Jewels Beyond The Look: Protection And Healing

Miles Franklin, August 27th, 2021

In life, we encounter moments in which something that we know intellectually becomes something that we know in a much more personal, even visceral, manner. In many instances, this experience of transforming passive knowledge into that which is known in every fiber of one’s being can be positive, as when one experiences romantic love for the first time. Equally true, however, is the fact that these transformative experiences can occur as a result of a negative experience, the kind of experience which shakes your confidence and can even result in physical illness for a period of time.

For example, until just a few days ago, I knew, intellectually, that jewelry quite often functions as a sort of second skin, a protective barrier between one and the outside world, a barrier which has the additional edge of being beautiful and desirable, but a functional one nonetheless. Of course, as a prolific and avid jewelry wearer, I’ve had moments in which I’ve realized the watchful role my jewelry plays (as when a friend once began psychoanalyzing me over dinner, then began to comment on how much I play with my jewelry when I’m uncomfortable), and I’ve even consciously commented on the matter in a previous interview with MODA Chicago.

( My understanding of jewels as protective objects or even as objects which attract good fortune rests on the knowledge that jewelry has, since the beginning of human history, been worn for talismanic and protective purposes, and humans seem to have an intuitive understanding that these practically useless adornments are affixed to boundless metaphysical meanings (for more on this, I direct you to: On this point, my colleague Christian Noojin from Sotheby’s Jewels had this to say:

Wearing jewelry to catch the vibe is nothing new. In fact we are repeating the actions of our ancestors. For thousands of years, humans have worn jewelry for protection. Whether for battle or for protection from bad luck, this tradition spans cultures and generations. 

If you have studied crystals, you may know that in general, different colors are assigned to different chakras: blue for throat, green for heart, yellow/orange for solar plexus. Wearing a sodalite on the throat may help you communicate calmly and clearly. A malachite on the chest near your heart may soothe emotional woes, and encourage healing. I must express though, there is no right way to wear any particular stone. 

A rule of thumb is to wear what feels good. If you are drawn to a green tourmaline necklace that sits right on your throat, it may be a call to speak your heart. If a citrine piece feels right on an earring, your solar plexus may want more influence on your ego. 

My tip for people who are beginning their metaphysical journey with jewelry and stones: start with one item. Really learn the energy of the piece, ie. can you feel the vibration of the maker in a handmade piece? Did the previous owner leave their energy in this piece? (Should I sage it?) Do I harness my highest vibrations when I wear this? 

From this stage, add on pieces little by little. Before you know it, you will have a whole tool belt of talismans and jewelry for personal growth and maintenance.

The romantic armchair conception of jewels as amulets is a heady thing worthy of one’s Gamay induced contemplation, but this idea became all too real for me in a split second on my recent trip to Florida.

Here, a Van Cleef & Arpels gold and carnelian Vintage Alhambra bracelet, Cartier Love bracelet, and a Cartier gold, mother-of-pearl, and Lapis Lazuli pendant conjure a vision of noble defense and impenetrability.

Each time I make my annual trip to Florida to see my father’s side of the family, I not-so-carefully throw on as much jewelry as is humanly possible because I know that I will need a buffer between me and the homophobic, racist, sexist, and proudly politically incorrect world of the southern United States. Between dinners where sexist sentiments are levied directly at my younger female cousins, the unabashed, simultaneously angry and aroused stares of drunk white homophobic men, and comments from anyone and everyone about the shape, size, and weight of my body, I have boundless occasions to lose my fingers nervously in long necklaces, mountains of bracelets, and fists full of rings. 

A Hammerman Brothers diamond bracelet of over 42 carats of diamonds functions as chainmail.

