Sruli Recht’s Autumn/Winter 2013 menswear collection has plenty to delight and astonish: polygonal militia jackets derived from walnut wood, sweaters composed of unwound lambswool skeins, and even Trojan Horse-like veneer boots with hinged openings. No item is more surprising, however, than the Icelandic designer’s “Forget Me Knot” ring, a one-of-a-kind bauble made with a swath of flesh from Recht’s own abdomen. (Click below the fold for a video of the operation if you have the stomach for it.)
Recht’s own digestive tract must be lined with steel. Following its removal, the designer stripped the 110-by-10-millimeter piece of skin of subcutaneous tissue and fat, salted and tanned it with alum solution, then mounted the resulting leather onto a 24-karat gold band, wiry belly hairs intact. For obvious reasons, this will be the sole edition of Recht’s design.
For obvious reasons, this will be the sole edition of Recht’s design.
If you have €350,000 ($474,740) to spare, it can even be yours. The ring comes with a DNA certificate and a DVD “making of” documentary, complete with the surgical procedure and interviews with everyone involved.
Despite its obvious sensationalism, Recht’s stunt raises at least one question: If wearing human skin is so reprehensible, why should animal leather be regarded any differently?
Chew on that.