the Rose. They have a rockin’ good time. These are women who have travelled the world — they are not out of convents. These are girls who are living their lives — they are travelling, that’s who they are.”
With her finger forever on the fashion pulse, Celia thinks Maria’s look will start a trend among young women, particularly her short pixie hair.
“Her hair is sensational. She works in fashion in the US — she is very cool. Every time I met her she was always very on-trend.”
Celia also spoke out in support of Maria, who has revealed that she is gay. “Maria is a beautiful young woman and an inspiration to all women,” she said.