Somehow I was able to avoid direct contact with Florida’s fabulously homophobic hillbillies until I came into contact with one particularly *southern* TSA agent at the Southwest Florida “International” Airport in Fort Myers. As is the case in any airport in the United States, I walked through the metal detector which immediately beeped due to the ridiculous amount of jewelry that I was wearing. Because every other TSA agent at literally every other airport would simply perform a quick, painless pat-down, I was slightly confused when this particular TSA agent (M. Dew, shall we call him) gruffly instructed me to go through the detector again. As anyone with a middle school education might guess, the detector went off, again. After putting me through a third time (just to be really sure, you know), M. Dew told me to step out of line and remove all of my jewelry, making a cupping gesture with his sweaty hands to suggest that he would hold on to my most precious belongings for the moment. Of course, after removing every one of my pieces except for my Cartier Love bracelet, I had to explain to M. Dew and the quickly gathering gaggle of TSA agents that the Love bracelet could not be removed on account of the two screws which fasten it to my wrist. Naturally, M. Dew and crew did not believe me and instead thought that my idea of a good time was to hold up traffic at a regional Florida airport at 5 in the morning, so M. Dew threw in a stern, “well, if you don’t take off the bracelet, I’m gonna have to pat you down…”. “Finally! We’re getting somewhere!” I thought to myself, knowing that, at any other airport in the country, they would have seen the bracelet and started with a pat-down. So, after Dew and Dewier issued their foreboding warning, I told them that I’d be fine with a pat-down. Dew replied loudly and for the benefit of the many Waffle House fueled white men in Bass Pro Shops gear in line behind me, after looking me up and down and up again, “well I wouldn’t be fine with it!”, in a tone and gesture meant to suggest that I wanted to be patted down because of my sexual orientation (and, therefore, my inherent perverted tendencies) and that he would be unwilling to fulfill my burning desire for a 5 a.m. airport pat down from a sweaty Floridian whose underwear surely had more skid marks than either of the airport’s two runways. At this, the gaggle of TSA agents and the aforementioned fish enthusiasts in line began to loudly laugh at me, and I realized that this incident had less to do with airport security and more to do with identifying and humiliating an “other” who so clearly did not look like a single other soul in the airport. Humiliated and feeling naked because my precious jewels were still under the watchful eye of M. Dew, even as he mocked me, I wanted to scream, cry, yell, or maybe just burst into flames. Covering my Love bracelet with my hand as later instructed, I walked through the detector without setting it off, and cautiously picked my beloved objects out of Dew’s surely unwashed hands. My mother tried making light of the situation to me in private, but I found this yet more infuriating because M. Dew’s transgression against me, performed only after the conscious removal of my armor, then and now felt serious and left me with an indelible sense of having been violated. Through this incident, my understanding of my jewels as my protectors moved, with devastating pain, from my brain to my bones, from my seat of knowledge to the very core of my being.

A star sapphire and diamond ring stands sentry against evil intentions.

In the days immediately following my incident in hillbilly hell, I resigned the violated jewels to their respective spots in my jewelry box, completely switching over to pieces that I had not travelled with. I could scarcely even look upon the pieces I’d worn without feeling again, viscerally, the pain, embarrassment, and fear that I’d experienced in the moment of violation. It was only after several long walks in silence and solitude in Princeton following the incident that I was able to arrive at a powerful revelation; the pieces that were stripped from my body by M. Dew should not elicit painful recollections of illiterate TSA agents, because said agents knew that in removing my jewels, they were removing a layer of myself, stripping me down and rendering me all the more assailable. I recall that my intention in wearing so much jewelry to Florida was to offer myself refuge, and it is now clear that this is exactly what my jewels did for me. By both positively and negatively confirming the protective nature of my second skin, I now find myself on the other side of a harrowing incident, a much more confident individual, and one who leans even more heavily into the intangible virtues of jewels.

A Cartier Crash watch (or two) and a personalized stack of jewelry can offer relief in uncomfortable situations.

