This week, the most Loved product on the AnOther Loves stream is a Givenchy nose ring, chosen by fashion PR and founder of Mandi's Basement, Mandi Lennard. Featured in Riccardo Tisci’s Givenchy A/W12 menswear show, the statement jewellery also appeared in the fashion house’s preceding S/S12 haute couture presentation.
While nostril piercings are the most common nose piercings, the Givenchy nose ring actually hangs from the nasal septum. Dating back to Ancient times, members of the old Mayan, Aztec and Inca civilisations were particularly fond of the piercing, inserting large pieces of jewellery through it in order to give the face a fierce appearance and scare off the enemy.
More recently, septum piercings have been adopted by Native Americans; notably worn by Shawnee leaders Tecumseh and Tenskwatawa. Also popular in parts of India, Tibet and Nepal, traditionally Bengali women wear the “Nathori” (a gold ring with a teardrop that moves along the ring) as a sign of being a married woman.
Septum piercings are sometimes performed on animals, usually bulls, as a requirement for being exhibited at agricultural shows and for control when handling. They are also used to prevent pigs rooting, and to encourage the weaning of young calves and other livestock by discouraging them from suckling.
For the Givenchy menswear show the incorporation of the nose ring came very much as part of the looks – used to represent the collection’s underlying mythical masculine figure of the Minotaur: half monster and half man within the modern gentleman. Reinforcing the dark and gothic aesthetic of the collection the embellished nose ring added a hard and slightly tribal (a key trend of the season) edge to the collection.
Facial piercings have featured a number of times on the catwalk previously. Alexander Wang gave his models mock septum rings; Hakaan dressed his girls in mock bridge piercings; and in menswear, Thierry Mugler gave his skeletal tattooed models a variety of facial adornments for A/W11.
Here, we speak to Lennard about her views on nose piercings and what she would wear this one with if she owned it…
What made you choose to Love this Givenchy nose ring?
It's time we all had nose rings again, and seeing Givenchy feature this element so prominently in their show...
If you owned this Givenchy one what would you wear it with?
Probably pull it right down with jeans 'n' sneakers.
Featured in the Givenchy menswear S/S12 show and also women’s haute couture – what were your overall impressions of both collections?
Do you have any pieces on your wish list?
Just the nose ring.
What kind of person do you think can rock a septum piercing or nose ring?
Anyone. I used to wear a fake one I got from Kensington Market – De La Soul days!
Have you ever had one and what have you got pierced?
Not pierced, it was a fake, but it looked convincing. Elsewhere I've got loads of holes in my right ear that closed up years ago and just have earlobe piecring now – one in each.
What kind of jewellery do you wear in your piercings?
I like cheap tat from Taj Gold on Delancey at Clinton Street.
Who are your piercing style icons?
Francis Bean Cobain.
Text by Lucia Davies