Like a Manacle Around My Wrist

My obsession with some recurring themes (Marchesa and Atelier Versace collections, Chanel costume jewellery, Christina Aguilera’s and Gossip Girl Lily Van der Woodsen’s styles, bath-tubs and so on) may sound morbid or simply boring, and I totally understand the reason why. On the other hand, some fashion-related topics are just too appealing to me, I really can’t resist when it comes to writing about them. This is not the first time I’ve written about Hermès – I’ve just created a special category to gather all the posts on the Parisian maison – but it’s the first time I focus on a specific piece of jewellery: the infamous Collier de Chien cuff bracelet.

It’s surely a case of subconscious love: if you ask me why I like it so much, I cannot give a proper answer. The reasons behind this are vague, undefined, yet they are hidden somewhere inside of me. The only logical reply that comes to my mind is related to its shape: I have a passion for cuff bracelets in general because they cling around the wrist like a loving hold, which I find inspiring and sensual. I guess many celebrities share my same opinion, because many of them have sported this accessory.

No one can deny Victoria Beckham is the Queen when it comes to collecting Hermès bags. I don’t know why but she doesn’t seem to have the same passion for Hermès accessories. As far as I know, she owns only one Collier de Chien, the classic version in black leather with gold hardware, which is a pity. If she put the same effort in collecting CdC, it would be great to drool over her technically endless collection.

This is not the first time I post this picture, but forgive me, because I think Katie Holmes here is the epitome of effortless chic. Most of this outfit screams “relaxed elegance” (the zipped skinny jeans, the cashmere sweater and the knitted beanie hat), but the luxury touches of the CdC and the stunning Roger Vivier Limelight yellow satin pumps emphasize she’s not exactly the girl next door she used to be in the past.

The stylist Taylor Jacobson, who once was Rachel Zoe’s closest collaborator, sported a CdC in black and gold during an episode of the tv show The Rachel Zoe Project. I like her style very much: she totally owns this bracelet, but this time I’m sure she ripped the accessory from her ex-boss, who is a notorious Hermès collector [1].

And here she is, one of the most famous celebrity stylists, wearing her CdC in an episode of her tv show.

Nicole Richie is surely one of the celebrities who first started wearing Hermès accessories in her everyday life, thus turning relatively unknown jewelry into must-haves. She has been spotted wearing a CdC many times, but I’ve chosen this pic because it summarizes her unique style, where high and low mix. She wore the Hermès cuff with black skinny jeans, a long-sleeved white sweatshirt, an incredible Balenciaga City bag in striped damask, Christian Louboutin Numero Privè satin pumps and a vintage Emilio Pucci scarf as forehead band.

Robin Antin, the founder of the Pussycat Dolls, wore her CdC in May 2010, while attending a charity event in Hollywood: she paired it to a beautiful strapless black dress and Yves Saint Laurent Tribute patent slingbacks.

This leather-hardware combination is so timeless! If I could buy a CdC, I would probably go for this one.

When Lady GaGa [2] posed for photographers in Tokyo in March 2010 (she was promoting MAC Viva Glam project), she paired a stunning Somarta rhinestone-studded lace bodysuit with a beautiful Collier de Chien cuff in white leather and gold hardware. It’s good to see how such a classic accessory can perfectly match an usual outfit.

This gorgeous version combines white Epsom leather and gold hardware. White and gold is such a classic combination, but I don’t think I’d ever wear it. If I owned a CdC, I would wear it all the time, and I think frequent use is not a good idea when the leather is white.

Kanye West is known for his over-the-top style and designing ambitions, more than for his vocal abilities. From this picture, it’s clear he likes overdoing with accessories: he decided to amplify the slightly trashy luxury of a real fur coat with massive accessories, including a gold watch, glass bead bracelets, huge Noir Jewelry rings and a Collier de Chien in lizard leather and gold hardware.

Though not a fan of exotic leathers, I must admit this ombre lizard version with palladium hardware is to die for. It’s not the same as the one seen on Kanye – his has gold hardware and the leather has a lighter shade – but I prefer this one, it’s less showy.

Nicky Hilton has worn her red CdC bracelet many times, and I like how she’s always been able to tone it down by pairing it to very simple outfits. Talk of glamourous street-style: she looked so chic in this basic outfit, including a Topshop leopard faux fur coat, plain black leggings, Lanvin red ballerina flats, Yves Saint Laurent Roady bag in black and her trusty Chilli Bean cat’s eye sunglasses.

I don’t know if Nicky’s red bracelet is the same as the one in the picture above, but I guess so. This one is made of Chamonix leather in Rouge Garrance with palladium hardware.

Nicky wore a CdC in solid silver at an event in New York last May. She looked phenomenal with an Alice+Olivia cut-out dress and Brian Atwood Lola suede pumps and the cuff added a touch of refinement to an already gorgeous outfit.