If you’re looking to begin a purpose-built talismanic jewelry collection, you might start here:

David Webb Zodiac Collection

Evil Eye Pendant Necklace — Harwell Godfrey

Jacquie Aiche Onyx Crescent Moon Necklace

Mateo Healing Crystal Necklace

Amulette de Cartier collection – luxury jewelry

Vintage Alhambra pendant 

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Five Male Celebrities Who Rocked Jewelry On The Red Carpet

Nov 1

Miles Franklin

Billy Porter being fitted in Oscar Heyman jewels for the 2019 Golden Globe Awards. Image  Via
Billy Porter being fitted in Oscar Heyman jewels for the 2019 Golden Globe Awards. Image Via

“Diamonds are a girl’s best friend” goes the perennial 20th century proclamation of the innately feminine love for precious jewels. At the same time that this phrase was coined, the late 1940s, De Beers, which once controlled over 80% of the world’s diamond supply, launched its enduring “A diamond is forever” campaign, which spawned the modern practice of sealing a marital engagement with a diamond. Though it is true that both of the above turns of phrase continue to drive the purchase of high volumes of diamonds and other precious stones for women, it is also true that male celebrities are stylishly pushing for more inclusive conceptions of the ways in which men can interact with jewels.

One might rightly scoff at the idea that men wearing jewelry is new, and it is at this point that I must refine my focus. Of course men have historically worn jewelry, but it has been men’s jewelry as opposed to women’s jewelry; a frail yet highly enforced dichotomy that is acutely representative of the broader Western proclivity for dividing all facets of life along gender lines. While the 20th century and part of the 21st century narrowly defined men’s jewelry as bulky, relatively dull, and gemless pieces such as cufflinks and timepieces, the last five years have seen some of the most aggressive de-gendering of even the most traditionally feminine jewelry styles, such as the brooch and lapel pin. In an effort to both celebrate and amplify the democratization of high jewelry that has unfolded in fabulous style on red carpets for the past several years, I share with you five times male celebrities have shined in ethereal jewels.

5. Pharrell Williams, 2017 Academy Awards

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Pharrell seems to appear frequently in my writing, and this is no mistake. As one of the only people alive to have collaborated with Chanel as an individual, and as the inspiration for a million dollar Richard Mille timepiece, it is perhaps no surprise that Pharrell comes up frequently when discussing celebrities who push the boundaries in fashion and jewelry. In 2017, Pharrell walked the red carpet in a predominantly black Chanel suit, offset by a dazzling broach of white diamonds which appear to be set in either white gold or platinum with pearls.

4. John Legend, Vanity Fair Oscar Party 2019

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In 2019, John Legend wore a Dennis Tsui brooch of diamonds, blue sapphires, and a large yellow sapphire set in white gold. The brooch, named the Galaxy Pin, is notable for three reasons. The first notable facet of the Galaxy Pin is its designer, Dennis Tsui, who is a rising star in the world of high jewelry. Having only recently entered the high jewelry space, it is a testament to Tsui’s creative genius that he would so quickly be tapped to provide John Legend’s red carpet flash. The second noteworthy aspect of this brooch is its movement; rather than simply being a static piece of jewelry pinned to a lapel, there is also a gracefully proportioned chain which is accented with a yellow stone (probably a sapphire, possibly a yellow diamond) which is itself set in a magnificent halo of white diamonds. Finally, the presence of colored jewels in the Galaxy Pin sets it apart from equally beautiful yet less interesting pieces produced purely of monochromatic stones.

3. Timothée Chalamet, 2020 Academy Awards

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Though I cannot in good conscience rank Timothée Chalamet’s Academy lapel pin as the best example of men’s brooch/lapel pin wearing on the red carpet, I must admit that it is my personal favorite. Having a deep sweet spot in my heart for Cartier jewels, colored stones, and vintage pieces, this 1955 ruby, diamond, and platinum lapel pin sweeps me off of my feet. As a piece viewed in a vacuum and devoid of context, it is already magnificent; large, clear, and creatively arranged diamonds set off by Burmese rubies (a distinction that is important to draw as rubies from Burma are of the highest clarity, and the deepest blood red) in several different cuts makes this piece exemplary of Cartier’s jewelry design language during the first sixty years of the 20th century. Pairing this sumptuous lapel pin with a characteristically restrained Prada ensemble guaranteed Chalamet’s outfit a spot in the best looks of 2020.

