The ‘More Than Decoration: A Multifaceted Approach to Timeless Jewellery’ Beauty Editorial is one of our online ISSUE segments, head to THE TRIUMPH ANNIVERSARY ISSUE for more.
The editorial encapsulates the essence of Triumph, as LOAD uncovers the true meaning of jewellery.
Heavy emphasis is placed on golden tones and big, statement pieces. Coupled with the avant-garde hairstyles, these renaissance-inspired looks are brought to life. The hairstyles include face framing layers and glamorous finger waves, with jewels placed carefully on each strand, adding depth to the looks. Diamonds drip down the skin like water droplets, hugging the neck and shoulders, bringing to mind the iconic Christian Dior Couture multi row choker from the late 1990s Masai Collection. The lips are encrusted with bright red stones adding a sense of mystique.
LOAD tempers with red, green and gold, drawing extensive attention to the classic symbolic meaning of gemstones. Green and gold were an ideal combination for the Mayans, who favoured the colour mix as they associated it with their closeness to their Gods; emeralds represent prosperity and abundance, and have been linked to royalty for decades on end. Red is intrinsically tied to passion and romance. Rubies, in particular, are synonymous to charity and victory, dating back to the earliest cultures which worshipped the gem due to its colour; they associated red to blood and subsequently believed that for this reason, rubies held the power of life. Diamonds symbolise perfection and purity, creating a sense of unattainability due to their pristine value and rarity. For many cultures as well as religions, gold held a multifaceted meaning, relating both to divinity as well as fortune. Most prominently, gold is reminiscent of royalty and triumph.
The Rich History Behind Jewellery
Individuals have admired big gemstones and impressive jewellery for thousands of years. Jewellery was not only intended as a decorative ornament—in ancient cultures, gemstones were representative of status symbols as well as an essential addition to traditional clothing. They were primal accessories for the Greeks, Romans and Egyptians, dating back to the second century BC. The Egyptians went as far as influencing the Byzantines with their creations, which in turn inspired the Mediterranean region, extending even further towards Africa and Persia. Big jewellery and impressive gemstones were reserved for royalty, who marked their power and status with their precious stones. During the medieval times, pure gold and silver would adorn royals from head to toe. Other rich families would gravitate towards different precious metals and crystals instead. This way, a distinct difference would be made between the royals and the rich.
This distinction is also evident through the evolution of jewellery throughout the centuries. Fashion houses usually host two lines in their jewellery collections; fine and fashion jewellery. Although both are beautiful, there are concrete differences between the two. Fine jewellery is intended for those who can afford refined luxury and high-quality pieces, whereas fashion jewellery is often mass produced and caters to those who enjoy the glamour but at a lower price-point. Materials differ too in terms of the metals and gemstones used, which is subsequently reflected in the costs. When looking for a long-term investment, fine jewellery is the way to go.
Gemstones and Iconic Fashion Moments
Dolce & Gabbana is most known for infusing colour into their runway looks through their glamorous jewellery choices. The brand contests the idea of monotony by incorporating statement pieces. Particularly, their Alta Gioielleria Collection embraced a luscious fusion of amethysts, sapphires, aquamarines, diamonds and a profusion of gold. Hand-blown Murano glass embellished the models’ hair, adding to the feeling of Venetian luxury. Inspired by the Queen of Sicily and Italy’s most renowned royals, Dolce & Gabbana preserved the Italian heritage through their opulent jewellery pieces, creating a palatial feel.
Bulgari’s jaw-dropping, high jewellery collection ‘Magnifica’ was unveiled for the first time in Milan, in 2021. The collection screamed Italian glamour, etching an iconic moment in the brand’s 137 year timeline, as its most valuable collection yet. Their inspiration came from numerous sources; from Rome’s Renaissance architecture, to the glamour represented in classical Italian cinema, and even from the vibrant colours that the groovy 1980’s were known for. It celebrated the vibrancy, clarity and even great rarity of some of these gems. Rubies, diamonds, emeralds and deep blue sapphires adorn the pieces, giving the collection a regal flair. Bulgari perfectly encapsulated the essence of both feminine and glamour through these pieces.
The Relationship Between Jewellery and Self-esteem
As a frequently used symbol of wealth and luxury, jewellery is a tool for individuals to strive and attain a specific status. Some may consider it a triumphant win to reach this specific status, so much so, that faking it to appear a part of it is commonly attempted. With individuals choosing to wear the pieces to achieve a status quo, the question remains: what does jewellery truly mean to us and are we attempting to achieve an unattainable metric?
On this note, an association between jewellery and self-esteem surfaces. In a heavily materialistic society where everything is put into categories and constantly ranked, our self-worth becomes an issue of metric to seek validation through materialistic means. People place their self-worth on their ability to parade expensive gemstones, insinuating that wearing shiny jewels equates to success. Their confidence flourishes as they exhibit the gemstones one by one, collecting acceptance from their surroundings. On the other hand, wearing jewellery that holds a specific meaning and more sentimental value, can also act as a confidence boost, a source of self-expression through which individuals establish their identity and compliment their fashion choices. In any case, jewellery and self-esteem can be closely interlinked.
This leads to the question genuinely at hand: what is the true meaning of triumph? As we skid through life continually seeking validation, we forget to pause, take a breath and appreciate the little things in life. Our small successes can also be our big wins; from getting up in the morning, to learning a new skill, and making a new friend.
As we cultivate ourselves and continue to grow, this evolution becomes our true triumph. What is truly a gemstone, but a metaphor for the gratitude we should have for our surroundings.
Written by Stella Georghiou
Photography NASSIA STOURAITI @NASSIAS_
Models ATHINA CHEIMARIOU @AL.FAYYUM, ALEXIA KOUVELA @LEXYSCISSORS,
JASMINE PALITZIKA @JESUISBLEUJASMINE
Make-up CHRISA ATHENA VERTSIOTI @YWCCHRISA
Hair Design ELEKTRA AVGOULI @GODBLESSDRAMA, FILIPPOS VOGDANIS @PHILIP.VOGDANIS
Arti Direction Filippos Vogdanis @philip.vogdanis
Assistant Art Director KONSTANTINOS TSAGKARIS @KONSTANTINOS.TSAGKARIS,
ELEKTRA AVGOULI @GODBLESSDRAMA
Studio Lunar @lunar.ath
Jewellery EVOCATIVE THREAD TREASURES @EVOCATIVETHREAD_TREASURES
Article Stella Georghiou @sssstellss