Jewelry, in its most primitive form, has likely been around since the beginning of civilization. Humans created decorations from the things around them like shells, bones, stones and wood. Specific pieces were made for each part of the body.
Throughout the centuries jewelry became a symbol of wealth and status. In Rome, for example, only certain ranks could wear rings. Members of royalty wore crowns. It has been used as currency. Wealth was amassed with giant collections of jewelry.
Jewelry has even been used in the theater of politics. “Read My Pins: The Madeleine Albright Collection” features more than 200 lapel pins, many of which she purposefully wore to communicate messages in international relations during her diplomatic tenure. She wore a snake pin when meeting with the Iraqi officials after Saddam Hussein referred to her as an “unparalleled serpent.” At one point, Russian leader Vladimir Putin told President Clinton that he knew what the mood of a meeting would be by looking at Albright's left shoulder. The Smithsonian featured the collection, illustrating its “historical significance, expressive power and ability to convey specific messages through a style and language of its own.”
Jewelry is probably my favorite accessory. Even when I gain a pound or two, my earrings always fit. As a side note, I happen to feel the exact same way about shoes, scarves and purses, much to my husband’s dismay. Today, statement pieces are the core of achieving style success with jewelry. I usually wear large bold pieces, and I’m always looking for new things that I can wear just as easily with jeans as with more formal attire.
A large majority of my pieces are costume. Gone are the days that costume jewelry is considered disposable, even though I’ve had some that should have been. Coco Chanel greatly popularized the use of faux jewelry in her years as a fashion designer, bringing costume jewelry to life with gold and faux pearls. I love to mix good-looking costume jewelry with the fine pieces I do have to really make a statement. Make no mistake though; I have left fingerprints and nose prints on glass cases of fine jewelry all across the metro. Publishers Clearinghouse just hasn’t found my house yet, although I’m sure they’re looking for me. I suppose it’s because I’ve recently moved.
Learning how to properly accessorize with jewelry is a skill no woman should be without. At this month’s photo shoot, we had a nearly endless supply of some of the area’s most amazing jewelry and accessories. It seemed that the more we layered and mixed, the better it looked. The right piece makes a strong statement and secures you a high rung on the style ladder. The right pieces, combined together, take it to a completely different level.
In the next couple of weeks, why not go spend some time in your jewelry box? Try to see things differently, combining the casual with the dressy; the fine with the faux. Mix metals. Stack your rings. Go large. Add multiple bracelets, but most of all, have fun experimenting. Jewelry is an expression of your personal style. The more you play around, the more comfortable you’ll be with creating your own signature look.
And lastly, don’t forget your pearls. According to the fashion blogs, they are the ultimate “go to” jewelry accessory for Spring 2011. Mix them with everything and wear them en masse…a la Coco Chanel.
Thanks for picking up this month’s issue of VIP Jackson Magazine. It’s great having you as one of our readers. Enjoy!