I love silver jewellery, so this bracelet is no exception. I only wonder how much it weighs…

Nicky is probably one of the biggest fans of Collier de Chien bracelets, she owns quite a collection. In September 2010, at the opening of Lavo Club in New York, she wore a bracelet in black leather with silver hardware to complete an all black outfit, which included a cute Hervè Leger bandage dress and Christian Louboutin Pigalle patent pumps.

The American singer Adam Lambert wore the same bracelet during an interview at a local radio.

The black leather version with silver hardware is so beautiful: I think it’s more modern than the version with gold hardware. I love how this girl wore her CdC with a Kelly Double Tour bracelet and another leather and silver Hermès bracelet (sorry, but I don’t know the name of this style).

Etoupe is one of the most classic colours in Hermès bag and accessory range, so it’s no wonder it characterizes the Collier de Chien, too. This one is made of Veau Tadelakt (sorry I mispelt it on the picture) and has palladium hardware.

I guess a few people know about a Collier de Chien ring, too. I knew about the Collier de Chien belt, but I’ve never heard of the ring version before. The one above is made of Ebene leather and silver. It’s not my style, but the tiny studs and central ring are so cute.

The silver version is not bad, but – again – not my style. In this case, the ring is made of studs only, in three rows and different sizes.

Now, when it comes to me, I love Collier de Chien bracelets with all my heart: I think this style is truly a classic, an extremely luxurious version of the punk studded bracelet, yet there is an unsurmountable obstacle between it and me: the whopping price. Its retail price on Hermès on-line store is 1,025.00 $, a ridiculous amount of money! I could never spend so much money on a bracelet (or on a bag, or on any possible accessory), but there’s a second downside: even if I’m not really slim, my wrist is small (I’m talking of 15 cm in diameter) and I don’t know if a CdC could suit it. In any case, it is and will always be just a dream. A very nice and much cheaper (it’s 495.00 $) compromise to quench my CdC thirst could be the Rivale bracelet.

It has some details in common with the CdC, but it’s slimmer and more wearable. I love the fact that the strap must be wrapped twice around the wrist, a feature it shares with Kelly Double Tour bracelet and with some watches (Cape Cod GM, Kelly and Kelly 2).

What are your opinions on the CdC and on the Rivale? In 2011 Hermès will open an on-line shop for Italy, so I guess I should start saving to get the second one. Does any of you own one of these two bracelets? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

[1] She owns at least four Birkin bags – one white and one black (both with gold hardware), one in Gold leather with gold hardware and one in Vert Veronese with gold hardware – and a Medor clutch.

[2] She owns two Birkin bags, both modified: the black one is spiked, while the second has been scribbled with Japanese characters by the Canadian artist Terence Koh.

Source, source, source and source.




  1. I would totally, without a doubt, go for the black leather Rivale with silver hardware. I personally find it much classier and sleeker, I love that you have to strap it around twice and I can see it being worn every day, with any outfit. I like CdC too, but I see it as a “showstopper”, to be worn on its own with a simple outfit in order for it to be fully emphasised.

    1. I agree with you. I don’t think I could wear the Collier de Chien every day, because it’s true it perfectly combines with any style, but it’s not really easy to pull it off.

      My only doubt for the Rivale is the metal: I love silver but I think I’d go for gold.

  2. I for one, do not find your fascination with Lily Van der Woodsen’s style & bath-tubs boring! I’m also enjoying your new Hermes section, including your analysis of the Collier de Chien.

    In my mind it’s one of those classic pieces with an edge that seems to attract so many different people to wear it. I’m not a fan of cuff bracelets, since I like to have both wrists flat on the desk while typing. I would have to try this on in the store before even considering buying it. It’s definitely pricey – but as shown in these pictures, if you have one – you can wear it with almost everything, every day. Having said that though, the Rivale bracelet is a nice alternative!

    1. Thanks so much: it’s good to know someone appreciates my fashion and iconographic obsessions 😉

      You’re right: once you have one, you can wear it with different outfits, because it’s such a classic piece. Yet, I don’t think it’s worth its price, I mean I won’t spend all that money for something I can’t wear on a daily basis (and I know I won’t wear the CdC every day). The Rivale is a bit like “I’d like to buy the CdC but I can’t afford one”, but I don’t care: it’s a good and relatively cheap alternative.

  3. You should come to Tokyo: there’s plenty of shops selling used Hermès stuff for cheap (well… cheaper) prices.
    I like all the bracelets you listed, but the silver ring is my favourite! I will look for it in the cheap japanese shops, but I will be surpised to find it!

    1. Oh, that would be awesome! I’d love to come to Tokyo, I think it’s such a fascinating city! Now I know I could shop for cheaper Hermès items there, it’s even better!

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