Chain Gang - L.A. Style - Los Angeles magazine

Chain Gang

Jewelry designers harness a new way to wear metal

“Do you think this is too much? Like I’m trying too hard?” actress Sami Lindley asks a friend in the bathroom at Teddy’s, the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel club, as she snakes a waist-length ropy bronze and gold chain across her loose Helmut Lang T-shirt and under her arms before fastening it in back. Lindley, who lives in West Hollywood, is experimenting with a small but growing trend: the body chain, a necklace-harness hybrid. Because it requires a certain patience, the accessory is not as pervasive as, say, square handbags. “They’re kind of complicated to put on,” says Navin Megji, owner of the Brentwood shop Feature, which carries two brands of the wraparounds that go for $150 to $250. “They come with instruction manuals.” Still, says Amanda Thomas, whose bullet-adorned Luv Aj chains are sold for $130 to $440 at Planet Blue stores, “I think people are really getting sick of the chunky choker and the statement ring and are ready for something new.” Adds Ronnie Aminov, whose FancySexyMe hardware pieces are sold online for $88 to $165, “Not everyone can get a tattoo. Body jewelry is an outlet for people to express themselves.” In the slow buildup over the past two years, Alexander Wang showed them in a runway presentation and Rodrigo Otazu designed some for Lady Gaga and a character in Sex and the City 2. Loree Rodkin created a design for Steven Tyler that dripped with diamond charms. Most people wear the chains over clothing, such as Keri Hilson, who wore one in her “Knock You Down” video. Model-designer Erin Wasson prefers hers under clothing, like a torturous form of lingerie. “I’ve always found the idea of body jewelry to be mysterious,” she says of her Low Luv collection. “I love the idea of intrigue under beautiful sheer fabric.”
Illustration by Kirsten Ulve

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