Karl Lagerfeld: Why Rings?

A self-portrait by the late fashion legend.

Hands have been a neglected part of men’s bodies recently. Everyone has bracelets, earrings, and chains, but a few men wear heaps of rings–such as you see in old master paintings. In the 16th and 17th centuries, in fact, men often wore more rings than women.

With my own starched cuffs, there was little room left for my beloved Chrome Hearts and Dior Homme bracelets, so I started putting more and more rings on my fingers. My daily choice of rings is spontaneous, and I have no idea what makes me like or dislike a ring. I am guided by a deep, subjective impression of what I love at first sight. Rings have become conspicuous elements of beauty and desire for me–they crystalize my attention. It’s not the value, but the form: their perfection should come from the mix of different intrinsically beautiful metals and stones.

Accumulations (like a collection of rings) produce in our minds an effect of healthy and creative artificiality. There are more important interests in life, but the purely aesthetic can also enrich our existence. It is a pure and delightful amusement to wear twenty-six rings on only ten fingers.

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