SELF ART EXPLORES JEWELRY’S INTIMATE DANCE WITH THE HUMAN FORM
THE BODY AS INSTALLATION SPACE FOR A NEW GENRE OF JEWELS
People have been decorating their bodies with jewels throughout the millennia, but as the 21st century continues to evolve, so too is the younger generations' approach to jewelry. Generation Y's taste for personal embellishment has become more intimate as it enters a new realm of individual expression. This Self Art trend is a renewed approach to self-expression through jewelry as today’s young adults communicate and consume in radically different ways from their parents and grandparents. For them, nothing suits as much as an entirely new genre of jewelry that engages with their personal aesthetic. Jewelry creators are responding to these pressures, tapping into this new fascination with the body as an installation space to display different forms of jewels such as hand jewels, and ear cuffs. They are now extending this range with stunningly innovative ideas for corsage jewels; new shapes and designs for ear, head and hair ornaments; and a plethora of cross body jewels for the back, upper arm, and shoulder. As tattoos move into an experimental, artistic phase, jewels are taking on hybrid, tattoo-like forms that fuse body ornamentation and architecture into a second skin. These new ‘skin-tecture’ jewels are outer shells protecting the being within, and taking inspiration from net-like, finely articulated, cellular structures.
Designers are creating this new genre of jewels with a diverse range of new materials rarely before seen in jewelry. There is a celebration of the man-made, opening the way for the inclusion of materials like acrylic, resin, Corian®, composite materials, 3-D printing materials, faceted howlite, brilliant lacquers, enamels, crystals and chains alongside synthetic stones such as Swarovski Zirconia. There are genuine gemstones enhanced by technology like the TCF™ colored Swarovski Genuine Topaz. Melting shades of pink and burgundy and light pink tones with flashes of amethyst and turquoise are helping Body Art jewelry to better flatter the skin. The sheer excitement generated by this quickly growing trend has energized the fashion world, with runways in Paris, New York, London and Milan seeing body art in collections from the likes of Givenchy and Louis Vuitton right through to Calvin Klein. Buying directors from retailers such as Net-a-Porter and Matchesfashion.com are stocking up on this new genre of jewelry for their daring new customers. And even department stores like Saks Fifth Avenue are reporting a rise in demand for non-traditional jewelry.
Fotocredits as seen in Gem Visions: Maiko Takeda, Atmospheric Reenty Collection, photographed by Bryan Huynh; Designer Silvia Marzola, Nemanja Ilic; Body Armor designed by NGHI for NN, photographed by Grant Joshino; Corallium-Crystal Ear Piece, designed by Amy Congdon, photographed by Jesus Madrinan; Bilateral Symmetry by Mala Siamptani
Bergdorf Goodman hosted a piercing event with the jewelry line Sydney Evan, and Barneys is offering 18kt white gold and diamond pave nose clips amongst a range of 31 designs that also include ear cuffs and the aptly named climber earrings that seem to be crawling up the ear. Unexpectedly, brooches are enjoying a revival, a result of their inclusion in the latest Autumn/Winter fashion collections. Matchesfahion.com has bought pieces from Lanvin, Oscar de la Renta, and Loewe, while Net-a-Porter is offering ones from Gucci, Givenchy, Dolce & Gabbana, Christopher Kane, and Alexander McQueen. Unlike piercings, brooches can be relocated about the body offering infinite creative possibilities. Body Art jewelry is a salute to the daring, and experimental consumer of fashion, who out of respect and reverence for the body, wishes to adorn it as personal work of art. As they continue to experiment with new ways of wearing jewels, they fuel new gem visions, opening up fresh vistas for jewelry and accessories designers. Together they are enriching that most precious thing of all, the human body.
Body Art jewelry is a salute to the daring, and experimental consumer of fashion, who out of respect and reverence for the body, wishes to adorn it as personal work of art. As they continue to experiment with new ways of wearing jewels, they fuel new gem visions, opening up fresh vistas for jewelry and accessories designers. Together they are enriching that most precious thing of all, the human body.