Jewelry inspiration

 MAD wall of necklacesJewelry is on many minds during this romantic week in February. The jewelry I’m posting about, however, is not romantic jewelry but for the most part, statement jewelry.

MAD necklaces in drawersMy favorite museum, The Museum of Art and Design at Columbus Circle, currently is midway through a show of costume jewelry called “Fashion Jewelry: The Collection of Barbara Berger”.  From one-of-a-kind pieces from couturier collections to contemporary designers, the gallery shows five decades of fascinating design.

MAD Chanel 1990 BroochThe mostly bold forms of the bracelets, necklaces and pins create a dream of inspiration for the wonderful exhibitors who create botanical jewelry in major flower shows across the country.  If you can’t get to NYC to see this exhibit, check out the accompanying book from Assouline publishers. This Chanel pin from 1990 has such bold settings for the semi-precious gems.

 Chanel feather necklaceChanel paired necklaces such as this asymmetrical feather design with severe little black dresses.  The caption read: “Her weighty and bold jewelry evoked Byzantine splendor and exotic opulence”.  It would be interesting to see how such a strong design actually sits on the figure.  Not for the faint of shoulder, this.

Miriam Haskell necklace Miriam Haskell came from Indiana to New York in the 1920’s. She was famous for her intricate glass beading threaded on slender wires, seen above in graduated tassels suspended on this vibrant necklace.

MAD Jeweled maskMasks often appear in the Botanical Arts classes in the Philadelphia Flower Show.  This rhinestone and simulated pearl mask was created for a couture show in 1951.  See what I mean about inspiration for Botanical Arts projects?

MAD necklace Von WeinbergerContemporary design is alive and blooming with this necklace by Daniel Von Weinberger, a Belgian who studied goldsmithing, costume and theater in the 1970’s.  Those skills and his imaginative use of found materials result in an exuberant necklace.

Plastic C'est Chic Daniel von WeinbergerBeing an unofficial queen of the big bold necklace, this one, again by Von Weinberger, was my favorite piece in the show.  It is filled with all kinds of odd pieces of molded plastic with almost lariat connections, all in vibrant colors.

plastic necklace rearAnd it is equally stunning from the back side as well.  For French speakers among us, there is a video on him called “Plastic C’est Chic!” Doesn’t it look rather like a kind of aquarium?

MAD brush braceletFinally in a toast to the Catering Queen of Chadds Ford on her birthday – here is a virtual gift of a whimsical bracelet – Happy Birthday!


About Susan

Susan Detjens is a former landscape painter, she lectures, demonstrates and runs workshops on floral design for museums, horticultural organizations and garden clubs across the US.
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