Fashion Week Accessories and Jewelry review by James Hagerman
We were hit with New York Fashion Week. Then London, then Milan, and then Paris. Many designs were particularly eco-conscious this season. Across the board, collections showed more global awareness, whether it was based on high levels of diversity and inclusion on the runway, like Prabal Gurung’s “Who Gets to Be American?” show, or celebration of traditional cultures, like Niu Niu’s collection that highlights his Chinese heritage. Trends in jewelry and accessories also followed these artistic visions.
At talkingfashion, we love baubles, whimsical bijoux, and all things accessories. Many New York Fashion Week trends, like chain links, shells (again), oversized eyeglasses, boxy patterns, bags, and shoes arose as equally-trendy on the other side of the Atlantic. Here are some widespread designers who embodied trendy themes that definitely caught our eye!
Nature in the Streets
As we noted in our last blog post, designers at New York Fashion week flaunted shells, bright colors, and flower crowns in their pieces. On Valentino’s Parisian runway, feathers were tasseled onto shoe heels, belts, and bags, and attached to frilly dresses and loose tops, lifting models to new heights, and allowing them to look as if they were gliding across the runway. While many fabrics were angelically white, others were monochromatic, bright, and lush, featuring prints of various flora and fauna. On the more brightly colored pieces, gold earrings also featured colorful stones and some models donned tinted shades, creating a whirlwind of color and mystique. With a few of the brighter ensembles, longer necklaces and earrings included animal figurines.
(source: Vogue/Valentino show)
Nature was also placed on the forefront from the contrast it drew against streetwear fabrics in many shows, a notable one being Prada at Milan Fashion Week. Prada featured models clad in “Timeless hipness” according to Vogue; this “hipness” was accentuated by snakeskin and bucket bags (and hats), and gigantic shell necklaces and earrings. Vogue quotes Miuccia Prada herself, who completely represents our motto at talkingfashion when she stipulates that “personal style is more important than clothes.” Or, as whimsical fahion icon Iris Apfel says, “What’s my style is not your style.” The Prada designs this season looked affordable, more DIY, and mix-and-matched. There was an element of individuality that was brought out by the contrasting fabrics and the eccentricities in the accessories.
Outdoorsy bucket hats were also present in Dior’s Paris Fashion Week show, which was the most nature-infused runway this season. According to an Elle article on Dior’s sustainable, eco-friendly show, real trees from European nurseries bound for urban sustainability projects in Paris lined the runway. Dior’s show featured rope-tied sandals and belts, large beaded necklaces of wood and pearl, wicker hats, and foliated gold necklaces, chains, earrings, and brooches. The foliated gold added a level of leafy luster to the otherwise earth-tone outfits.
Stay Gold, Stay Metallic
There was so much gold on the runway this season!
Dior was not the only prominent designer to accessorize with gold this season. Gold accessories, such as gilded, bejeweled brows and asymmetrical dangling gold earrings, as well as chain-link lariats and figurines attached to gold hoops, evoked the sense of foliated leafiness that Dior’s designs created. Models walked with an ethereal, yet natural aura on Valentino’s runway. This kept perfectly in-line with the eco-conscious theme of Spring 2020 designs.
Chloé at Paris Fashion Week also endowed their pieces with thick gold and metallic bands, chokers, and earrings. These designs oozed professional sophistication. Accessories were just enough to complete pieces and alter them with an imaginative pop without detracting from the rest of the ensemble. The rest of the pieces were quite simple, which allowed jewelry to stand out without taking on an overtly flashy presence.
A few of the chokers at Chloé’s show were chain-link, and this was a widespread trend for the 2020 Spring season. Sacai, Alyx, Chanel, and Rick Owens also mastered the chain-link look in chokers and other pieces of jewelry, like earrings.
In Milan, Moschino’s thick gold-colored bracelets, earrings, and chain-link necklaces and belts added an effervescent shine to all of the colorful floral and Picasso-inspired printed fabrics. Many accessories were also inlaid with colorful jewels that matched the color of fabrics, turning models into literal works of art.
Chain link aside, there were many other shape-centric looks this season when it came to accessories. Polka dots and squares pervaded the runway, and in the case of Christopher Kane, accessories were actually part of the fabric! His “Eco-Sexual” collection is themed around “Making love in nature” and being “in touch with the earth” according to Vogue’s coverage. Metal spheres were embedded into the fabric of most of his pieces, and also attached elongated glass earrings. The industrial aspect of the geometric accessories contrasted with patterns on fabric to idealize coexistence between humanity and nature.
