Designer Spotlight: Angela Caputi
By Paige Mckirahan
(photo credits to advancingwomenartists.com)
This week, we figured that it would only be appropriate to spotlight one of our favorite Florentine designers, Angela Caputi, as she is a lover of the cross motif. Working out of a small shop in the historical "Palazzetto Mediceo", this bijoux aficionado has been creating pieces reminiscent of 1940s American Hollywood since 1975. Her brand quickly became popularized in the world of couture costume jewelry, catching the eyes of consumers, museums, and high fashion stylists alike. These pieces of art are heavily researched and always evolving; her signature style involves pieces that are created using simple materials with a variety of curated colors and shapes. In her domination of the global market, her creations have seen many movie sets and high fashion shoots since the brand's conception. Interested in owning one of her awe-inspiring bijoux artworks, click here to see what we have to offer! For more on her story, we invite you to visit her website.
Angela Caputi: History. (2015). Retrieved from http://www.angelacaputi.com/en/history/
Amulets: Jewelry for All by Morgan Watkins
Arguably the oldest form of jewelry known to man, the amulet is a timeless accessory that was loved and worn by many. This jewelry carries significant power and symbolism for people and cultures worldwide, and comes in just a variety of shapes and styles. Want to know just how old this jewelry is, and what it means to those around the globe? Read on to learn the qualities and characteristics of amulets, and what make them such special pieces.
The first amulets are speculated to have come about in 4400 BC, and came in the forms of necklaces, bracelets, rings and more. Before the discovery of gemstones and metals, early amulets were constructed of natural materials like feathers, stones, bones, twigs and tree bark. Commonly featured within this type of jewelry were figures of animals and human forms, which were most popular around 4400 to 2000 BC. Around 2030 BC, carved gods and deities hung from the necks and wrists of amulet wearers as forms of protection.
(Image from https://talkingfashion.net/collections/necklace/products/ethnic-necklace-warthog-camel- handmade-vintage-jewelry)
While the main purposes of amulets were style and security, every culture has their own unique symbolism attached to the jewelry. Ancient Egyptians, for example, often donned the scarab amulet. Modeled after the dung beetle for its ability to reproduce offspring by administering its eggs into waste, the scarab represents transformation and resurrection, or the ability to make something out of nothing. The scarab was also associated with the god Khepri of the rising sun, who symbolizes creation and rebirth. Scarabs gained popularity throughout all of Egypt, which carried over to ancient Mediterranean territories, inspiring Greeks to adopt amulets into their daily fashions.
(Image from http://astromic.blogspot.com/2013/02/scarab-beetle-of-ancient-egypt-mystery.html)
Along with serving as protective devices for amulet wearing individuals, this jewelry also held great significance in religious realms. Commonly sported by Christians and Catholics alike is the ever popular crucifix amulet. Most commonly worn in the form of a necklace, this jewelry piece serves to protect while also proclaiming the wearer’s unwavering faith. Another popular religious amulet worn proudly by the Jewish community is the Shield of David, or as it’s better known today, the Star of David. Middle Eastern cultures often associated triangles as possessing protective, or shielding, powers, hence the double triangles that form the well known accessory. Also widely adored among those of Judaic and Muslim faith are amulets of the Hand of Miriam, or the Hansa as it’s referred to by the Berber tribe. This symbol depicts the notorious all seeing eye, which protects the wearer from bad energy and evil spirits. On the other hand, Hindu and Islamic peoples favored the Haldili, a jeweled pendant which symbolizes the Tree of Life. This image represents all that is divine and protects the wearer from grief and heart palpitations.
(Image from https://talkingfashion.net/collections/necklace/products/copy-of-roman-catholic-rosary-pr ayer-beads-necklace-religious-jewelry-2)
Recently, these amulets have found their way back into modern fashion and onto the runway. The Met Gala’s Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination proved that angelic amulets have their place in high fashion, as revered Vogue Editor-In-Chief Anna Wintour accessorized her all Chanel ensemble with a sparkling crucifix necklace. Also drawing inspiration from popular amulet symbolism, Gucci’s Spring/Summer 2018 show featured a massive tote depicting the image of the third eye, while Alessandro Michele’s models walked down the runway with a third eye painted on their foreheads for his Fall/Winter 2018 collection. Even Gigi Hadid admitted to carrying her own third eye amulet to ward off bad vibes and envy.
(Image from https://media.vanityfair.com/photos/5af0cf499a03a97c8fb8a4db/master/w_960,c_limit/A nna-MET-Gala.jpg)
Whether worn as a means of protection or for aesthetic reasons, amulets are lovely accessory staples with a rich, lengthy history, which is nothing to scoff at. So if you’re in a pinch and need to get rid of any bad juju lurking in your life, give a symbolic amulet a shot! Who knows? It could end up protecting you, and looking fabulous, of course.