2. Chadwick Boseman, 2019 Screen Actors Guild Awards

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The late and great Chadwick Boseman, in addition to being a guiding light and source of inspiration for countless young people, was also a confident wearer of fine jewels. At the 2019 Screen Actors Guild Awards, Boseman donned three Tiffany & Co. Schlumberger clips of white gold, yellow gold, and diamonds. It is not often that men are seen wearing jewelry inspired by delicate flora, and the simple daring of this choice makes it all the more stunning to see on the red carpet.

1. Billy Porter, 2019 Golden Globes

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The trifecta of Oscar Heyman flower brooches which cascaded down Billy Porter’s lapel at the 2019 Golden Globes were sadly overshadowed by the rest of his exceptional ensemble, itself a piece of art designed by Randi Rahm. The brooches, awash in vivid colors and sprays of vibrant diamonds, partially utilize a setting technique pioneered by the legendary house of Van Cleef & Arpels in the 1930s, known as the invisible setting. This technique is one in which the stones are set such that the mountings are not visible, thus allowing the stones to shine ever more brilliantly in the absence of prongs. The top brooch appears to be of white diamonds and green enamel flower petals, the middle of white diamonds and yellow sapphires (or possibly yellow diamonds), and the bottom brooch of white diamonds and invisibly set rubies.

At a moment in the near future, life will return to normal and we will once again inevitably find ourselves passively taking in the glamour of celebrities on red carpet events. When that moment comes, I hope you will not look only at the garments with awe and wonder, but also the jewels.

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John Hughes Films and 80s Fashion

John Hughes Films and 80s Fashion

Miles Franklin

The last several months have been the most challenging and uncertain time many of us have ever faced. With record numbers of people losing jobs, students being forced to return home from school, and nearly all of us risking our health and that of others simply to make a run to the grocery store, there is much that appears bleak right now. As pertains to those of us who love to dress and are now stuck at home without a reason to carefully consider our garments every day, self-quarantining can feel like a creative block. Wishing to bring some inconsequential drama back into my life in lieu of the gossip my friends and I would regularly exchange in campus coffee shops, I turned to rewatching John Hughes cult classics like Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, The Breakfast Club, Pretty in Pink, and Sixteen Candles. While watching Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and Pretty in Pink in particular, I was surprised to find so much iconic mid-80s fashion on display, and in the spirit of staying at home while still remaining inspired by how people dress, I present the most fashionable characters in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and Pretty in Pink.

1. Sloane Peterson

Sloane (Mia Sara) pictured with Ferris (Matthew Broderick) and Cameron (Alan Ruck). Image  Via
Sloane (Mia Sara) pictured with Ferris (Matthew Broderick) and Cameron (Alan Ruck). Image Via

Sloane Peterson, played by Mia Sara, was Ferris Bueller’s effortlessly gorgeous girlfriend. Throughout the movie, Sloane is seen wearing a white, cropped fringe jacket with gray above-the-knee shorts and beaded white boots to match the jacket. The cowgirl-meets-Los Angeles aesthetic is completed by Sloane’s light brown leather crossbody bag, and the Cartier Must de Cartier watch that sits on her wrist alongside a delicate bracelet. Combining this ensemble with the demeanor of the character that Sara plays ensured Sloane’s status as an 80s teen movie icon.

