The Real Value and Beauty in Designer Jewelry
Labels and designer names have always been important to fashion. In years past, people flocked for anything Chanel or Dior. Today, they scoop up Marc Jacobs and Dolce & Gabbana. The cache of a designer label often has little to do with love for a certain designer's art or style, though they all bring both to the table. Unfortunately, the desire to "conform" by wearing the same labels as others has diminished the value of the work these designers do. Designers design and their work is their wearable art. The same is true of designer jewelry; too often, the emphasis is on wearing a certain name, rather than showcasing the wearer's personal style or the designer's artistic gifts.
There's nothing wrong with wearing designer labels or designer jewelry. The truth is, much of what designers offer is of high quality, artful design and beautiful materials. However, their pieces should be worn because they reflect who we are, what we love and what we value as art or beauty.
Fortunately, there is a real trend these days toward a different kind of designer jewelry; that which is created by young, independent and contemporary artists who are more focused on art than on production. Artisan jewelry, handcrafted jewelry and the like are becoming more chic every day.
The beauty of this is that it's made it possible for a very different value to be placed on designer jewelry. That value is based on the art, the personality and the background of the piece, rather than a name that's attached to it. Much as the name of the artist influences the value of a painting, the name of a jewelry designer will know influence the value of a ring, a bracelet or a pendant. These pieces are bringing back jewelry as an art form.
This is not a new concept. As far back as the twenties, jewelry was celebrated as an art form and collected in much the same way as sculpture or paintings. The designer jewelry of these earlier days was even created by some of the most celebrated artists of the times, such as Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dali. They were the young, contemporary artists of their time, and they created jewelry that was extremely avant garde and unique.
Today, we have a new generation of artists who are doing the same thing, and a new generation of consumers ready to receive them. Conformity, commercialism and mass-production are making way for individuality, personal expression and handcrafted, one-of-a-kind pieces of wearable art.
The good news for consumers is that handcrafted designer jewelry is often less expensive than the traditional concept of designer jewelry. Less marketing, advertising and production allows for lower prices, while maintaining a high standard of quality in materials, crafting and design. The wearable art being created today will be the collectible art of tomorrow. More importantly, it brings back an industry that has long been overshadowed and crowded out of the marketplace; that of the individual creator.