Never underestimate the power of a fantastically designed display to draw people into your booth. Image is important, and the owner of Dash of Pep clothing and accessories got everything right — starting with her foundation color of an irresistible Hot Pink with lots of pink accents and pink props!
Ever on-the-hunt for the elusive Pink Thing, I was magnetically drawn into the newly-opened Swarovski store on Broadway by their vast display wall of exciting pinkness!
The concept of displaying the brand’s jewelry and small crystal trinkets nestled against a wall lined with various-sized shaped compartments — punctuated by the occasional expressive mannequin — is just genius. Creating a ‘Life-Size Jewel Box’ concept, the store’s transportive design not only provides an immersive shopping experience, it’s obviously also highly Instagram-able.
Located at 542 Broadway in SoHo, the store (which opened in May 2021) is part of Swarovski’s Instant Wonder identity rebranding. And while it’s not shown in this post (for reasons which will be immediately clear) the other half of the store is entirely green. You’ll want to at least pop in when you are in the area.
Kiff Slemmons‘ neckpiece Circumspect (2003) is an object that does what it is and is what it does. Composed of lenses and mirrors collected and categorized for a purpose that the collecting itself reveals, it is both a tool of taxonomic assessment and a record of a taxonomic class of useful and evocative things.
Denying the role of jewelry as something only to be looked at, it meets and counters the gaze — returning agency to those being seen. It also asks us to emulate what it facilitates: the art of careful looking as a way of understanding.
Photographed in the Museum of Arts and Design in Manhattan.
In 1968, Arline Fisch visited the Gold Museum in Lima, Peru, where she came across a tiny pre-Columbian fragment of woven gold. This trip marked a pivotal point in her artistic practice, resulting in her unique, textile-derived approach to jewelry. Copper Wire Cuff, in which the artist ran copper wire through a knitting machine as if it were a strand of yarn, is an example of the type of work inspired by this encounter.
The melding of textile technique and body ornament reflects the confluence of a broader range of interests and pursuits, including the artists’s introduction to weaving at Haystack Mountain School of Crafts and her self-directed study of jewelry in museum collections worldwide.
Photographed at the Museum of Arts and Design in Manhattan.
With its eight limbs, the octopus was an ingenious choice for a Chatelaine; a belt hook that carried small household items from its chains. Surviving records suggest that Gorham Manufacturing Company made two Octopus Chatelaines (this one is circa 1887).
At least one of these devices was equipped by the factory with its attachments, including scissors, a knife, a vinaigrette (small decorative box), a tablet, a pin cushion, and a needle case. The back plate is marked with the Gorham trademark and stamped with the date letter for 1887. The Octopus and its chains are sterling silver and the eyes are surprisingly not polished garnets, but red glass.
Photographed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.
Raymond C. Yard (1885 – 1964) is considered to be one of the great Art Deco jewelers. After mastering the art of jewelry making at Marcus & Co., Yard opened his own shop at 607 Fifth Avenue in Manhattan in 1922. Between 1928 and 1933 he created a series of charming Rabbit Brooches, each of which differs slightly, featuring fine details of gold, diamonds, rubies and sapphires. That the Rabbit Waiter brooch (1930) serves alcoholic drinks during Prohibition adds a certain humor to the whimsy, which would have appealed to Yard’s high-society clientele.
Photographed in The Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.
This Red Bead Necklace was crafted from Bakelite (beads and chain links) cellulose acetate, with a metal clasp, and attributed to an unknown American designer. In the twentieth century, plastic manufacturing transformed the American jewelry industry and allowed for the production of fashionable yet affordable pieces. This chain link and cube necklace represents a style that was especially popular during the Depression era and the early 1940s.
Photographed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.