And now we take a pause from the bike-centric for a fashion highlight on:
I don’t think that cufflinks get enough attention. And I think that they may appeal to Candy Cranks readers, so allow me to elaborate.
A few years ago I acquired a very bold and very pink button-down shirt. The only sartorial problem was what to do at the wrists, because the shirt sleeves ended in the button-less mystery of French cuffs. My quest for cufflinks was born.
Cufflinks are a largely under-appreciated ornament, typically only spotted on bankers, European CEOs and the stray dandy. And forget about seeing cufflinks on a woman. But why are cufflinks so ignored? Why do we submit to the tyranny of shirtmakers who impose their choice of cuff buttons on us?
Cufflinks are bits of color and texture, fragments of delight at the end of the sleeve. They add a flourish without the weight or bother of something hanging from your ears or around your neck (something that bikers wearing helmets and bike bags and trying to avoid getting strangled by rear view mirrors can appreciate).
And something a little punk rock happens when a woman wears cufflinks — perhaps like when women started wearing pants — it co-opts a bit of boardroom from the boys. For my pink shirt, I started with a simple pair of silk knots (the “training wheels” of the cufflink world). In branching out, I came across the Minnesota-based designer William Dean, more commonly known as “WMDEAN, the King of Handmade Cufflinks.”
WMDEAN makes handmade cufflinks (pictured above) from various materials such as gemstones, found objects like old coins and glass beads and metals like platinum, silver and recycled aluminum. They are edgy and playful — my favorites are the pink cameos, which are not your grandmama’s cameos, because the delicate motif in relief happens to be a skull-and-crossbones.
WMDEAN recently participated in a Q&A for Candy Cranks, excerpts of which follow.
CC: How would you describe your cufflinks?
WD: I like to believe that my cufflinks embody the spirit of Salvador Dali‘s surrealism and Marcel Duchamp‘s love of found objects. I also have a deep fascination for symbols and the meanings behind them. Put those three artistic elements together and you get WMDEAN.
CC: Which are your favorites?
WD: It really changes from day to day. I feel that wearing cufflinks can be a discreet way in which a person, can express themselves. Like many cufflink lovers, I own hundreds of pairs of cufflinks. When I wear cufflinks, it’s a reflection of my mood. Right now, I am really into a pair I made that remind me of Duchamp’s Anemic Cinema (pictured above). They are mostly orange, which I love! They have a brown metallic swirl that runs through them. They are set in a WMDEAN exclusive bezel cup with a button back in Sterling Silver. Best of all, they look FANTASTIC on men or women.
CC: What do you think of cufflinks on women?
WD: I find that many women are looking for cufflinks for that one french cuff shirt that they have in the closet. They love that shirt, but can’t find the right cufflinks to dress it up. The truth is that most cufflink manufacturers are not interested in making cufflinks for women. I disagree! I believe that women need cool cufflinks too! Besides that, if the cufflinks ROCK, then the woman will buy them for special people in her life too!
CC: Where is best to find your cufflinks?
CC: What’s next?
WD: WORLD DOMINATION! Totus genus flectus dementis Regis salutant qui sibi artifex dixit! (Everyone bow down to the MAD King… who calls himself an ARTIST!)
In closing, WMDEAN has a special offer for Candy Cranks readers. He says that if you become a fan on his Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/pages/North-Oaks-MN/WMDEAN/111600214935?ref=ts, and post a message on his wall saying, “WMDEAN is the KING,” his company will contact you privately to send you a FREE pair of cufflinks.
Can’t beat that. Thanks WMDEAN!