A Shining Proposition

Posted by: on Jul 21, 2010 | No Comments

I just returned from a lovely weekend away from it all in Paris, and must say that I saw quite a few really elegant people and things standing out in the sea of sweat-pants-clad tourists Place Vendôme was as usual one of my favorite stops on the journey, with its windows full of glittery jewels and baubles of every sort.

Now I’m not really a gem fanatic at heart. In fact, I am much more attracted to simple, minimally sparking adornments for the most part, but here in this little cove of craftsmanship are some of the finest examples of wearable art around (albeit the most stunning examples usually intended for our fairer counterparts). And this drive towards true artistry and purpose is what inspired me so much.

The ways in which these various stones, settings, and ideas are combined is almost limitless, but there seems to be one consistent spirit amongst most of the jewelers these days, and that is a drive towards nature. Jaguars brooches and giant flower rings are only the most obvious examples, and underneath the flora and fauna inhabiting this ring-shaped menagerie are organic forms and techniques begging to be noticed. There was an emphasis on curved lines and mystery set stones, eliminating many of the more harsh, structural elements of jewelry making, with many pieces seeming to be an unconnected flow of liquid light across the neck of a mannequin.

“Now how does this apply to men,” you may be wondering at this point, and I think it helps to note who the neighbors are of these shimmering treasures. Mixed in amongst the gems, and often in the same shops, are some of the best watches available on earth, not to mention Charvet and Pierre Corthay both in the neighborhood as well. So although I certainly will be neither endorsing nor wearing the diamond and sapphire necklaces I spent the afternoon ogling, I did pop around to Charvet and examine the ways in which they seamlessly combine varying shades of white and blue for a truly deep and remarkable effect. And I also made sure to notice the almost pearlescent finish on a pair of pale pink Corthay shoes, wondering what I would pair with them so they could shine, but not too brightly.

Ultimately though, with jewels and other neckwear alike, it is how we incorporate these elements into our lives that really sets them off. Dressing it at its base a collaborative art; a tailor or artisan must make a beautiful object that represents what they want it to represent, and then the wearer must connect with it, select it, and find effective ways of complimenting it with similar and contrasting objects in order to best display its properties. Just because you wear lots of things which are beautiful on their own does not mean you are well dressed, just as wearing well combined objects which may not be from W1 can make you the most elegant man about town.

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