Want to shop vintage accessories online or sell a dazzling amulet secondhand? Check out talkingfashion.net to browse our wide array of jewelry, accessories and selling options!
Bartolucci, Marisa. “JEWELRY WHY AMULET JEWELRY HAS BEEN SPELLBINDING US FOR MILLENNIA.” 1stdibs, https://www.1stdibs.com/blogs/the-study/amulets/.
Chamberlin, Corbin. “The Evil Eye Amulet Makes a Glitzy Comeback.” Vogue Arabia, 9 May 2018, https://en.vogue.me/fashion/evil-eye-spring-2018-fashion-trend/.
Craig Patch, Diana. “Egyptian Amulets.” The Metropolitan Museum of Art, October 2004, https://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/egam/hd_egam.htm.
Faith & Fashion by Morgan Watkins
Although styling looks with religious jewelry is not a new concept, it seems to be having a major moment in the fashion universe. The latest Heavenly Bodies Met Gala and exhibit resulted in looks so exquisitely sultry, it should be a sin. But what are the true origins of Catholic inspired fashions, Christian cross necklaces and other religious dressings that have been commodified for the general public to wear? Keep reading to learn more about religious jewelry.
Cross necklaces have been a symbol of faith for followers of Christ since the times of the Roman Empire in the 4th century. Not only does this powerful accessory show Christian, or Catholic, faith, but it also serves as a form of spiritual protection for the wearer. These necklaces can also be gifted to individuals at baptisms and confirmation ceremonies, with simple crosses or embellished ones showcasing diamonds and even birthstones. For decades, the spiritual significance associated with cross jewelry has faded as icons in pop culture, like Madonna and Billy Idol, have turned the spiritual items into fashion fads. Cross necklaces have also been worn in political contexts to criticize popular religious beliefs that work towards shaming women for their individuality and sexuality. But no matter the rhyme or reason for wearing necklaces with hanging crosses, a lot can be said about their staying power in the fashion world. Paired beautifully with delicate lace, cross necklaces can create a look so stunning, you’ll be in heaven.
(Image from https://www.malaprayer.com/blogs/news/everything-you-need-to-know-about-mala-pray er-necklaces)
Prayer jewelry quite possibly holds even more religious significance than cross necklaces, and have not been brought into mainstream fashion as a superficial accessory. Various religions hold onto beaded necklaces representing various purposes. Islamic prayer beads typically have 100 beads, while those of the Baha’i religion have 95 or 19, with a grouping of 5 beads hanging below. Sikhs, Hindus and Buddhists wear what are known as mala prayer necklaces, which are worn not only around the neck, but also around turbans and wrists. Malas typically have 108 beads made of natural materials like sandalwood and lava stone, and are said to have originated in India during the 8th century. Mala became popular in countries like China, Korea and Japan before hitting Europe during the late Middle Ages in the shape of the Catholic rosary. Roman Catholics, like most other religions utilizing prayer beads, used rosaries to count prayers and other acts of worship, as well as provide security. These necklaces characteristically feature 59 beads, but before beads came around, a popular way of keeping track of prayers was by tying knots or fastening berries, pebbles and/or bone discs onto necklaces.
Fita do Senhor do Bonfim
(Image from http://www.sensationalcolor.com/color-meaning/color-meaning-symbolism-psychology/b ahia-bands-brazilian-wish-bracelet#.W7-v8WhKhaQ)
Similar to prayer necklaces, Fita do Senhor do Bonfim, or ribbon of Bonfim, are essentially wish ribbons. Dating back to 1809, the ribbons, also known as Bahia bands, were originated by the African religion of Cadomblé. They were initially called “measure of Bonfim” because their size equated the length of the arm of the Jesus Christ statue perched upon the main altar of the Bonfim Church in Salvador, Brazil. Measuring 47 centimeters long, Bahia bands are commonly worn around the left wrist, on the ankle, around hats and necks, and are even tied to the gate of the Bonfim Church. When tied in three knots, a wish can be made. Customarily, the ribbon is gifted to an individual and is tied to the receiver’s wrist by the gifter. The band must fall off the body naturally over time, or the wish will not come true. These accessories also represent good faith, and the color of the band symbolizes specific orixás, or divine forces of nature. For instance, the color red represents passion and strength, yellow equates to success and intelligence, and orange signifies courage, energy and joy.
Accessories like the ones mentioned above can have deep meaning for a variety of people and cultures around the world.While appreciating the artistic and aesthetic elements of religious styles in fashion isn’t a sin, it is crucial that everyone, from runway connoisseurs and everyday individuals, know and respect the rich history behind the symbols they wear.
