RÄTHEL & WOLF

RÄTHEL & WOLF is a London-based jewellery label founded in 2016 by designers Sari Räthel and Ricarda Wolf. They explore new ways of wearing jewellery and create forms directly on the body, subverting the norms of gender identity and body awareness. The label strives to contribute to a wider shift away from traditional gender constructs, with progressive desirable gender-fluid jewellery collections. The current collection consists of 14 pieces, in sterling silver or black rhodium.

I was at this house party, I think it was September. The music got too funky and it was too hot to dance so I went out in the garden for a smoke. I was with a group of nice enough people who I didn’t know that well and we were having some regular small talk about smashing the patriarchy and the fact that taking the pill sucks, when I noticed this tall girl with this fine dark bob. She was just standing there mute, looking bored, until she created some momentum by exhaling some smoke and declaring: “Well, actually, I got a funny story about this”.

So basically, her coil grew tentacles. She noticed one morning because she was on her period and her bedsheets were sort of abstract expressionist red on white, messy with a purpose. So she put her hand in her pants and there were these tiny metallic tentacles doing soft circular movements, like when you squeeze a lot of toothpaste out and it goes all curlicued. She got a little scared at first but then the little tickling became quite pleasant and she decided not to go to the doctor straight away because even if it was well weird it didn’t feel like a threat. They can get quite long but she learned to control them and sometimes it felt really snug to curl up in bed with these copper playful tentacles. “It’s like having a pet inside you” she said. Her boyfriend initially complained and wanted her to get them cut but now he’s quite fond of them as well.

 

“Oh wow”- said this other blonde girl with a ponytail – “a similar thing happen to me a couple of days ago! I thought I was the only one…”. So basically her vaginal ring was expelled, which is annoying but no big deal. Weird thing was that when she was about to put it back in, it was fluorescent, like the lame glowing jewellery you use at parties. She got a little worried at first but once back in it felt really good, very comforting, warm and pulsating, “kind of how you would imagine eating a star would feel”, she said.

 

This dude with the sardonic smile wasn’t buying it though. He had a sip of his Red Stripe and said “Well girls, you’ve got some very interesting gadgets there but I’m sure you agree that this is hard to believe, are we allowed to see them in action?”. The girl with the bob burst into some loud laugher and said “You crazy? I never show my octopus salad for free!” and we awkwardly giggled along. So it turns out that it was all bollocks, such a weird story to make up. I felt a bit cheated. I liked the idea of my coil becoming friendly living sentient jewellery inside me.

 

The blonde girl with the ponytail just kept looking at her shoes, pensively. “I wasn’t joking though” – she said, and after taking a big breath she bent her knees, put her hand in her pants and took out this glowing moist object, the size of a bracelet. Normally this would be a gross thing to do at a party but it was just so beautiful to look at. The boy with the sardonic smile stopped smiling and, wide-eyed, asked if he could touch it. Normally this would be a gross thing to do but everyone kind of wanted to touch it, it was just so, so beautiful.

He was now wearing it like a bracelet and we were all mesmerised. The bracelet was pulsating and started growing, slowly, like a Möbius band along the body of the guy, who was just there, smiling, a smile of true, true happiness. The thing, cooling down and starting to look more like metal, kept expanding over his body, and in something like five minutes it was in every interstice, in his eardrums, under his nails, spiralling along his knuckles. It was so extraordinary – and then the guy started running in the garden, with this joyful inexplicable laughter, and he kept running fluctuating in the air and kept running, faster and higher, faster and higher, so fast and so high that we couldn’t see him anymore. “Guess I’m not going to get my ring back for a while” said the girl with the blonde ponytail.

 

Text by Valentina Bin

Credits:
Photography: Johanna Laitanen
Styling: Maija Sallinen
Hair & Make-up: Maeve McElholm
Model: Jaana-Kristiina Alakoski
Share: