Back around the time in which I read Vogue was not surprisingly the same time in which I could dick around and had a greater amount of discretionary funds (a.k.a. high school). And as my mom had always allowed me the liberty to make big fashion faux-pas when I was younger (big globes of sparkly earrings in third grade, shiny Vans in seventh), I finally found a stride in high school after "falling off the bike" numerous times. In this regard, I became a bit miffed when I saw "high-low fashion" was the next big thing (at least in '99) as it had been my game for awhile. And while I wasn't pairing Gap t-shirts with Armani skirts as they claimed was fashionable in Vogue, I generally played some variation of the hobo look from the waist up and the "I might care" look from the waist down before going full on "no-shits" in college. But as my fashion tastes have evolved and are even returning to something in the range of formality (gray hair has to care), I've found that it's always nice to have a small piece which tells the world, "I haven't fully fallen off the bike even though I'm in pajamas." And so, as summer rolls around and we (hopefully) all relax a bit more into our respective summer uniforms, I like throw on a small piece of jewelry in a general nod to being human. They don't add heat to your ensemble and can generally pair well with what's pared down. A few of my favorite pieces and designers lie below. Enjoy!Alighieri: While I still don’t have time to read much (and generally don’t like to), when I do read in the summer, I've found I really enjoy the writings of female authors. While The Da Vinci Code will always go down as my favorite tome in a nod to my uncultured tastes in literature, I always liked how my favorite female writers seemed to speak in another "code" that could easily be translated by “nasty women” (a.k.a. those who fights their own battles). And as anyone who engages in battle knows: you’re gonna need some armor.
The act of mining, in both its real and symbolic forms, is risky business. In either circumstance, traveling or digging deep below ground indicates a dive into the unknown where various dangers and challenges await. And while the actual practice of digging up rocks brings about many physical and economic hardships as we've seen through history, scratching the surface of one's life takes a bit of boldness as well. But it's only underground that we generally find these precious stones and/or rewards for our efforts. And so, in some symbolic and real sense, there are those who pay a great price to have stones mined for them and those who mine and find their own... and, in the process, may learn that the journey to find said jewels is more important than the stones themselves.
In an ode to those who undertake their own journeys, Alighieri jewelry is inspired by stories from the Divine Comedy in which Dante takes an uphill journey from the Inferno to Paradiso. Artfully composed and unadorned with anything ostentatious, Alighieri jewelry reminds us that it's not so much prize but the journey towards it which matters.
Temple St. Clair: In reference to The Da Vinci Code, protagonist Robert Langdon is often able to identify signs and symbols that have been passed down through generations in an attempt to protect the “divine feminine”. And such symbols, once I learned about them, seemed to show up everywhere. So when I noticed that St. Clair (anglicized as Sinclair) was a significant family that figured in this book, I started looking at some of the jewelry in a different way and, indeed, some of it seems to reference famous symbols (if only in my head).
Long before jewelry became purely decorative, jewels were used in talismans and amulets as a way to ward off evil or bring good luck. Indeed, in Californian culture, we see a hearkening back to the use of crystals and whatnot to bring about a sense of powerful energy. And whether such ideas are woo-woo or real, the point is is that jewelry used to be a symbol that could protect rather than show one's status. It was something you brought into battle...