I make jewellery for a living, so it must be pretty important to me, right? It must be something I love to wear, and that makes me feel good. How about if I told you that I loved jewellery so much that it actually had a bigger influence on me than clothes, even shoes?! Because it does. Like many women I love to plan my outfit, dress up and to look good, but rather than it being the perfect dress, handbag or pair of shoes that do that for me, it is actually the jewellery I am wearing that makes me feel on top of the world. Don’t get me wrong, I also want the great handbag and the funkiest pair of shoes, but rather than building my ‘look’ around my dress, or something else that we would deem a more ‘substantial’ part of the ensemble, I often plan my whole outfit around that one piece of jewellery I just have to wear.
You see, I often become fixated on one piece of jewellery, either because I have never worn it out and am dying to show it off, or I have just created my latest masterpiece and just have to take it for a spin. So determined have I been to show off a certain piece of jewellery to its fullest that I have been known to go out and buy a brand new outfit just to compliment that one piece. I make no apologies for it, just like any outfit must be complemented by the perfect pair of shoes or handbag, the ultimate piece of jewellery must also be given the same level of respect. Where I differ is that, rather than see jewellery as just an accessory to an outfit, I actually see jewellery as the focal point, the central element to my outfit to which every other aspect must conform. Clothes do not dictate my ensemble, rather it is the gorgeous necklace I want to wear, the stunning bracelet I want to show off, or the pair of earrings, that dictate what other pieces I am to wear that day.
So why do I attach so much significance to a piece of jewellery I want to wear? I can boil it down to two reasons – the way it makes me feel and how it expresses my identity. Many people will choose a dress, top, handbag, pair of shoes or even their style of makeup to make them feel good, attractive, trendy, whatever, but for me, it is the jewellery. Why something makes us feel good is down to a number of reasons.
Firstly, it is fashionable. When we are wearing the latest trends (and looking good in them), we feel good, we feel we are meeting society’s standards of what is acceptable at that time, and this makes us feel comfortable; we are fashionable, therefore what we are wearing is approved.
Secondly, it makes us look good. Though often related to the first reason (but sometimes not), we choose what to wear because it flatters us, it accentuates some part of our physique – it makes us look slim, highlights our legs, shoulders, nice upper arms etc. I try to wear what is deemed fashionable at a particular time, but in all honesty, the older I get the more confident I have become in deciding to wear what suits me and what flatters me irrespective of fashion. For example, you’ll never catch me in ‘boyfriend’ jeans as I just look sloppy. I will always wear a straight leg. And do you know what? If something suits you, it doesn’t matter one bit if it is in fashion or not. The same can be said of hairstyles. People such as Liz Hurley and Goldie Hawn have found ‘their’ hairstyle and have had them for years, and boy, don’t they look good! If it suits you, you will always look good.
Another reason why we carefully choose aspects of our external appearance is because we want to create a certain image and impression on others. We want to impress a potential employer at a job interview; we want to make ourselves attractive to the opposite/same sex, or we want to convey a certain status, level of wealth. Whatever the reason, we often have a potential audience in mind when we choose our outfits.
Another reason for choosing what we wear and how we style ourselves is that it expresses our identity, political or religious beliefs. Though many of us may go through our days wearing what is convenient or comfortable or fashionable at that time, it is fair to say that many people take their style very seriously, and as a complete reflection of their identity, a mirror onto their very being….some examples:
Whatever the reason, you can (and I do) use jewellery in each of these ways. I use jewellery as the ‘anchor’ to express a part of my personality, my mood at the time. Once I have decided upon that, every other aspect of the ‘mood/personality/status reflecting outfit’ must conform. So, let’s look at some of the moods and images I wish to reflect and how I do so through my collections….
I put as much emphasis on what jewellery I wear no matter the event, day or night. I will choose my jewellery with as much care whether I am attending a formal event, going to dinner, meeting friends for cocktails or even going to the beach for sundowners. I will just choose something very different for each occasion, but no matter the occasion, the jewellery always comes first. If I want to look polished for a formal event, I will choose something from Liri’s Costa collection, each piece makes a statement but is understated enough to ensure professional sophistication. If I am going to dinner, my ‘go to’ collection is Freedom. The long line necklaces and wraparound bracelets are perfect for simple elegance and sparkle. For cocktails….hmmmm a toss up between the Warrior necklaces and the Paradise collection. Both have the perfect blend of striking colours and designs that are great for the evening. Going to the beach requires a whole different look and the pieces are easy to choose – Bolder and Natural Beauty, you don’t need anything else. Perfect boho chic that is casual, but with an edge of sophistication.
Because jewellery is so central to reflecting our moods and images, and because these are so different for each and every one of us, I want to ensure, through my collections, that there is a piece to suit and celebrate our diversity. You may remember from one of my earlier bogs how I explained that one of the reasons for me beginning to design my own jewellery was because I was ‘bored’ with the styles of jewellery available to me. Nothing reflected ‘me’ or ‘me on different occasions’…now there is jewellery that does and I hope you can also find pieces in Liri’s collections that, when you see them, you instantly feel ‘this is me!’.
With this in mind, I am currently in a quandary, I have a very posh, formal dinner event to attend in November. I have a beautiful dress in mind but currently, no jewellery to match. Do I make jewellery to match this dress or so I splash out on a new dress that compliments an existing piece from one of my current collections? If I am honest, I think it will be the perfect time to get my creative juices flowing – I will buy a new dress and design a new collection – the best of both worlds!