Wednesday, October 15, 2008

On Jewelry

I think jewelry is underrated.  Fashion today tends to be about new shapes: on shoulders, on trousers, and statement accessories such as footwear and bags; jewelry is sadly relegated to the sidelines.  But most people are missing out.  Jewelry does things for an ensemble that you simply can't achieve by clothing alone.  For example, small trinkets add depth and personality to everyday outfits and eventually become a part of you.  

The Search for Chic's Conroy and Wilcox gold thorn ring

Bold statement pieces, on the other hand, elevate basic clothes.  


Chic Clinic's Marimekko for H&M necklace

And unlike shoes or bags, fine jewelry is an investment that actually increases in price over the years.

Now some would say the only appropriate piece of jewelry for men would be a watch and I admit, jewelry for men is very tricky.  With so many negative stereotypes to try to veer away from, namely:

1.  dirty hippie,

2.  eurotrash (Dearest Dolce and Gabbana, I used to adore you back in 2005 but I can now say with conviction that I've fallen out of love.), 

3.  guido,

(I did not make this)

it might be best for majority of the male population to steer clear of jewels.  Unlike clothes, bags or shoes, jewelry doesn't serve any functional purpose and if it sticks out the wrong way, boy does it look awkward.  

But for those guys who tirelessly want to push the envelope and try wearing jewelry, the choices are rather interesting.  I'm particularly fascinated by Margiela's men's jewelry nowadays.  

a snapshot of Margiela's latest collection for men

He never fails to come up with oddly beautiful pieces that make you smile.  This blog has seen way too much of my batman cuff and my dice necklace that I'd rather just link them.  Just for kicks, I tried on this Margiela barbed wire ring at Lane Crawford a couple of months ago and I was pleasantly surprised.  

The barb is rather large, and the metal is bright and shiny; the edges are dulled for safety, of course.  Overall it gave off an air of toughness that wasn't too biker, a certain offbeat-ness that was not off-putting, I like.  Most definitely on my wish list.  

The late Isabella Blow has her hats, Sea of Shoes her shoes, my mother's thing is jewelry.  It isn't uncommon to see her shopping in a wide, evening-gown-worthy diamond cuff, or walking around at home, trying out her new huge cocktail ring with her slightly raggedy house clothes.  She lives for unique pieces, and somehow she makes it work.

Perhaps that's the reason I hold jewelry in such high regard; I grew up in awe of such a jewelry junkie.  I think jewelry, the real thing in particular, gives the wearer an aura of elegance, of being larger-than-life even.  I like that even as people see you approaching from a distance, the shine on your ears reaches them before you actually do.  When I'm in the mood for that larger-than-life sparkle, I put this on, a gift from my mother:

white gold chain-link bracelet with one pave link with a princess-cut diamond in the center

In the end, what fascinates me about jewelry is trying to guess the story behind them and how they relate to the user.  I see a woman at the mall wearing quite a sizeable pair of brilliants on her ears and I think: real or fake?  Her own or inherited?  Old rich or golddigger?  A guy in sharp office attire wearing a weathered string bracelet alongside his Bell&Ross and I think: Sentimental value?  Gift from an old girlfriend?  Boyfriend?  Deceased friend?  Or just some meaningless accessory?  

Wear what speaks of who you are.  Whether it's a statement (that you're beautiful and fabulous and you want everyone's eyes on you) or whether it's volumes and volumes of the story of your life (relationships, past and present, that never leave you), you might find it nice to let the jewels do the talking.  


♥ fashion chalet said...

Thank you.

Yes, for me organizing is more fun that an actual chore. ;)

xo/ fashion chalet

thesearchforchic said...

Such a beautiful written post... I had to laugh at the 'dirty hippie' :D

I agree on everything.. I have really had my eyes open for what jewellery can do to add that little extra interest. There is a bracelet which has been on my mind for some time now.

For guys, I adore necklaces I saw it on quite a few guys in Paris..and there is just something confident-sexy about it.

Again, wonderful post. :)

DaisyChain said...

I really like man jewellery, when it's done right.
Of course it can look awful, but still, I mainly like it =)

Susanna-Cole said...

I totally agree, I think jewelry can make or break an outfit! And certainly if you have an amazing piece of jewelry, you can make it the focal point of your look, instead of your actual garments. :)

By the way, thanks so much for commenting and sharing your thoughts on schools with me! :)


chauss said...

there is a rose for you on my blog.

Nature Grafitti said...

i laughed out loud at the "guido"
... that a term that is completely new to me, but i love it. its perfect!!
i adoree the Margiela pieces. I say go for it! You'll make all of it look amazing :)

nv said...

i love these statment pieces and simple silver and gold rings.

i lol'd at the guido thing HAHA. too funny.

camie said...

If jewelry were underrated how come they don't get any cheaper?

I want new earrings.

RetroVintageModStyle said...

I agree for us men jewelery can be such a tricky subject since we're left with very few and basic options such as: cufflinks, watches, rings, and chains...and all of them in very classic and regal styles...

Jewelery besides giving life to an outfit is a pure reflection of yourself.

I laughed so hard at the Guido...they're just like Starbucks...everywhere lol

Mens Necklace said...

Nice written..

Thanks for the post.

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