Lanvin’s Paris show was also full of geometric patterns in its free-flowing, baggy fabrics. Some of these fabrics were brought back to earth with gold dangling, cubic necklaces and earrings, along with the occasional choker. Rigid jewelry pieces also allowed materials to flow even more, as large hoop earrings actually carried attachments of colorful patterned fabric. Hoops were another prevalent trend this season, finding their way into other collections, like Balmain, Marni, and Missoni.
Across many of these collections, a massively prevalent theme was contrast and juxtaposition. Christopher Kane’s “Eco-Sexual” collection is completely built around the concept of two different ideals converging (nature and human), as is Prada, which mixes and mismatches styles, fabrics, and accessory choices for each piece. Another collection that zeroed in on especially intricate juxtaposition was the designer Area, whose New York collection featured over-the-top strings of crystals on the face, shoulders, and ears, creating an opulent shell-like covering around models that encased frilly dresses in soft, pale hues.
What might be the biggest takeaway from this spring season is the idea that none of us need to conform (or match) with any patterns, structures, or ideas—we just need to embrace our own intuition! Every day is a chance to walk outside and become the person that you want to become by wearing what makes you feel brave, fearless, and completely yourself. We love seeing how designers are using fashion to create their own artistic vision, and we use this as inspiration for our own visions.
Established in 1986, talkingfashion Inc. is the umbrella company for luxboheme and artedellamoda brands. Our online store (www.talkingfashion.net) offers contemporary and vintage art and costume bijoux, statement pieces, and quality accessories. In addition to our online shop, we also provide personal styling, pop-up parties, and consignment. Our motto is “Wear what you love, every day,” and this is reflected through our eccentric, whimsical pieces that endure beyond typical trends and fast fashion. We believe in designs that encourage individuality and beauty through self-expression.
Darling Donatella: Five Facts about Versace’s First Lady
By Paige McKirahan
In the wake of the gripping Netflix documentary detailing Gianni Versace’s death and Donatella’s rise to the helm of the Versace empire, we felt that the best way to celebrate the incoming Taurus season would be by highlighting this fashion mogul’s amazing career. This Taurus fashionista was born in May 2nd, 1955 in Reggio Calabria, Italy. As the sister of designer Gianni and the daughter of a dressmaker, she was surrounded by strong fashion influences from the start.Being the youngest of four children, she was very close to her siblings despite their great age difference and following the death of her eldest sister at the age of 12, she was the only girl among two boys. Her older brothers made huge impressions on her, and she was self-proclaimed as spoiled as the baby of the family. After the Gianni’s death, she was left to continue the fashion house’s legacy; today, she is the artistic director of the fashion house and the vice president of the Versace company. Being in the spotlight for the majority of her life, we already know a lot of the basic facts about her. But what about the interesting stuff under hiding the surface? Read on to find out some crazy facts about the Queen of Versace herself!
She was going to be a teacher
Prior to her talking over Gianni’s emblematic label, Donatella had plans to become a teacher after her time attending the University of Florence. There, she majored in foreign languages and would often visit Gianni in Milan where he was trying to establish himself in the industry. Her lack of formal fashion training meant nothing to her brother when he trusted her with helping create designs for his fashion house, and as we now know it was her true calling!
Versus, Versace’s sister line, was a gift to her from Gianni
Vintage Versus ad (source)
Versus was launched in 1989 and was created by Gianni in attempt to reach a younger audience. Donatella had proven her design skills tenfold, prompting Gianni to put the brand in her very capable hands. Despite the fact that the line closed in 2005, it was resurrected by Donatella in 2009 in partnership with Christopher Kane and they breathed new life into the now coveted brand!
Gianni is the reason behind her iconic blond locks
Ranking among the likes of Karl Lagerfeld's iconic ponytail, Donatella's sleek blond hair has been the cornerstone of her look since stepping into the industry. This blond bombshell was prompted by none other than Gianni, who's obsession with Patty Parvo pushed him to persuade an eleven-year-old Donatella to dye her hair in to achieve the look that she has kept ever since!
She created Jennifer Lopez's iconic Versace Grammy's dress
JLo and the iconic dress (source)
Donatella was the mastermind behind the 2000 Grammy's dress that essentially broke the internet before Kim K even stepped on the scene; it prompted the creation of Google Image searches, and is considered to be one of the most iconic red carpet dresses of all time! To top it all off, the look was a total accident. Donatella sent the dress to Jennifer before it was finished, with the deep cut being a little too deep for JLo's liking. Quick on her feet, Donatella suggested she use double sided sticky tape to hold it up and VOILA, an icon is born!
