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“Creativity combined with attention to detail defines luxury,” says Australian designer Samantha Wills. “Fashion jewelry,” she asserts, “can evoke the same confidence in the wearer as fine jewelry.  Costume jewelry does not have to be cheap!”  

 

               WHAT IT COMES DOWN TO IS HAVING A LOOK.

 

“Even if you are going to a big gala, it doesn’t mean you have to wear diamonds,” declares Melinda Spigel, designer.  You can still look fabulous in fashion jewelry pieces that mimic the real thing in everything thing but price.

   —Don’t forget:  Costume jewelry was the brain child of Coco Chanel, perhaps the premiere European haute couture designer of the Twentieth Century.  She knew how to make a woman look marvelous!

 

With the economy on the skids, money tight, and fine gemstone jewelry outrageously expensive, costume jewelry is again coming to the fore in fashion.  Yes, smaller pieces of real jewelry can reduce costs for those who want to take that route.  But nobody really wants to look like less than they did last year, and last year was a time for major-sized jewelry pieces. 

                      

                                             Drama and Presence

 

“Big pieces add drama and just show up more,” explains accessories designer, Ashley Dodgen-McCormick. To keep the large size momentum going, the shift is to costume jewelry.  And…it looks great!

 

HERE ARE SOME EXTRAORDINARY COSTUME JEWELRY PIECES TO GIVE YOU A SOCIETY LOOK EVEN WITH A PEASANT’S BUDGET:

 

 

 

 

  • 15-strand beaded choker/necklace features tiny Bohemian glass beads in rich colors.  Strands are twisted for high fashion impact!

 

“You can achieve a lot of drama for not a lot of money with good costume jewelry,” says stylist Rachel Zoe, who has been collecting vintage costume jewelry for 20 years. And drama, let’s face it, is really where much of fashion – especially haute couture – is at. 

 

Just look at the runway shows in Paris, Milan, New York, and elsewhere, and you are often overwhelmed with the phenomenal theatrics orchestrating the latest in women’s and men’s apparel and accessories.   

 

                                    Mastering Your Own Stuff

 

PERHAPS THE REAL ATTRACTION to costume jewelry now goes a lot deeper than price, more toward a democratization of experience.  Not many people can afford real gemstone jewelry collections, and even here, a revolution is taking place, as fine jewelers turn to less expensive metals and stones in order to still keep the “look” demanded by today’s fashion. With these changes, costume jewelry is rising in stature and demand! 

 

Writing on the same subject is Matthew B.Crawford, author of Shop Class As Soulcraft.  With a PhD in political philosophy, Crawford has had more than his share of elitist jobs — including a stint at a high-paying job at a Washington think tank – but he left it all to open a motorcycle repair shop in Virginia.

    —“Any job that has to be done on-site is relatively safe from the logic of outsourcing,” he says.

 

Following in the steps of America’s leading philosopher, Emerson, (and his extraordinary book, Self Reliance), Crawford promotes working at jobs where you take responsibility for your work and where you can use your own judgment instead of blindly following a set of rules and procedures. His focus is on quality and creativity. And that, frequently, puts costume jewelry on the same level as fine jewelry.  Done well, both can incorporate vision and meaning, Crawford says. It’s not just a matter of price.

 

                                    A New American Movement

 

Many top designers agree with verve, along with retailers and even fashion editors, who are spearheading a new American movement toward a broader recognition of what constitutes beauty and value in fashion. 

 

The latest fall handbag collection from Alexander McQueen, for example, is on magazine display with a great looking, heavy medieval-looking brass necklace of chain and cross pendants.  The combination is not even startling; it all just goes together marvelously. In another example, gunmetal-plated brass earrings and a hematite metal spike necklace are brilliant accessories for a rich, Alexander Wang black leather jacket.

 

YOU CAN FIND HIGH AESTHETICS IN HEMATITE JEWELRY WITHOUT SPENDING A FORTUNE, TOO.  HERE ARE SOME PIECES TO LOOK AT:

 

 

 

Comments (0) Posted by Mary McGarry on Wednesday, August 19th, 2009


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