This past weekend, Hood By Air’s spring 2016 menswear show flooded Instagram timelines and Tumblr pages everywhere. This was due in part to the handiwork of Dolly Cohen, the Parisian “mouth jewelry” designer who created all of the grotesque, toothy accessories worn by models that generated major buzz across fashion week headlines. There were blinged-out, cheek-tugging grills, pacifiers with dangling locks, and sparkling mouth rings like the one Arca modeled on the runway. The unmistakeable concept behind the collection was “infantile glamour,” a state between the comfort and discomfort of childhood. "We did pacifiers, and we just sort of wanted to consider this idea of how when you’re being vocal, you’re being very open,” HBA head Shayne Oliver told Dazed Digital. “This is a voice, physically you can see it, but this person is trying to say something to you even though they are silent."
That sentiment can also be applied to the last runway collaboration Cohen created. Last year for Givenchy’s fall 2015 menswear collection, Cohen dreamed up Hannibal Lecter-like grills that had the appearance of being stitched to its wearer’s lips. As a designer whose work is so hard to overlook, you’d think Cohen would at least have her own Wikipedia page—but she operates under the radar. She opts to use Tumblr as a portfolio of the dainty grills she makes for the likes of Rihanna, Drake, A$AP Rocky, and Cara Delevingne, to name a few. Here, we break down everything you need to know about Dolly Cohen, Paris' foremost mouth jeweler.
Cohen has grill-making down to a science
Up until the Parisian designer’s boyfriend asked her to create grill almost a decade ago, Cohen had been working 9-to-5 life as a dental technician.
But there’s a reason you probably haven’t heard of her
Cohen operates without a webstore or major online presence, and has attracted her cult following through word of mouth. It started with A$AP Rocky—who tracked down Dolly after seeing one of her grills—and Rihanna and Cara Delevingne quickly followed.
Although you'll have seen her work on social media
Unless you’re famous, good luck buying one of her grills
If you don’t run in any of those circles, you’ll have to send Dolly an email and pray that she gets back to you. “I have a laboratoire,” she told Vogue. “But I go to my clients. Je suis un nomad. I am a nomad.” Just be sure to have at least 200 euros on hand.
No, she won’t make you a copy of Drake’s grill
She works within a very unique timeframe
Naturally, it depends on the number of teeth involved. “One gold tooth is one day—obligatory,” she told Vogue. For example, Cara’s namesake grill took Dolly two days and a night.
Lead thumbnail: via @distalphalanx