The sheer scale of catwalk shows make them a brilliant stage for new jewellery design - there's scope for everything to be bigger, bolder, stranger. And, with stylists, designers and others from varying design disciplines now making sideward moves into jewellery design, the creative potential for new aesthetics is huge.
This is the premise of Maia Adams's book, Fashion Jewellery: Catwalk and Couture, which, this month, is published in a handy to flick-through mini-edition. Adams, who has lectured in fashion at Barcelona Design Institute and University of the Creative Arts in the UK, rightly points out that the modern accessories boom has led major fashion houses to rethink jewellery as more than just the finishing touch on a runway performance. Now, she argues, it is as much about brand identity as, say, Prada's Cadillac shoes.
That key fashion brands and traditional jewellery houses are keener than ever to embark on creative collaborations has undoubtedly led to a new breed of fashion jewellery designer. And it is these, as well as some early visionaries, that Adams celebrates here.
Hence we have known names: Alexis Bittar - originally spotted by Grace Coddington; Eighties club darling and Marc Jacobs' collaborator Judy Blame; Lara Bohinc, who has designed pieces for everyone from Gucci and Guy Laroche; and Scott Wilson, who cut his teeth at the Lagerfeld studio in Paris.
Other, less well-known, names include Arielle de Pinto, the North American designer whose crocheted chains look at once intricate, thrown-together and deceptively wool-like. Florian's giant resin 'rapper' necklaces and brooches are brilliantly funny but belie his carefully considered, intellectual approach to materials. Antwerp's Marion Vidal also toys with fabric choices: the mix of ceramic and leather could seem awkward but her fashion-design sensibility brings colour, gloss and, essentially, glamour to the fray. Her 2007 charm necklaces for Celine have collectors' item stamped all over them.
There's a lot more to discover in Fashion Jewellery: Catwalk and Couture, whether it's about design, philosophy, 'unthinkable' materials or fashion as a whole. As such, the book will interest designers, jewellers, makers and thinkers across the board.
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