During lockdown, we asked seven designers to photograph their jewellery, and explain what it means to them.
creative director, Charles Jeffrey Loverboy
We sent these bracelets to people as little gifts for International Transgender Day of Visibility, then we got a lot of people on Instagram asking if we were selling them, so we decided to make them. I have the bracelet and a necklace wound round my wrist here which feature three gender symbols: transgender, genderqueer: nonbinary and genderfluid: intergender & neutrois.
I stole the rings from my boyfriend, who has a really illustrious set of costume jewellery. The signet ring is the closest thing to a lion and I am a Leo. The last fine jewellery I had was a silver apotropaic bangle from Liberia that my grandmother gave me, but I lost it at a rave. I was absolutely devastated, so now I wouldn’t wear anything really valuable as I’d be too scared to lose it. For me, the value is in the person who gave it to you and the story behind it.
co-founder of Owenscorp, MD of the Rick Owens furnitureli ne, and designer, Hunrod
I always wear rings from my line Hunrod on every finger. They are all different but with the same mood. The name for the jewellery line came from the fact that [my husband] Rick [Owens] and I call each other Hun, and Rod is for Loree Rodkin, the jeweller with whom I collaborated on the range. I have nine rings on right now, and I’ve still been wearing them during lockdown in Paris.
The big stones are semi-precious, the little stones are all coloured diamonds. Before I get dressed and put a T-shirt on, I put my rings on. I always like to have things that I can look at myself. [On my fingers] I use a semi-permanent Japanese dye that is meant for the hair. I discovered it 25 years ago; I was dyeing my nails with it, it was getting on my skin and I thought it looked nice.
I don’t like the idea of jewellery as something very precious, for me it’s tribal. I’m inspired by Berber women, who wear so much jewellery at once. It gives the feeling that you have everything you need to get by.
creative director of womenswear, Etro
I am really fond of jewellery and I like to wear lots, every day. I only take it off when I go to sleep, when I do yoga or Pilates, and for sunbathing. I kept my usual morning routine during lockdown in Milan, and this includes wearing jewellery, which to me is part of my everyday look, along with lipstick.
I think eclectic is the word for the way I wear jewellery. I like to mix different styles and materials: vintage, ethnic, designer, custom-made, family heirlooms — I really love to pile it all up. Whenever I travel I always try to look for souvenirs to bring back home, and jewellery is often one of these. I am wearing a mini-ring with turquoise stone, which I bought at Purnima [an accessories shop] in Ibiza; silver Love collection ring by Cartier, mini gold ring from Giolina e Angelo [a family jewellers] in Milan, and a Pomellato black onyx ring I bought myself.
On my wrists, the rigid green jade bracelet is from a trip to China. The chunky, heavy gold chain bracelet belonged to my grandmother Audrey. My mother received the Cartier gold Love bracelet from my father Gimmo in the late ’70s and she handed it down to me. Now I never take this off. I bought the silver snake head with turquoise stone and leather bracelet from a vintage store during a trip to Dallas, Texas.
creative director, Chloé
Everything I’m wearing is from the Autumn/Winter Chloé 2020 collection. I really put jewellery at the front of my work at Chloé because we are working on the attitude and the message. Who is the wearer? How will they enhance her personality? It’s a place where you put a lot of your emotions and yourself, it’s a sign of your beliefs.
You can wear very simple clothes, add jewellery which is emotional or has a message, and then think, “Ok, I am ready.” The square ring takes the idea of the big Harvard signet ring, which is usually worn by men, and makes it more feminine. It says “make it last”, which relates to non-disposable fashion. The starting point for the bracelet was my son, then around five, making me a ring for my birthday in tinfoil paper.
I have never bought a big piece of high jewellery. To me the preciousness is about the emotions and the message. In the summer, I usually go to Greece and I make jewellery with pebbles. I don’t need the preciousness of the craft or the stone.
founder, creative director and CEO of A-COLD-WALL*
This 18ct diamond baguette and emerald ring is by Suzanne Kalan. I bought it after trying to figure out what my disposition is within the jewellery space. They are on the edge of eccentricity but not too gaudy, and express my personality rather than my design style. So many people buy into jewellery aimlessly. The second ring is also Suzanne Kalan, with a mix of stones: ruby, sapphire and emerald. These are made-to-measure women’s rings. I felt like women’s jewellery is more sophisticated and precise, it isn’t just, “Oh, here’s a wax cast, we are going to pour some silver into it.”
