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woman adorned with beautiful jewelry

Why do we adorn ourselves?

Adornment. I’m thinking about this word as in, we’re about to go out and thinking about how to present to the world. So we go to our jewelry box, the mirror, our closet, and it’s a little puzzle. When and how do you hit that sweet spot?

Renee took this photo from our very first shoot and looking at it again, it’s such a great example of adornment. 

Anna, adorned.

Honey Honey loves threes, first of all. Earrings and two pendants, the eye keeps moving around, it’s interesting. Our model Anna is wearing jewelry here that I adore. They work together even though each piece is distinct and has its own story. The best part is, these stories are helping me along in my own personal story. And that’s what I think successful adornment is, choosing things that have meaning and make us feel something, and at it’s best the individual pieces work together as a visual story. Right upfront it’s often things that make us feel pretty, but there’s more to it than just what meets the eye, isn’t there? In the case of this collection of jewelry, I’ll start from the top with the baroque pearl earrings. That’s probably where the eye would naturally begin anyway, the face and hair framing it. You may have noticed that I’m crazy about pearls and I like these in particular because I think, first of all, they look pretty and in their own quiet, pearlescent way enhance the wearer’s beauty. They are nice with the blunt chop, but this style of drop earrings aren’t tied to any particular time. A renaissance era Venetian could have worn these effortlessly as well. Here’s an example by the great Italian painter Paolo Veronese, obviously a great lover of pearls, sumptuous fabrics and allegory. Just like us at Honey Honey. The heroine is being crowned, marking a transition in her life. She’s stepping it up, and to meet the occasion, she is wearing all of the pearls. We wear jewelry for a ritual or a rite of passage, whether it be a birth, a wedding, or a funeral (have you seen pics of the queens funeral? So many mourning pearls!!)

Happy Union, oil on canvas by Paolo Veronese, c. 1575; the National Gallery

Back to the image of Anna at the top. We have more freedom of expression than ever and we can adorn ourselves for major life events however we like. We adorn as we see fit. There’s an interesting push and pull here, how to reinvent ourselves within the existing framework, what’s acceptable. What our grandparents would have thought was acceptable. Thats whats happening here. We have, side by side, two vintage pieces that ask for us to bring it in big, to dream big. The first piece on the left is a jade pendant of the kindest celestial bodhisattva Quan yin, and on the right, a silver vessel pendant by the mighty Elsa Peretti for Tiffany & co, one of her first designs created in the late 1970s for the jewelry company Tiffany & Co. Say what you like about how they look, for me they are just right in this moment and place in time.

Elsa Peretti in her design studio. Photographed by Duane Michals, Vogue, December 19
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