Sloane’s Cartier Must de Cartier watch. Image  Via
Sloane’s Cartier Must de Cartier watch. Image Via

2. Jeanie Bueller

Jeanie Bueller (Jennifer Grey) wearing her iconic black tote bag. Image  Via
Jeanie Bueller (Jennifer Grey) wearing her iconic black tote bag. Image Via

Jeanie Bueller’s contribution as a fashionable character in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off has less to do with her outfit per se, and more to do with her accessories, chief among them being her quirky, angular 80s car (which Ferris is quite jealous of) and her tote bag that she’s seen angrily lugging around throughout the film. Perhaps intentionally, Jeanie’s bag is featured quite prominently in many of her scenes; it’s a glossy black tote covered in large, distinctive patches which seem to be logos of some kind, and the bag itself sticks out particularly because of how dark it is in contrast to her bright pink sweater. Then, of course, there’s her car; a white, 1985 Pontiac Fiero which Jeanie is seen throwing around the road in several scenes, eventually skidding to a halt in the Bueller’s driveway towards the end of the film. Given Jeanie’s brooding and decidedly perturbed disposition, the bag and the car both seem to be more extensions of her personality rather than simply objects she uses.

Jeanie’s car parked in front of the Bueller’s quintessential suburbian home. Image  Via
Jeanie’s car parked in front of the Bueller’s quintessential suburbian home. Image Via

3. Katie Bueller

Katie Bueller (Cindy Pickett) epitomizing 80’s business casual. Image  Via
Katie Bueller (Cindy Pickett) epitomizing 80’s business casual. Image Via

As one of Ferris’ responsible and doting parents in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Katie Bueller is perhaps the most unexpected character from the film to make it into an article about 80s fashion in teen films, yet a closer look at her outfit reveals some interesting insights into business casual dressing in the 1980s. Pieces of her look that stand out include her shiny one piece necklace, gaudy earrings, and belt with an asymmetrical geometric buckle (sadly not pictured).

Moving on to Pretty in Pink, a movie which follows a few days in the high school experience of a girl who makes many of her own outfits, it is only fair that we first highlight the fashion prowess of the protagonist Andie Walsh, played perhaps unsurprisingly by Molly Ringwald (a staple in many John Hughes films).

4. Andie Walsh

Andie Walsh (Molly Ringwald) in one of her well layered ensembles. Image  Via
Andie Walsh (Molly Ringwald) in one of her well layered ensembles. Image Via

Perhaps what is so compelling about Andie Walsh in Pretty in Pink is not her outfits themselves, but the fact that they had been handmade. The storyline of the movie prominently features scenes of classism and highlights the financial disparity between the students of Andie’s school in frequently shocking, if not terribly nuanced scenes, so Andie’s intricate handmade outfits not only serve to please aesthetically, but also to mock the de facto uniform of the wealthy students. As such, Andie’s outfits are often wonderfully layered and complementary to her sunny yet serious attitude, and the movie culminates in the unveiling of the pink (shocking!) dress she created to wear to the prom.

Andie’s triumphantly pink prom dress. Image  Via
Andie’s triumphantly pink prom dress. Image Via

5. Iona

Iona (Annie Potts) shortly after assailing Duckie with staples. Image  Via
Iona (Annie Potts) shortly after assailing Duckie with staples. Image Via

Iona, the owner of the record store at which Andie works, so perfectly embodies the stereotypical outlandishness of the 80s club kid that her looks end up being unashamedly kitsch, moving wonderfully from one pole of eccentricity to the other. Throughout the course of the film, Iona presents a 50s version of herself (in a pink dress which is to become part of Andie’s pink dress), a version of herself who wears spiked hair and elbow length gloves, and a version of herself who wears white hair and would have looked perfectly at home in a scene from Beverly Hills Cop. 

6. Duckie Dale

Finally we arrive at Andie Walsh’s best friend and longtime admirer, Duckie Dale, who is so named in large part because of his duckbill-like white shoes. Duckie’s outfits largely play into his trademark goofiness, his shoes being case-in-point, and ensure that taking him seriously is an impossibility. Ultimately, though, there is still something admirable about the confidence he demonstrates through his wardrobe.

Duckie Dale (Jon Cryer) causing a scene. Image  Via
Duckie Dale (Jon Cryer) causing a scene. Image Via

Having made what I believe is far too long a list of fashionable characters from movies by a single director/screenwriter from a time in film that is long past, I hope I have, at the very least, added a few cult classics to your watch list. Now that we’re all stuck at home spending an inordinate amount of time in front of screens, rewatching our favorite films with an eye to how they may have influenced our styles is a whimsical but worthwhile endeavor at any time, but especially today.

