7 Aug 2010

Body adornments

I like jewellery. I don’t wear it often, especially not at work for a) comfort (rings and bangles are not conducive to eight hours hammering on keyboard and mouse) and b) talking points. I dress as frumpily as possible at work for the specific reason of avoiding the ‘oh, that’s unusual, where did you get that?’ conversation. The people I work with are accountants and statisticians and fit those stereotypes, anything beyond pearls and charm bracelets is ‘unusual’ and therefore worthy of a mildly-horrified comment on my fashion rebellion. I cite an example from a few days ago - another girl, younger than me, but so quiet and socially inept she makes the average church-going librarian look like Madonna. She’s more straight-laced than anyone I’ve met and I find that interesting, because I suspect she has a dark gothic side that she doesn’t show at work. Wouldn’t surprise me to learn she’s a dominatrix at a biker bar on the weekends. My example, however, is an overheard conversation between two of the other secretaries about this girl. Apparently they’d been sitting beside her in a meeting and her skirt had ridden up slightly, revealing, not sensible 70-denier pantyhose, but stocking-tops and the hint of a suspender belt. You’d have thought she’d stripped down to rubber underwear and given the managing director a lapdance, the shock of it was so conversation-worthy. Hence my reticence for any attire beyond a pale blue Marks & Spencer shirt and sensible shoes. If I came in dressed in black, with biker boots and chandelier earrings, there’d be whispered conversations for weeks.

P1050059_sml I also have a problem with spending a lot of money on jewellery (unless it’s handmade and unique), so tend to leave my jewellery shopping for markets, antique shops and thrift shops. Not only will I never afford Tiffany, Cartier, Harry Winston, I can’t tell my diamonds from my cubic zirconias, so it’s all a moot point. My tastes are wide and varied, but head towards vintage, Goth and art deco - drives my chap insane in terms of buying gifts, but he has exceptional taste and hasn’t gone wrong yet - see Figure 1.

When I was younger, I didn’t consider myself a ‘jewellery person’ - ie someone who bought and wore jewellery. I was a stage manager for years - a career in paint, power tools and rigging also incompatible with jewellery, my mother didn’t and doesn’t wear a lot of jewellery (she doesn’t even have her ears pierced) and growing up in the 80s in rural Queensland didn’t provide a lot P1050067_smlof options for anything that wasn’t made of plastic. So I grew up assuming that because I wasn’t a ‘jewellery person’, all the lovely things I saw at markets in London, Paris, Venice, weren’t for me. I confessed some years ago to one of my oldest girlfriends, that I wished I was a ‘jewellery person’, because I’d love to wear some of the things I saw. She looked at me quizzically and said ’well, why don’t you become a jewellery person?’. The simplicity of her solution floored me. Why couldn’t I? Would people who knew me be shocked? Would they think me pretentious to try and change my behaviour after a life time? Would they even notice? Or, as my friend pointed out as I bought a necklace and some earrings, wouldn’t they just enjoy the beautiful adornments as much as I did? 

P1050074_sml Speaking of adornments, this is my latest acquisition, an early birthday gift from another of my extremely talented, beautiful and creative friends, Kriket Broadhurst. See more of her work at www.kriketdesigns.com and make sure you check out her Etsy shop and read her blog. As a fully-fledged ‘jewellery person’, it thrills me to have such gorgeousness in my life.

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