My tattoos all have this balance between referencing the European Renaissance period of architecture and form, and sacred geometry, but there is also an overlap with west African tribalism.
On my right hand, I’m wearing a bracelet from Tokyo-based Japanese jeweller Kawamura Jury Yoichi, who works under his moniker Eyefunny. There’s an irony in having VVS1 diamonds and 18ct white gold on a bracelet featuring the naive phrase ‘Life’ with a happy and sad face. The turquoise ring is from Virgil Abloh’s first season at Louis Vuitton. I have been trying to produce a stone ring for a while and it’s incredibly difficult. It feels closer to folk art, an object beyond jewellery.
Maria Grazia Chiuri
creative director of Dior women’s haute couture, ready-to-wear and accessories collections
It’s very rare to see me without my jewellery. I feel reassured by my fingers being slightly heavier, and I only take [my rings] off at work when I need to sketch or take notes. The ritual of “undressing” my hands is kind of an act of concentration. When my head is clouded with thoughts, the first thing I do is take off all my rings.
From left to right, the first pinkie ring is a grey pearl I designed in my mid-thirties. I have two — the other is a classic champagne colour that you can see on my other hand. My initials are on the inside. My passion for rings developed from those two. The second from left is the iconic skull ring by Venetian jewellers Codognato. I started to collect Codognato rings on a trip to Venice. The third from left is another Codognato skull that I was gifted by Chiara Ferragni right after her  wedding, for which I designed her dress. Fourth from left is another Codognato, which reads “Memento” on the top. Fifth from left is another Codognato skull in bone. My husband gifted it to me for my birthday, I think I was turning 50. The last is the other champagne pearl I had made. I love all of them, but I also like to switch them around.
On my wrists there is a mix of bracelets from my travels and gifts. The silver one, top left, is from my dear friend Robin Morgan. She gave it to me when she awarded me the Sisterhood Is Powerful Award in New York. It reads “Visible and Powerful” and “WMC”, which stands for Women’s Media Center, next to symbols of Venus and the feminist movement. Just below the silver bangle there is Cartier’s Juste un Clou bracelet, and below that a Cartier Trinity bracelet. The last two are vintage turquoise bracelets I bought in New Mexico when I went there to meet Judy Chicago, with whom I recently collaborated for my haute couture show. The beaded bracelets are both from South Africa.
All of my rings and bracelets really have an emotional value. I add to the collection when I am going through an important phase of my life. The Codognato rings are the ones I treasure most. They represent the freedom I have conquered for myself, to own what I love, but also to treasure moments. At the same time, I am not very attached to material things — they give me joy, but the freedom I derive from them is an inner awareness.
creative director, Lanvin
The emerald frog ring with ruby cabochon eyes is by David Webb. I really love his work, particularly his animals, and a frog is more under the radar than some. The little red ring is an antique intaglio, from the Roman empire, probably from the 1st century. According to legend, the raw stones for intaglios, such as pieces of amber, used to be polished in people’s mouths. Then they were engraved with figures — this is a Vestal Virgin engraved on cornaline.
When I turned 30, my mum offered to make me a piece of jewellery because she had some stones and gold, and a jeweller in Marseille made this third ring on my left hand. It was inspired by different elements from Codognato, a house I have always loved. The enamel ring is by Jean Schlumberger, and has a late 19th-century Fabergé look to it. Almost something a tsar would wear. The bracelet came from my mother, who gave one to me and one to my boyfriend.
I haven’t been wearing these every day because we were advised not to during the pandemic, but usually I do. Also, I wear the intaglio every day because it’s stuck! When I started to wear more heavy rings, I had to get used to it. The background is by hyperreal artist Gérard Schlosser, and it’s about the sensuality of ordinary things, almost the glory of boredom, so very appropriate.
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