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Richard Mille To Open a Boutique in Chicago


Strolling along the world famous Oak Street in Chicago’s Near North Side, one passes the storefronts of legendary labels such as Moncler, Van Cleef & Arpels, Graff, Harry Winston, and Chanel. Historically, an Oak Street address has been a marker of success for jewelers and watchmakers, and it appears that the avant-garde watchmaker Richard Mille intends to keep this tradition with its imminent opening set to occur at 109 East Oak Street. This location will be RM’s sixth in the United States, as currently only Geneva Seal on Oak Street is authorized to sell Richard Mille products, and will further efforts toward solidifying Chicago as a city with an entrenched watch scene. Having little more to go on than a temporary shroud over the storefront announcing its future presence adjacent to Razny Jewelers, perhaps a proper introduction to Richard Mille is in order for Chicagoans.

First and foremost, Richard Mille is known for its aesthetically and materially revolutionary timepieces inspired by and used in Formula 1. In fact, the brand’s founder, Richard Mille, introduced his first timepiece in 2001 after leaving Mauboussin citing creative constraints. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, a particular sect of people in watchmaking became discontent with the constant production of watches that were advanced technologically, but all more or less resembled one another. Founded in 1991, it was really Franck Muller who broke the glass ceiling and, with strong sales and famous clientele, proved to the watchmaking world that expensive watches need not necessarily also be serious watches. Owing much to Franck Muller but naturally taking watchmaking to the next level, Richard Mille has from its beginnings been a brand inspired by Formula 1, and this is reflected in everything the brand does, from the naming schemes of its pieces, to sponsoring F1 teams and drivers, and even in its advertisements, where Richard Mille refers to its products as “A racing machine on the wrist”. As pertains to advertising, Richard Mille is famous for gracing the wrists of celebrities from many different spheres, including Margot Robbie, Felipe Massa, Rafael Nadal, Romain Grosjean, Bubba Watson, and Pharrell Williams, with Watson and Pharrell lending their names to special edition RM’s.

Formula 1 Driver for Ferrari, Charles Leclerc is partnered with Richard Mille. Image via

At this point, it’s important to address the elephant in the room, and that’s the astronomical price tags attached to any Richard Mille product, price tags which are especially difficult to justify considering that RM is such a young brand. Though any piece serves as a fine example, it seems that the public has been especially shocked by Richard Mille’s sapphire pieces, or pieces like the RM 19-02, an artistic watch which houses a tourbillon complication inside of a flower bud, the bud opening to reveal the complication at the push of a button. The sapphire pieces regularly retail for over $1.5 million U.S. dollars, while the RM 19-02 is not far behind at $1.1 million U.S. Though many would say that there is no explanation for such eye-watering prices, Richard Mille, a company at which each piece is produced through a revolutionary process, with revolutionary materials, and in small quantities, the costs of production are obscenely high. Each sapphire watch RM produces, for example, is machined from a single block of sapphire, taking more than 1,000 hours for the piece to go from raw stone to watch case. Not only is it incredibly difficult and expensive to source such a large piece of sapphire, but the machinery necessary for transforming raw sapphire into a watch case is in itself rather costly. Adding to this the fact that Richard Mille insists on manufacturing unique components, down to the screws, for nearly all of its products, the high cost of entry into this brand is more understandable.

The RM 56-02, a Sapphire Richard Mille.  Image  Via
The RM 56-02, a Sapphire Richard Mille. Image via

All of this to say, regardless of one’s opinions on how much is too much to pay for an object essentially meant to tell time, Chicago’s watch scene has much to gain from the opening of this legendary, cutting edge marque. Though no official details have been released concerning the date at which the boutique will be opened, it is safe to say that I remain anxious for the not-too-distant day when the racing machine comes to Oak Street.

