Is jewelry a fashion designer’s friend or foe? It’s difficult to say exactly what ornament does on a fashion runway. While I love to see the designer’s vision completed and consider the suggestion for the season, I’m not convinced that many designers truly understand the incredible opportunity presented when it comes to finishing their looks with jewelry. Granted there is an argument that can be made that says the ensembles are enough. BUT…is that realistically considering the way women dress day today? Many of them enjoy wearing jewelry, and they will wear it whether or not a designer shows it on the runway.
So far, there were many deep v-necklines, long limbs, earlobes, and fingers that went bare and then there were higher necklines framed in a cacophony of color and paired with beaded jewelry that celebrated a rainbow of ethnic exuberance. The mix was so blended that you didn’t know where the necklace began and the dress ended. Libertine was a prime example here. Did I like it? Yes. However, I liked it best when it is intentional and not an afterthought, and not as a place card holder for better bling to come, such as was the case for the Tadashi Shoji show.
Cynthia Rowley’s turtleneck dresses sparkled courtesy of the fashion jewelry firm du jour, Dannijo, although I was hard-pressed to tell if the collars were necklaces or just elaborately embroidered with beading.
The sculpted wood earrings at M. Patmos hung in a semi-circular configuration hovering right under the chin, framing the face in a surprisingly flattering way and all without a Swarovski crystal in sight. There was a handcraft orientation to them that felt right with the high color of the lush knits. On the practical side, these earrings won’t catch and pull either, a kind of smart thought for sweater-dressing.
Hollywood’s big night is in only three weeks and Tadashi Shoji offered up a delicious menu of frocks to consider. Beautiful as they are, the jewelry on the runway was a whisper, and predictably placed on the ear and the wrist as we have seen far too many times on red carpets past. The pieces amounted to placards that could have easily read, “PUT YOUR BLING HERE!” While I did enjoy the clothes, the statement is much more effective when the styling is intended to inspire, otherwise leave it to the imaginations of celebrities and their stylists.
I’ll leave you with my last thought for next fall, which isn’t exactly about jewelry as it is about accessories in general. Have you ever worn a scarf as if it were a fabulous necklace? I have, do, and in the coming February, just may. TSE gave us scarves that had the command, ease, and elegance of a fabulous Tony Duquette for Coach necklace (have you seen the collection designed by my pal Hutton Wilkinson? Talk about incredible and accessible!).
I’ll be blogging about NYFW over the course of the weekend so please check back. Also I will have a couple of book reviews about my favorite jewelry designer, Suzanne Belperron and Van Cleef & Arpels sent over a copy of Bals that look forward to sharing with you.