The Bespokesman - Snail cufflinks

Throughout my twenties minimalism defined my taste in clothes, an urge that was given designer endorsement at the start of the Noughties when Hedi Slimane was in the ascendancy during his years at Dior Homme. In recent years, however, I have gradually started to believe that there is a place for ostentation and ornamentation in a man’s wardrobe. This change found expression initially in an uncontroversial white linen pocket square but before long I was in danger of losing my footing on foppery’s slippery slope; the distance between a red sock and a silver-topped cane isn’t as far as you might imagine.

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It’s in this context that I share my admiration for Kiki McDonough’s elaborate snail-shell cufflinks. Intrigued by the design I asked McDonough, a London jeweller, to explain these extraordinary items, and their extraordinary price. They are, in her words, “handmade umbonium [sea snail] shell cufflinks with a faceted blue topaz stone and stingray skin bars set on 18ct gold.” I can’t yet be entirely lost to dandyism, because I do wonder if the topaz doesn’t over egg the pudding, but it may only be a matter of time.

Kiki McDonough, 12 Symons Street, London SW3 2TJ Tel: +44 (0)20 7730 3323, www.kiki.co.uk

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