The RM 07-02, a Sapphire Lady’s watch that gained infamy for its $1 million+ price tag.  Image  Via
The RM 07-02, a Sapphire Lady’s watch that gained infamy for its $1 million+ price tag. Image via

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Top 10 Fashion Collabs of the Last Ten Years

With 2020 approaching, MODA Blog rounds up the best, worst, and most iconic phenoms of the 2010s.

In recent years, it seems that fashion houses have begun to realize the potential to create objects of unparalleled beauty with the help of creatives in other fields. Though the link between fashion and art may be apparent to millennials and those even younger, the idea of collaboration across the fields of fashion and art were relatively rare before the 21st century. Beginning in the 2000’s, however, collaborations in creative industries became commonplace thanks to a combination of the artistic potential and the generally positive reaction from consumers. It is with this potential for greatness in mind that we present the top ten fashion collabs of the last decade.

Number 1: Louis Vuitton x Takashi Murakami:

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Though it is true that the relationship between Murakami and Louis Vuitton began back in 2003 with the introduction of the Murakami Multicolor Monogram collection, the close relationship between Murakami and Louis Vuitton lasted for over 13 years, extending into 2015. Chances are, even if you didn’t know Takashi Murakami collaborated with Louis Vuittion, you are familiar with the now iconic and always lusted after Multicolor Monogram bags. These bags not only defined a decade and a half of style, being worn by the likes of Paris Hilton, Jennifer Lopez, and Kim Kardashian, but they also legitimized future collaborations between artists and household name fashion giants such as Louis Vuitton.

Number 2: Louis Vuitton x Supreme:

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Having essentially created the evergreen trend of designer collaborations, it only makes sense that Louis Vuittion should appear on this list multiple times, and the Louis Vuitton x Supreme collaboration was just as earth-shattering as the Murakami collaboration, if not as enduring. First debuted at Paris Fashion Week in 2017, the Supreme x Louis Vuitton capsule came at the height of Supreme’s mainstream relevance, and undoubtedly widened the brand’s audience. Notably, this collaboration was launched first at pop-up locations across the world rather than in stores, demonstrating Louis Vuitton & Supreme’s willingness to adapt to the ways in which young people now shop.

Number 3: Moschino x H&M:

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Under Jeremy Scott, Creative Director of the brand since the end of 2013, Moschino has become a go-to brand for aesthetically conscious youth who identify with Moschino’s bear motif and phone cases that elevate daily household objects to forms of art. For this collaboration, both H&M and Moschino had to pull out all the stops, with H&M dramatically raising their quality standards and Scott stretching the limits of his diverse but always recognizable style. The resulting pieces were a pleasing blend of grunge and high fashion glamour, with strong undertones of youthful rebellion. The relatively low prices for the collection were a plus, too.

Number 4: Gucci x Dapper Dan:

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This particular story is an interesting one. Dapper Dan is and  has been an iconic African American streetwear designer based in Harlem, New York since the 1970s, counting celebrities and drug lords among his clientele. Dapper Dan was known largely for incorporating popular design houses logos into his clothes, and the iconic Gucci double G was among his favorites. This led Alessandro Michele, creative director at Gucci since 2015, to create a jacket that paid homage to a particularly famous Dapper Dan design without crediting him. Perhaps ironically, Dapper Dan and his followers were angry about what seemed like a stolen idea rather than an homage, and later in 2017, Gucci formally partnered with Dapper Dan on a line of clothes and eventually even opened a store with him in his native Harlem.

Number 5: Chanel x Pharrell:

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The Chanel Pharrell collection, which debuted for Spring/Summer 2019, is the quintessential example of a daring and successful collaboration. With Chanel moving away from its decidedly haute couture and formal focus, and Pharrell channeling his propensity for beautiful music into beautiful clothes, this collaboration was a risky but ultimately successful move on the part of both parties. Replete with bright colors, bedazzled logos, and a range of tactile materials, the Chanel Pharrell collection was a comprehensive take on luxe streetwear and has accordingly been worn by the likes of Lil Uzi Vert and Young Thug.

