Before I began reading Maia Adams’ Fashion Jewelry: Catwalk and Couture, I spent a good couple of hours flipping through its pages, drooling over photograph after photograph of crazy-beautiful jewelry pieces. After musing on the no doubt amazing collection of DIY jewelry I was inspired to create (someday… sigh), I finally began to read the book.
Fashion Jewelry showcases 33 catwalk and couture jewelry designers, each illustrated with sketches and photographs of their work. Many of these jewelers have collaborated with fashion moguls and a variety of clothing, footwear and sportswear brands, from the late Alexander McQueen to Dr. Martens. The book delves into the inspirations behind their craft, focusing on the eclectic mix of contemporary and classic methods of jewelry-making.
The couture pieces featured are not your traditional gold and silver, diamond and ruby-coated jewelry; their designers experiment and work with an array of unusual materials. The jewelers of Annabcn often pair pearls with fabrics like suede, silk, tulle and felt alongside PVC and enamel, and they also use natural materials such as coral, snail shells, seeds and branches to create their line of accessories. Canadian designer Arielle De Pinto does the intricate work of hand-crocheting metal chains to create her exquisite pieces. Materials aside, the jewelers featured in this book find inspiration in everything from the mundane to the eccentric. A particular favorite, Swiss jewelers David & Martin, craft designs influenced by “art house film, contemporary art and chickens.” Their 2005 Chicken Feet collection was inspired “after spotting a very pretty girl on a Shanghai subway munching deep-fried chicken and simultaneously flicking through French Vogue.”