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The Lipstick Page Forums Fashion Blog
Random jewelry thoughts

Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Saturday, July 23, 2005 1:17 AM (Eastern)

Jewelry is one of those girly things that has always held my interest. I don't care for shoes...I mean I like shoes, and I wholeheartedly concur with anyone who considers that well-made shoes are worth the money (good shoes show as do cheap ones; besides, you have to walk in them all day). But I don't gravitate toward shoes the way I invariably end up checking out the jewelry stand.

My philosophy regarding jewelry is pretty much the same as for clothes or even makeup. It's good to own some expensive pieces. These can be worn whenever it's time to bring out the expensive pieces. But none of these things is ever worth going into hock for. You have to decide beforehand how much you want to spend, based on, basically, how much you have.

When I was growing up in the 70's in Virginia, East Indian styles were still the height of fashion. I adored the Indian textiles, clothing, scarves and jewelry. But much of it did not exist to me outside of magazines and movies. You couldn't find much locally, and of course there was no Internet. The only sources were mail-order catalogs, but then the prices were high.

In that regard, it's taken me a fairly long time to develop much of a jewelry style. Is it important? Well, I think jewelry reflects one's identity more than clothing, hair, or makeup, if only because jewelry is entirely frivolous and non-functional (even makeup arguably has a function, if a secondary one, such as protecting your skin or moisturizing your lips). Jewelry really does nothing unless you are playing one of those Iranian drums. :D (There is a part where the person playing it can use his or her ring to bang on the drum.)

So...there is a part of me that desires the expensive stuff. That is more the Asian side of me. But I also admire the American style of wearing stuff that is not expensive...of finding something interesting and attractive, that has no real intrinsic value. That is the very point of it; that there is no intrinsic value, that it is...simply...a pretty thing.

So...blending those influences...the East Indian lush jewelry style, with the American style of costume jewelry...I think I have settled on costume jewelry that is largely made in India, or Thailand (some is made also in Indonesia)--the semi-precious, sterling silver jewelry of those places.

Mind you some of it is pricy. It depends on where you buy it. There are tons of importers here in California...probably most of them are concentrated here in Northern Cal (I suspect Southern Cal has more "bling" style :) ).

That is one thing I like. The other is handmade jewelry, the kind someone makes and sells at a fair. This can be very good depending on the skill of the jewelry maker. Two of my favorite pieces were handmade. One is a pair of earrings that are so simple, yet perfect...thin golden hoops with a little string of colored crystals dangling inside each hoop. The crystals are different shades of blue with a green crystal thrown in.

I'm embarrassed to admit how affordable these were, yet something about them...the golden hoops, the vivid blue of the really.

The other piece is a bracelet made of pink vintage glass, rose quartz, and small greyish-blue crystal beads. Again--simple yet perfect. The beads are arranged in a symmetrical pattern rather than a plain old series of beads. I have a choker that sort of matches it (made by the same person) that is pinky-orange and smoked vintage glass beads...quite pretty, but it's the bracelet is sublime.

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