Jewelry does not make a man. One will not freeze to death or get shards of glass in his foot if he steps out of the house un-bejeweled. But I think that when a piece of jewelry has a certain element of intrigue, it does wonders at bringing out one's character. Steve of Style Salvage had asked me to put together a post for the "Collections" series on his blog, and I chose to do jewelry; I thought the typically bling-averse Steve would have a kick (or a heart attack) at my collection dripping with mostly faux gems.
the collection in full
When I brought out all my baubles for the shoot, I shocked myself with the sheer volume of jewelry I had amassed within the past few years. But when I looked at the collection piece by piece, I remembered how each one had an interesting back story to it, and I knew that my treasure chest, though bursting at the seams, was one to keep for at least a little while more.
(clockwise from far left) vintage silver turtle from the 80s, beer bottle pin from the Heineken Brewery in Amsterdam, vintage athletic medals, vintage chewing gum badges from the Brooklyn flea, Husam El-Odeh for Topman climbing man pin, vintage green alabaster cabochon pin, heart print pin under resin cabochon from Old Hollywood (http://oldhollywoodmoxie.com/), vintage sterling silver astronaut pin with moonstone head, vintage hairdresser pin from Amsterdam
(clockwise from far left) leather bracelets from Hermes, Margiela "batman" cuff, vintage wide silver cuff from Amsterdam, narrow metal cuffs from Number (N)ine, Husam El-Odel for Topman, and Philip Crangi
Japanese kimono belts knotted into a necklace, belly-dancing belt from India, Ann Demeulemeester lambskin "thorns" necklace, necklace with feather from chicken I had for dinner, Margiela necklace with dice inside
and more necklaces
red leather and silk tassel necklace by Filipino designer Proud Race, bead necklaces in white turquoise, opalite, and gray pearl from the gem market in Manila, DIY matchbox car necklace, zipper necklaces by Marc Jacobs
cross ring from my friend Kathleen, oxidized silver and recycled green stone ring by Norbu Bijoux in Brooklyn, red coral ring from Barcelona, vintage turquoise ring, and way too many others...
black rubber watch by Casio, calculator watches in silver and gold by Casio, Cartier Roadster watch, Rolex watch
And now for a closer look at a few of the pieces, and a tiny bit of storytelling. Allow me to tell you about...
...the ones from the earth and beyond
(vintage sterling silver astronaut pin with moonstone head and silver turtle from the 80s on vintage Pierre Cardin overcoat with a Barbour furry liner layered over.)
I think pins are a great way to get a man comfortable with jewelry: just stick them on a coat and you can forget they're there. The vintage spaceman pin was a lucky eBay find; what boy never dreamed of being an astronaut at one point? I like to wear it with the turtle to keep things down to earth.
...the ones that climb and that dangle
(Husam El-Odeh for Topman brooch, vintage salon brooch from Amsterdam on Muji tartan wool scarf with April 77 denim jacket)
The climbing soldier pin might have to be my favorite out of my entire jewelry collection, and people seem to always be fascinated by this little silver man climbing up my lapel or hanging from the edge of a jacket pocket. The salon brooch is a vintage, with the middle dangler, a hair dryer, actually detached from the piece. It reminds me of my obsession with hair.
...the one least blingy
(Martin Margiela nail ring, tailor-made shirt and trousers)
By far the subtlest out of my entire collection, I think it's one of the cleverest too. A lot of the jewelry men wear (chunky silver chains, plain band rings) can tend to be superfluous; they'd look better without them. But I think that when jewelry is intriguing enough to warrant a second look, it does wonders for one's persona.
...the one from my hometown and the one from my father
(gray pearl necklace from Manila, Cartier watch. DIY jacket, Gap shirt, tailor-made trousers)
Philippine pearls are prized the world over, but are most affordably priced in their city of origin. I decided to take a risk and don a strand of gray pearls; I thought the jacket was boldly eccentric enough to dispel any notions of "little boy trying on his mother's pearls". The watch was a gift from my father after getting good grades in college. The navy alligator strap is a special order, and is quite versatile despite it being strikingly luxe.
...the one that I made, well, sort of
(silk kimono belts used as a necklace, worn with Ivan Grundahl jacket and H&M shirt)
I purchased a vintage haori (which is the kimono equivalent of a tuxedo) at Kiteya in New York, and got three traditional silk belts to tie the haori closed. I ended up always wearing the kimono open anyway, and found myself wearing the belts as a necklace knotted loosely.
...the ones that are oriental
(pave eagle head ring, vintage "traffic light" ring from the Brooklyn flea)
I have an obsession with Orientalia; I think people wear too much Western clothing that they forget about the other half of the world. These rings, with the eagle, dragon, bright red and deep green stones, help evoke that feeling.
...the ones that are my favorites, old and new
(badge by Barbour, vintage green alabaster cabochon pin, heart print pin under resin cabochon from Old Hollywood)
The old favorite would have to be the one with the vintage heart print under a cabochon of clear resin; it's a crowd pleaser and it goes perfectly with that vintage-eccentric aesthetic I'm quite fond of. The new favorite is the oval cabochon of green alabaster: it's ever so faintly green, and isn't even polished, just roughly cut giving it that matte finish. I think it's enchantingly spare, and quite enigmatic.
Read the original post on my jewelry collection on Style Salvage. Steve did a similar post on his collection of shoes.
Special thanks to: Mayors pre owned watches