Jewellery can be a dangerous thing. The 2006 film Blood Diamond brought to public conciousness the dark trading that can sometimes be behind the procurement of these pure gem stones. Bankrupting sums are spent on the crafting of jewellery settings, whilst museums such as the Victoria and Albert Museum in London have whole departments dedicated to them. Most of the stones and metals used are natural and their compositions small, yet their values far exceed just their weight. Craftsmen and Houses such as Faberge and Tiffany’s have only increased the value of their creations through myths and stories. It is this dichotomy of small, yet dark and significant that inspired me two design two compositions for my fashion image portfolio.
For Christmas my brother’s girlfriend Lea gave me a stunning pair of drop pearl earrings by Hope Blakemore; the name is a combination of the two designers names. Turns out one half of the team works with Lea and creates these earrings in her spare time. Hope Blakemore will soon be hosting a stand at Spitalfields Market, London. I love how they are easily wearable with casual or evening wear.
Also for Christmas I received a classic Alexander McQueen silk chiffon skull scarf from my dad. It actually took me some time to come to love this motif: before, I was more enamoured with the designer’s exactly tailored silhouettes and technically intricate details. His work, so dark but painfully beautiful.
Suddenly, the idea hit me to combine the two gifts into the images I have called ‘Deathly Beautiful’ and ‘Cagey Beauty’.
Deathly Beauty is a reinterpretation of the earrings Lea gave me with a skull clearly influenced by McQueen. Nature is another beautiful but scary power, hence why the background is a retouched image of tree bark to follow on with the theme of beauty/dark.
Cagey Beauty is a discussion of our attitude to jewellery. Some people are fortunate to possess incredible pieces of beauty and value, whether through family or personal acquisition. Due to the value of these pieces, they are often stored in vaults for safe keeping, only to be appreciated for ‘special occasions’. As the earth’s population becomes ever more mobile in movement and communication, we are wanting to share all our experiences with anyone willing to listen. Travelling with our treasure is too costly so a whole industry has gone in to production to create near perfect replicas for us to globe-trot with. I wonder what is the point of owning these works of art if they are never to see the light of day? Self-gratification maybe. If you own it, show it, otherwise it deserves to be loved by all in a museum.