Coscarelli, Alyssa. “Is It Okay To Wear Religious Symbols For Fashion?” Refinery29, 4 May 2018, https://www.refinery29.com/cross-jewelry-trend.
“Everything You Need to Know about Mala Prayer Necklaces.” Mala Prayer, https://www.malaprayer.com/blogs/news/everything-you-need-to-know-about-mal
Ribeiro, Patricia. “A Traveler’s Guide to Bonfim Church.” Trip Savvy, 30 June 2017, https://www.tripsavvy.com/bonfim-church-salvador-brazil-1467851.
Smith, Katie. “Bahia Bands: Brazilian Bracelet Color Meaning.” Sensational Color, http://www.sensationalcolor.com/color-meaning/color-meaning-symbolism-psych ology/bahia-bands-brazilian-wish-bracelet#.W7-yEGhKhaS.
Gift Giving 101: The History of the Custom and How to Be a Good Guest
By Paige McKirahan
‘Tis the season for giving; whether you are the giver or the receiver, there is no denying that this custom is synonymous with the Christmas season. It is hard not to wonder, though, where and when this tradition began. As most traditions and customs do, this one originates in ancient Rome and is a relic of the winter solstice in December. This was celebrated in Rome with gift-giving and continued on as Christianity became more widespread. The date of Christmas was decided sometime in 330 AD and was claimed to be associated with the birth of Jesus; after this milestone, the custom was associated with the story of the Magi presenting gifts to baby Jesus. Along with that, some legends also base this idea of gift giving on Saint Nicholas, a fourth century Greek Bishop more affectionately known as Santa Claus. Presently, it is estimated that there is over $5 billion spent each day during the shopping season alone as the holiday has become somewhat commercialized.
(photo credits to clickorlando.com)
We feel that gift giving can still be personal, and love the idea of hostess gifts. This branch on the gift giving tree is a huge part of etiquette and they are appropriate for casual dinner parties, formal dinner parties, holiday events, weekend visits and housewarming events. These gifts typically are something for the home or in the instance that the event involves a meal, they tend to lean towards wine or desserts. In some countries, this is gift is obligatory and considered a second nature when visiting someone’s home.
If you’re heading to a holiday party over the next month and are scrambling for that perfect gift for your favorite hostess, TalkingFashion has you covered! From salt and pepper shakers to vintage table lighters, we have something for everyone! Head over to our décor collections and you’re sure to be the talk of the party when you walk in with one of our little white boxes!
Fashion’s Favorite Gifts
By Paige McKirahan
Hello TalkingFashion lovers! It is finally December; since its the season of giving, we feel that there is nothing better to give or receive than the gift of fashion! If you’re one of the elves who has made a dent in their holiday purchases with our cyber sale last week, you’ve got the right idea! But if you’re like me and haven’t even came close to formulating gift ideas for your loved ones, not to fear; the perfect holiday gift inspiration is here! We have decided looked at some of our favorite fashion fanatic’s holiday gift lists and found some great ideas for the most flamboyant to the most minimalist on your list. Read on to see our top five gift ideas from the industry's finest and how you can find similar items in our store to get that quick holiday fix!
Marina Larroude, fashion director at Barneys New York, says she looking for shine this festive season.
She would love to add more sparkles to her wardrobe for the holidays; she specifically mentioned a sparkling Sonia Rykiel bag, but you can find some shimmering pieces right in our collection!
Dion Lee, women’s ready-to-wear designer, is all about giving jewelry to her loved ones.
The talented creative claims that the only purchase she's made so far this winter is a custom jewelry piece. She finds jewelry to be one of the best gifts because of its “intimate and timeless” feel. We agree, Dion!
Rickie De Sole, fashion director at W, is hoping for a new timekeeping piece this Christmas.
He claims that classic watches that go with everything are essential to ones outfit; this is proven by the fact that he's worn the same watch since college! He loves the Chanel Boyfriend style, and it has been the only piece that have prompted him to consider breaking his longstanding devotion to his current watch! Check out a similar style below!
Michelle Cordeiro Grant, founder and CEO of Lively, is all about vintage pieces with a story.
Number one on this boss woman’s list is vintage scarves or other vintage accessories from secondhand stores! She loves when her gifts have a story and a well known history as it adds new depth to any classic piece.
Tanya Taylor, Toronto-born designer, is in the market for beach-inspired fashions!
This colorful designer loves all things tropical; this ocean affintity stems from her son's name, which is palmer! Palm themed accessories and earrings are a sure to be a success under the tree this year!
To shop any of the items you see above, click on the image to buy with ease! For other gift options, head over to our collections and start checking off those items on your list!