She has never sewn a garment
Despite the fact that her mother was a dressmaker, this fashion mogul doesn't sew! That doesn't stop her from designing, of course, and her creative mind paired with her affinity for fashion forward concepts has allowed her to dominate the industry without ever touching a needle!
Donatella is one of the most recognizable faces in the industry and has been for decades, so I'm surprised that I didn't know most of these facts! Did any stun you? We had no idea she was behind JLo's dress, let alone the fact that it was unfinished! Celebrate this icon's birthday by letting your long hair down and wearing what you love, everyday!
Sources:Donatella Versace. (2019, January 23). Retrieved from https://www.biography.com/people/donatella-versace-21330707Rondon, C. T. (2018, October 08). How Donatella Versace made Google Image a thing (plus 9 more amazing facts about the designer). Retrieved from https://us.hola.com/en/fashion/2018100812819/donatella-versace-facts-biography/
Picturesque Pearls: A Style Guide
By Paige McKirahan
With wedding season well on its way, we wanted to take a look at one of our favorite elegant motifs in accessories for these upcoming warm weather months. Since pearls first made their way into the realm of jewelry, they have been the true symbol of class and superiority; seeing has how the pearl is the world's oldest gemstone with traces back to 420 BC, this elitist undertone has deep historical roots. In the Byzantine empire, for example, it was dictated that only the emperor was permitted to wear pearls with other societies having similar laws. Until the 20th century, pearls were considered to be one of the most valuable gems on the market all over the globe; prior to this time, all pearls were naturally found in wild mollusks, making them more rare and coveted than ever.
Oldest pearl necklace in existence on display at the Louvre (source)
In ancient Greek culture and at the height of the Roman Empire, pearls were worn on gowns, necklaces, and were even used to decorate furniture in wealthy households. It was even said that Cleopatra preferred pearl jewelry above all others, and she went as far as dissolving one of her most priceless pairs of pearl earrings in a glass of wine before drinking it! This ancient popularity led to pearls being extremely favorable with the monarchy; pearls of all shape and color varieties were widely sought after, and many were coming directly from the Persian Gulf. The 16th century in England was even referred to as the Pearl Age, perfectly reflecting the gemstone's prestige at the time.
Cleopatra Dissolving the Pearl in Wine, Andrea Casali (source)
In the Victorian Age, seed pearls became more favorable than any of their counterparts on account of the fact that their small size made them perfect for jewelry and other accessories. They are typically no larger than 2mm in diameter, and they were widely associated with pure ideals. Royal love of pearls continued for generations, with Queen Victoria having an affinity for all things pearl. Prince Albert gifted her a pair of drop-style pearl earrings in 1847, and these are now owned and proudly worn by the reigning monarch, Elizabeth II.
It wasn't until the late 1800s that pearls became a widely accessible material; in 1893, Kokicho Mikimoto discovered how to create cultured pearls, prompting the creation of over 350 pearl farms across Japan by 1935. This caused a widespread pearl mania that perfectly complemented contemporary culture all throughout the 1900s. From Coco Chanel's iconic 1936 portrait to Audrey Hepburn's emblematic look in Breakfast at Tiffany's, pearls became a true symbol of luxury. This sophisticated aesthetic shifted with Alber Elbaz at the helm of Lanvin, where he reimagined the gemstones as a "cool girl" motif rather than something you would find in your grandmother's jewelry box. He truly spun their reputation into something journalists felt were "not like your mother's pearls", and the gemstone has been present in haute couture ever since.
Coco Chanel and Audrey Hepburn in pearls (source)
Now that we know the history behind the eponymous stone, its time to evaluate the types of pearls. They can now be produced in a variety of different ways, with each having its own special set of characteristics! Whether they are natural or cultured, they are formed when a mollusk produces layers of nacre around molecules inside of the shell. The quality of the nacre is what controls the level of the pearls shine, which can cause it to decrease or increase in value. High-quality pearls should be smooth and blemish free, with shapes ranging from round to misshapen. Misshapen pearls are considered to be baroque, after the art movement. Lastly, a pearl set in necklaces can be uniform with all pearls at the same size, or graduated, meaning they change uniformly from the end to the center. With this education in mind, let's take a look at the specific types of pearls on the market!
