FIRSTLY WE WANT TO to acknowledge those subtle distinctions that shape our impressions of each other. When faced with someone entirely new our image of that person is created through quick-fire intuition and experience-based judgement. Immediately one creates a haphazard collage that serves to make sense of the abrupt unknown. Then, in hindsight, they might say something like “they seemed nice” or “I didn’t get a good vibe from them”. That first meeting conclusion, while largely inconsequential, is the product of an intricate perennial language that we share, including everything from the tone of our voice to the flicker of our eyelids.
Jewellery is a part of that on-going language. Every piece we wear speaks, in some way, to its wearer and to those that see it. This is always taken into account when designers put pencil to paper and plan their next collection. The pieces that capture the market’s attention are also often personified and imbued with their own individual character. Often this is provided by their wearer, like certain mementos that remind us of somewhere we’ve been or heirlooms associated with members of our family.
When it comes to style there are countless glib and grandiose phrases used to describe very simple ideas. In truth style is whatever makes you free and allows you to express yourself without any inhibitions. So if fluorescent sweatpants make you feel most at ease and at one with yourself then, for goodness sake, wear them with pride. If any elitist prude turns their nose up or asks if it’s some sort of wonderfully ironical statement, then you could say it’s your homage to the counter-culture South African zef style. It’s all about you, in the end. When it comes to the fictitious finer details of what’s cool and what isn’t just walk on by. Avoid the fickle ebb and flow of trends and remember that authenticity is integral to the finding of your signature style.
With this in mind we’ve listed a few different jewellery personas to help you discover the designs that suit your self-perception.
Fun-loving Free Spirit
High end fashion has a reputation for being very serious, with straight-faced models striding down the runway and fiery editor-in-chiefs rampaging across their various publications. However some fashion is simply fun. In fact just this year the New York fashion showman Marc Jacobs threw a runway show disguised as a movie premiere at the legendary Ziegfeld Theatre. For one night the plush red, chandelier-crowded lobby was lined with popcorn, candy and fountain soda stands. As the attendees entered the theatre a live orchestra faded a jazzy line into jumping garage rock. The next thing they saw was the world premiere worthy red carpet that split the pits of photographers. Then they were treated to a 70s smorgasbord of sparky celluloid sequins, da-doo-ron-ron varsity jackets and biker babe apparel. The event focused on the frivolity and escapism that enriches the pursuit of fashion.
Another good example of style with its hair down is Helena Bonham Carter.
“All I’m into is dressing up,” she once said.
Flamboyant corsets and gothic decorations are now intrinsically linked with Carter’s identity. Her outlandish outfits, which are technically impeccable examples of unconventional artistry, also evoke an image of Carter as a young kid gleefully tearing through a dressing-up box. The theatrical aspect of fashion is vivified by unconformity and a willingness to have fun. In Carter’s case it was supposedly inspired by the magical realms of theatre, books and fairy tales. This style is perfect for anyone who isn’t afraid to raise some quizzical eyebrows. As the writer Richard Matheson once said: ‘Normalcy [is] a majority concept’. Conformity is about finding a place within the crowd, so why be normal? Why deny the pull of the unknown?
Bold and Bulletproof
Some people believe that fashion is much more than just another form of costume. Many say that what you wear communicates something about your character. Thereby style is redefined as a form of self-expression and a way of affirming ones status through the use of symbols and statement attire. We’ve all seen those crass t-shirts decorated with slogans in block-capital writing, right? Well recently this was adapted by Amber Rose and Blac Chyna who wore skin-tight outfits branded with the degrading insults and labels that were being bandied around the tabloids. In doing so they embraced the hate slurs and proved the power of fashion.
Style can also be used as a weapon in the armament of the political warrior. For example, Kill Bill actress Daryl Hannah wore an End Oil dress for the 2011 Environmental Awards, in attempt to draw attention to the finite potential of fossil fuels. In another instance Katy Perry donned a dress decorated with a presidential ballot to promote President Obama’s re-election in 2012. But perhaps the most famous example of a bold fashion statement was the ‘we’d rather go naked than wear fur’ campaign in 1994. The use of clothing, or lack thereof, became a tool in a fight for animal welfare and a direct and widespread challenge to expose the insensate poaching industry.
Make your own statement with this sophisticated Oval Necklace and Sapphire Pendant.
How do you find the worth of something you don’t really need? The answer is simple: emotion. The mind can reach through the surface of something and find power within it. When such a power is seen in an individual piece of jewellery it becomes a talisman. We’ve been wearing talismans since the earliest records of human civilisation and in all that time countless leading figures in our societies have worn jewellery as symbols of status and lineage.
Heirlooms in particular are commonly used within families to honour loved ones. They also evolve over time, depending on who they are associated with. For example, Princess Diana’s ring, which was passed onto Kate Middleton, has come to represent not just royalty, but strong matriarchs and graceful philanthropy.