(image taken from J. Crew)
Retail brands that have worked specifically and purposely to construct personalities of aesthetic curators and taste-makers, brands such as J. Crew and ModCloth, have relied heavily on vintage inspirations and have been instrumental in foraying bodacious designer costume jewelry looks into the wardrobes of the masses. Rhinestones, layers of beading, bright colors, juxtaposing textures, and emphatic statements have abounded in popular pieces from a plethora of retailers. As an avid shopper and style consumer who was taken in by the allure of unique and bold design in vintage costume designs at a young age, I, obviously, understand the appeal and the opportunity for mass marketing, even though I generally scoff at the price and at the inevitable ubiquity of the trend. So, while vintage-inspired style have become quite commonplace and accessible in mainstream stores, I continue to search and dig for those treasures a bit off the franchise-path at my favorite consignment and antique shops.
While I avoid laying down copious amounts of green for J. Crew jewelry, or the more enviable higher end designers such as Badgley Mischka or Van Cleef and Arpels, I am still guilty of mimicry and of permutation with my collection. I almost always layer necklaces, to play with adding dimension in color or texture, and I have regularly adapted brooches to couple as pendants we as well, but lately I have been incorporating pendants together to create a bawdier and more structural statement. My latest favorite combination is this gold and black koi fish brooch with this resplendent rhinestone sun, both strung onto a simple gold choker. A wonderful blend of incongruous and complementary, I have been wearing this beautiful monstrosity with black and white, black and cream color combinations, in simple and clean silhouettes.