Natural pearls are the rarest type, with many historically being found in the Persian Gulf. Though many have already been harvested, you may be able to purchase these small gemstones, but they will cost you a pretty penny!
Cultured pearls are grown in farms, with the mollusks containing them being raised until they reach the point of being able to accept the mother-of-pearl bead nucleus. The pearl technician then implants the bead and returns the mollusk to water to form the gem. Not all cultured pearls are of high quality, and it can take tens of thousands of pearls to compile a group similar enough to use in jewelry.
Many countries grow cultured pearls in their saltwater seas. Japan and China produce cultured pearls that can range from 2 mm to 10mm in size, and are usually white in color. Australia, Indonesia, and the Philippines produce the largest of all cultured pearls. They are considered the "South Sea pearl" and can get up to 20 mm with colors ranging from white to cream to gold. There are also saltwater pearls grown in the islands of French Polynesia, with their sizes ranging from 8mm to 16mm. They can be naturally black, but they typically can be gray, blue, green, or purple.
Freshwater pearls mostly hail from China and are grown in lakes, rivers, and ponds all over the continent. Many are white and similar in size to Akoya pearls in size and shape, and usually, have a thicker nacre on account of them not having a bead nucleus.
Imitation pearls usually have a high luster and are coated glass beads. You can tell these apart from cultured or natural pearls, but it may prove to be difficult based upon how the pearls were treated. For tips on how to analyze your pearls, click here!
We hope that this gave you a better insight into all things pearls! We now have a little bit of pearl mania and if you do too, be sure to check out our selection of pearl accessories!
Sources:Luna, B. (2015, August 10). The History Of Pearl Jewelry. Retrieved from https://www.ritani.com/blog/gemstone-jewels/the-history-of-pearl-jewelry/Perron, C. (2017, December 08). The History and Symbolism of Pearl Jewelry. Retrieved from https://www.brilliantearth.com/news/the-history-and-symbolism-of-pearl-jewelry/N/A. (2018, June 08). The Evolution of Pearl Jewelry in Fashion. Retrieved from https://www.crfashionbook.com/fashion/a21098608/pearl-jewelry-fashion-history/
Festival Style: Coachella Essentials
By Paige McKirahan
As temperatures heat up and summer music begins to flood our all of our Spotify feeds, many have the season’s upcoming festivals on the mind. From Governor’s Ball to Lollapalooza, the warm weather also brings festival style that is wild, bohemian, and full of fashion forward aesthetics. In honor of Coachella, one of the most iconic annual festivals that the United States has to offer, we wanted to check out some of the best festival accessories that the industry has to offer! This musical event’s two weekends of fun make for many Instagrammable moments, so read on to see how we here at TalkingFashion would accessorize our festival fits to stand out in a sea of flower crowns!
Stylish sunnies top our list as one of the most necessary festival accessories for reasons we feel are quite obvious. Protecting your eyes from the sun and accessorizing your festival fit to perfection can be done in one foul swoop using a great pair of cool girl frames. Never miss a moment of the fun blinded by the sun!
Keeping track of all of your items in a large crowd of people may seem like a daunting task, but with the help of a hands-free bag, all of your stuff will be safe and secure! Carrying around a cross body bag is another great alternative, but with a fanny pack secured tightly around you waist, you’ll never have to worry about losing the bag itself along with all of its contents!
Western-inspired looks are extremely common at summer festival events, so why not participate in one of the season’s hottest trends and add a little western flair of your own into your festival fashion fits? Large belt buckles, cowboy hats, fringe, and turquoise are all easy ways to incorporate this cowboy aesthetic into any outfit without looking like you came right from an episode of West World!
We have seen a huge headscarf revival this spring season, and we think that scarves are a great way to take any outfit to the next level in one easy step! Whether you choose to tie one around your neck or use one a way to keep your hair from flying in the Valley winds, a scarf is sure to be one of the “it” festival accessories for summer 2019.
When it comes to what jewelry compliments bohemian festival style the most, I always look for long, stackable necklaces to bring the heat! This style can make you look as if you an accessories aficionado without much effort and can offer a pop of color to a light, flowy fit.
What is your favorite festival accessory? If you love any of the ones above, click on the photo to buy just in time for festival season to go into full swing! Happy fest fun, TalkingFashion readers! Remember to wear what you love, everyday (and wear you best to Coachella Valley this weekend!)
