Haute Under the Collar

August 25, 2010, 13:52 pm  Posted by Lark Jewelry & Beading

“There is two kinds of music, the good, and the bad. I play the good kind.” Louis Armstrong

I love the Sunday New York Times, especially when a hefty T Magazine is tucked inside. Super-duper-especially when it’s the fashion edition, and I can pour over the high-end designer ads and editorial spreads.

I’m probably not the typical reader. I don’t pay much attention to the clothes. My eyes make a bee line to the jewelry, hoping (always hoping) for some innovative designs. And just when I expected to be disappointed once again…well, hello Lanvin!

Lanvin’s collection for Autumn/Winter 2010 (above, images 1, 2 & 3) ) is a mash-up of primitive and post-apocalyptic style. Mad Max’s Clan of Cave Bears or The Road Warrior’s Quest for Fire. This “ancient to the future” aesthetic definitely hits one of my sweet spots.

Was this particular collection an anomaly for the prestigious house of Lanvin, or do they regularly produce such artful jewelry? Who was the designer behind these bold pieces? Are other couture designers embracing avant-garde jewelry?

Turns out that Lanvin does have an affinity for experimental jewelry. In previous seasons, they’ve featured a “debutante-in-a-hardware-store” look (above, images 4, 5 & 6), which I find quite original, and they’ve firmly latched onto the “flattened-facet-mock-gemstone” trend (above, images 7 & 8). So, kudos to Lanvin, but…is anyone else out there?

A bit of Internet surfing turned up this lovely collection for Bottega Veneta. I find its oxidized silver muscle, abstract floral forms, and neutral stone palette to be warm and rich and thoroughly inviting. I’m not sure what season it’s from, but I’m going to pretend it’s from the “Jewelry for Marthe to Wear at a Resort in the Seychelles” collection.

And I must mention Karl Lagerfeld, a jewelry icon for his personal style. The man rocks a fistful of rings like no one else. Occasionally, this bravado spills over into his runway looks. I love, love, love the over-the-top absurdity of the earrings that mimic multiple piercings, and the “art-nouveau-for-the-leather-set” glove.

Here’s where the Louis Armstrong quote comes in and where I jump up onto my soapbox. Thank you for your patience.

I believe that there are only two kinds of jewelry design. One is is thoughtful, interesting, pleasing, well-executed, confident, and resolved. In the other, one or more of these qualities is absent or falls short. I believe that both kinds exist in every part of the jewelry world, from glamorous runways to gumball machines, and that we can and should be inspired by, value, and champion good design regardless of its course of distribution or the anonymity of its maker.


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