Quote: Ditlev Tamm, Danish author, Professor Emeritus, LLD and DPhil

“I’m grateful to experience this era. It suits my outlook on the world.”

The problem’s not genders but normativity

In an interview in Information, I read a quote in which you stated: “The problem’s not genders but normativity”. And that you express inner tension by your attire.

How do you wear clothes – and jewellery – in that context?

Over the years, I’ve become far more interested in my appearance than I was in the past . I deliberately wear changing combinations of conventionally feminine and masculine clothing as a statement that I personally feel most at ease in more androgynous attire; that I experience gender as fluid; that aesthetics express personality; and that it’s fun to do away with the norm by which certain items of clothing are conventionally the preserve of a specific gender. For me, the norm should be to wear whatever makes you feel most at ease.

DITLEV TAMM

(born 7 March 1946 in Copenhagen, Denmark) is a Danish author, professor emeritus, LLD and DPhil.[1] and former professor of legal history at the University of Copenhagen.

Aside from his scholarly research and authorship, Tamm is a keen contributor to public debate.

Tamm is a sworn Conservative, and has been referred to as “productive, out-spoken and an eclectic bon vivant”.

Late in life, Tamm came out as a cross-dresser, meaning that he also wears feminine clothing.

Quote: Ditlev Tamm

“It’s easier to be courageous when you don’t stand alone. These days, I’m oblivious to other people’s opinions. But that wasn’t the case 50 years ago.”

Philosophy and spirit

How do you find the courage, and how do you deal with fear and doubt in that context?

“Age probably played a not-insignificant role in my desire to express myself more colourfully and bodily. In my youth, I dare say I didn’t have the courage, and didn’t think so much along those lines – these days I don’t give any thought to whether it’s courageous. I just do it, and then the spirit, courage and freedom follow suit. I’ve reached a stage in my life where I don’t fear for myself, but perhaps for the impact on those I care about.”

Quote: Ditlev Tamm

“I tap into the tension between feminine apparel and the masculine statement.”

Do you have an opinion on the biodiversity crisis and ecological balance?

“I’ve travelled widely, and visited very beautiful natural sites both in the past and more recently, and yes, I’m concerned about the changes I’ve observed, about species becoming extinct, and about the future of the planet. People didn’t worry about that when I was young, but I do understand the passionate commitment of younger generations.

The Ruby Tiger insect design The Ruby Tiger insect design

A one-of-a-kind hand-made design crafted in sterling silver and pure silver with details in 14-karat gold and enamel.

Size and weight
Wingspan: 90 mm.
Body, from tail to head: 65 mm.
Total length: 80 mm.
Weight: 28.3 grams

The Ruby Tiger moth can be worn as a brooch or as a pendant from the hand-crafted chain necklace supplied.

This design was made specially for you, Ditlev

The inspiration for this piece derives from the eponymous insect, and it was designed specially for you.

I was inspired by your delight in colours, your courage, and your creativity in life. Your personality inspired thoughts of the nocturnal insect, the ruby tiger (Phragmatobia fuliginosa)

With its wings folded, the ruby tiger is subtly brown and elegant. But when it opens its wings, it reveals its bright red body.

The colour of this design is inspired by the many photos I have seen of you dressed in bright colours, with pink and leopard spot print being especially striking. Honouring that style, the insect body is coated in transparent chestnut brown, olive green and pink enamel.

My work process