jewelry with pathos
One day my BF and I were walking through the Newport Mall in Jersey City when we passed a jewelry store. He said “you’re not really into jewelry that much, are you?” And it’s true, I’m not. At least not the kind that maybe he, and other men, think girls are supposed to be into: blingy, traditional baubles, lots of gold, tennis bracelets, etc. I can appreciate these things, but they’re really not me. I’m more into stuff like the Toujours Toi line made by Nina Egli.
Her creations are fun, funny, and sometimes, just a little bit dark, which, I’m resigned to say, is just a facet of my personality: I’m inexplicably attracted to, and vibe with, things that are just a wee bit sad, a wee bit off. I like my clothing and accessories to have a bit of pathos, a sense of narrative depth. I just can’t do a tennis bracelet. What possible part of my life says “tennis bracelet”? Yet mismatched dinosaur earrings (stegasaurus on the left, t-rex on the right) work for me.
Anyway, I love the names of Nina Egli’s collections: Bye Bye Birdie, True Romance, and her spring/summer 08 collection, Helter Skelter. Common themes are sparrows, skulls, and daggers, and while these elements might be typical for post-millennial jewelry, Egli puts them together in off kilter ways. For instance, I like how in her “Honey Ryder” collection, she puts together cutsie-poo tropicalia elements with a dagger, just like the blonde iconic figure of Ursula Andress, on the beach in Dr. No, with a dagger dangling dangerously and seductively off her bikini waistband.
Her “Helter Skelter” collection may be her most diaphanous yet. Feathers in jewelry always strike me as ephemeral: there’s only so much wear a feather can take before it looks ragged. But, for instance, in her “Planet Utopia” necklace, she combines a shock of colored feathers with a tiny mushroom charm. Why she chose to name this collection after the Beatles song which Charles Manson would co-opt as a call to war between the races is beyond me, but the trinkets definitely suggest a hankering for a freer, less repressed time. Without trying to sum it up here, I think anyone born before 1980 knows what I’m talking about.
She says her influences are pirate ships, pastries, Swan Lake, Harold & Maude, 70s storybooks, dark forests, high tea, and Honey Ryder in Dr. No. What’s not to like?