Is Fine Jewellery Just for Big Occasions?
‘I adore fine jewellery!’ I remember exclaiming the last time someone told me that my generation was no longer buying into it. In fact, I’ve been told many times that millenials don’t have the same emotional tie to fine jewellery as previous generations; that our generation prefers to jump between experiences and fast fashion over diamonds and gemstones. Perhaps it’s my history of styling jewellery shoots, or my Italian upbringing - in which jewellery is a central part of everyday life - but I couldn’t disagree more. Our lifestyles might not lend themselves well to investing in status symbol diamonds on a regular basis, but I simply don’t agree with the notion that we have no affinity to jewellery.
‘I really would wear this everyday!’ I boasted, browsing for the first time through Bucherer’s exquisite collection which debuted just this month in the UK in the Wonder Room at Selfridges. Founded in 1888 in Lucerne, Switzerland, I was astounded by how such an historic brand’s jewellery felt so modern, and so immediately wearable, despite being so precious. It’s easy to overthink pieces like these - each one is handcrafted by artists, gemologists and craftsman in Bucherer’s workshops using skills honed over 130 years; yet looking at them closely, it also occurred to me that it would be criminal to let them sit in a jewellery box, hidden away until the right occasion should come along.
Perhaps that’s the difference between millenials and our parents and grandparents: we’re less precious about those things we deem precious; or, at the very least, I can confirm that to be true of myself. And I’ve had the same attitude for as long as I can remember, too - since, at the tender age of around 10, I challenged my mother about her habit of storing jewellery rather than wearing it: ‘How can you enjoy it if it’s boxed up in a wardrobe?’ I asked her, perplexed by the contrast between that and my desire to wear all mine at once. Though my tastes have matured - an obsession with gold dolphin shaped studs and namesake pendants was left behind some years ago - my love of layering jewellery hasn’t. Only now, I prefer precious gemstones and diamonds over creatures of the sea (don’t we all?)
Though I’m no expert on gemstones, I do have my favourites. Bucherer’s morganite Peekaboo bracelet and necklace exemplify modern luxury: no fussy clasps or huge gemstones, but a stunning and subtle single stone set beautifully on a bracelet that simply slips on and off the wrist. And I love the way that the beguilingly beautiful yellow diamond and sapphire ‘Soiree’ rings make any outfit feel immediately more special without being too imposing or feeling too ostentatious to wear during the day. It sounds so simple, but making it so wearable is an art form.
Anna wears jewellery, as before, and sapphire and gold ring, all Bucherer
‘I wish I had the confidence to wear that,’ is another phrase I hear so often. My response is always this: try it once and you’ll realise it’s not big deal at all. And that applies to how I wear jewellery, too. Sure, we’re not going to soirees on a regular basis anymore, and we might spend more time lunching with friends than attending balls, but even more reason, then, to make those special pieces work for us and our lifestyles. After all, isn’t the joy of jewellery to be found in wearing it?