Monday, January 26, 2009

Ain't Got No Body Chain

Spent a great afternoon yesterday at the Royal Academy of Arts' Byzantium 330-1453 exhibition. Two of the most glorious items in galleries filled with the riches were the gold body chains. What's a body chain? I didn't know either, and now I wonder why this seductive style has not survived to the present day. 

Unfortunately the scan doesn't show precisely how it sits, but imagine the piece creating an X on the body front and back, with the top chains passing over the shoulders and the lower chains underneath the arms, connecting at the back with a catch. The jeweled central junction, here holding an amethyst and surrounding garnets, would sit at sternum level. 

How cool is this? The only cognates I could find were Pancho Villa's crossed bandoliers (equally eye-catching for different reasons) and some cheapy-cheap diamante body harnesses, the sort of thing that the hired entertainer might wear at a certain kind of bachelor party. 

The style deserves a more discerning audience. Women of all shapes could rock the links off a heavy gold version like the Byzantine one above, with a black or bronze jersey column dress or even a dead-simple white sleeveless t-shirt. The look? Totally Gallo-Roman chic.


  1. Check out Kallisti for modern body chains, they can be worn multiple ways with t-shirts or basic dresses.

  2. Here's the link!

  3. Like this,is that available in amazon?