Number 6: Dior x Hajime Sorayama:

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Under the creative direction of Kim Jones since 2018, Dior Homme has arguably been the fashion label most open to collaborations with intriguing artists, counting Daniel Arsham and Hajime Sorayama among them. The Fall/Winter 2019 collaboration between Dior Homme and Hajime Soroyama, though not expected, seemed rather natural; pairing Soroyama’s retro-futuristic aesthetics with Dior’s legendary oblique print on shoes, shirts, and accessories, this collaboration brought a rugged and utopian vision to the house of Dior rendered in plastic and highly polished metal. Standouts from this collaboration included an industrial and futuristic revisit of the iconic Saddle Bag, originally the work of John Galliano, as well as a fantastic take on the B23 shoe.

Number 7: Chanel x Audemars Piguet:

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Perhaps the unlikeliest collaboration on this entire list, the Chanel x Audemars Piguet collaboration is also arguably one of the most exciting. Ever since being launched in 1999, the Chanel J12 has been a must-have watch for celebrities and the fashionably conscious. Rendered in shiny ceramic, a shiny and surprisingly resilient material, the J12 was legendary in almost every way, lacking only a horologically sophisticated movement to match the sophisticated design. Luckily, in 2008, the famed watchmaker which needs no introduction, Audemars Piguet, stepped up and fit their well known mechanical Calibre 3125 movement to the J12, finally satisfying all of the requirements for a truly special watch. To distinguish the Calibre 3125 J12 from the standard J12 which comes in only black and white ceramic, the Caliber 3125 was cast in shiny black ceramic with 18k rose gold accents, and later editions of the watch were made in matte black ceramic.

Number 8: Burberry x Vivienne Westwood:

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Uniting the historic English fashion house Burberry with the iconic English club-kid/punk rock oriented aesthetic of Vivienne Westwood was a move that fans of each brand will look upon fondly for years to come. Having risen to fame in the 1970s with the English punk rock movement, it is surprising that a collaboration between Vivenne Westwood and Burberry did not come about until late 2018. Featuring Burberry’s check motif overlaid with environmentally focused words written by Westwood, the collection carried a high-fashion political message while supporting the U.K. nonprofit Cool Earth. The full range of campaign photos and videos released for this collaboration are well worth a look.

Number 9: Jean Paul Gaultier x Hermès:

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As the Creative Director of Hermès from 2003 to 2011, the daring Jean Paul Gaultier injected excitement into one of the world’s most respected and sought after leather goods brands. Though it is a stretch to call the Shadow Birkin a collaboration since Gaultier was the Creative Director of Hermès when he created it, I like to think of it as a collaboration because it unites the quirky aesthetic of Gaultier while modifying Hermès’ most famous item, the Birkin. Keeping the shape of the traditional Birkin, Gaultier removed the functionality of the flap and left the imprint of the sangles (the locking arms) on the front of the bag, without allowing them any functional purpose, hence the name Shadow Birkin. Perhaps more than any other of Gaultier’s contributions during his 8 year tenure at Hermès, the Shadow Birkin left an indelible mark on the brand.

Number 10: Louis Vuitton x Memphis Group:

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Rounding out the list is another collection that isn’t a collaboration in the strictest sense. For the Spring 2019 women’s ready to wear collection, Nicolas Ghesquière drew inspiration from the work of Memphis Group, a now largely dissolved postmodernist design collective established in the 1980’s and led by the fabulously creative Ettore Sottsass. This collaboration is very dear to my heart, as the products of Memphis Group have been an obsession of mine for several years. Ghesquière employed the use of bright colors, geometric 80s patterns, and bulky architecture to pay homage to the Group and the late Sotsass, and the final product was exceptional not only for the beauty of the clothes in themselves, but also for the fact that Ghesquière intentionally brought the legacy of Memphis Group to a younger audience.

So there’s our list.  Which collab is your favorite and which did we leave out?

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