Jewelry as an Art Form
By Paige McKirahan
Fashion, as well as many other venues of design, has begun to blur the line between what is art and what is not; as jewelry is created and designed with many of the similar processes as sculptures and paintings, we would be foolish to not deem these pieces as a form of artistic expression. Jewelry can be the main visual event in any ensemble, fascinating the eyes and overloading the senses in a way that the David by Michelangelo may enthrall a museum patron at the Galleria dell'Accademia. There are so many artists and jewelry designers alike that have created wearable art that falls into neither (or both!) the fashion or fine art categories, creating a new form that appeals to all facets of the industry. Now you may be left asking “who are these designers?”, so we here at TalkingFashion have prepared a dazzling list of these artists that are sure to pique your interest and prepare you for the fast approaching MET Gala this May.
You likely know this artist for his industry-altering contributions to the art world, but many people do not know he experimented with many different medias; from sculptures to jewelry, he was truly the jack of all artistic trades. His one of kind pieces are few and far between, and their eclectic composition and mysterious existence make these works highly sought after. His most popular motifs include satyrs, minotaurs, bulls, and bullfighting, with his other pieces including imagery relevant to who he created the piece for.
Silver “Satyr” Pendant, Pablo Picasso (source)
This patron of the surrealist movement has roots in the fashion industry through multiple high-profile collaborations with designers like our beloved Schiaparelli. In 1941, he invited Coco Chanel’s jewelry designer, Duke Fulco di Verdura, to discuss a collaboration that turned into a tremendous success. Many of the pieces mimicked Dali’s paintings with a refined opulence that turned their wearers into works of art themselves! Most of these works are now on display at the Dali Museum in Spain, and he summarized these jeweled masterpieces like this: “To history, they will prove that objects of pure beauty, without utility but executed marvelously, were appreciated in a time when the primary emphasis appeared to be upon the utilitarian and the material.”
An array of Dali jewelry pieces (source)
This sculptor and jewelry designer has made huge waves in the fashion industry with his art jewelry and collaborations with Geoffrey Beene, Kansai Yamamoto, Calvin Klein, Anne Klein, Karl Lagerfeld, Michael Kors and Donna Karan. His true claim to fame was a 1976 Vogue cover; the magazine featured his work in their publication over a period of 7 years in 49 consecutive issues. He is the first fine jewelry designer to receive the first jewelry designer to ever be awarded the Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement Award from the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA), and his contribution to the art world has gained him many other high profile partnerships and industry nominations!
Robert Lee Morris piece on the cover of Vogue (source)
As a pioneer of the cubist movement alongside the other highly revered artist-turned designer Picasso, Braque is considered to be one of the most dynamic artists of the 20th century. He treated his jewels as if they were miniature sculptures, with each possessing their own personality. He commonly including natural motifs that depicted humans, fish, horses, and birds, and were considered to be some of the most beautiful fine jewelry creations of their time. His most well-known collection uses the image of a bird in flight throughout multiple jewelry styles, and they bring in tens of thousands of dollars in auctions across the globe!
Georges Braque, 1960s (source)
Calder, who is most famous for his creation of the mobile, is an iconic sculptor who stunned the art world when he began creating his larger than life mobile jewelry pieces. His affinity for abstraction and casual grandeur shined through in his designs, and he created over 2000 works including pieces for famous friends Joan Miró and Peggy Guggenheim. His wire-shaped works are considered to be wearable sculptures and can take any look to a new level.
Alexander Calder necklace (source)
If these artists have piqued your interests and you would like to see some of this art in action, check out this list of museums that will allow you to get up close and personal with these beautiful works!
Sources:Cain, A. (2016, December 23). Salvador Dalí Made Jewelry That Could Turn You into a Surrealist Artwork. Retrieved from https://www.artsy.net/article/artsy-editorial-salvador-dali-made-jewelry-that-could-turn-you-surrealist-artworkCain, A. (2017, August 21). Alexander Calder's Jewelry Turns People into Living Sculptures. Retrieved from https://www.artsy.net/article/artsy-editorial-alexander-calders-jewelry-turns-people-living-sculpturesN.a.(2016, May 06). Art as jewellery - 10 wearable masterpieces | Christie's. Retrieved from https://www.christies.com/features/jewellery-by-artists-from-Braque-to-Bury-7333-1.aspxRobert Lee Morris. (2019, March 24). Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Lee_MorrisSkinner Inc. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.skinnerinc.com/news/blog/pablo-picasso-jewelry/