Thursday, 8 December 2011

Modern Jewellery. Vintage Delight. And a Special Giveaway!

As a new blogger and general fashion and style enthusiast, I am extremely interested in reading and looking at the work done by my fellow bloggers. Whilst browsing through a blog called Style Shepherd, I came across a jewellery designer called John Wind. Having looked further into this, I discovered that his line was called John Wind Maximal Art and I decided to write an article about this beautiful jewellery.

John Wind is American; however, he studied Art in London in the eighties, where he first developed his passion for jewellery. The focus of his design was vintage styling with a modern twist and he used to scour Portobello market to snag unique materials for his art. John would make the pieces at home and then wear them around town. At 6 feet 6 inches tall, he was probably a fairly unusual sight but we should let him off because he was ‘arty’ and it was the eighties after all! He knocked many doors and eventually achieved success, launching John Wind Maximal Art. He chose the name 'maximal' because he felt his work drew a stark contrast to the trends that dominated the art world at the time. I suppose he was quite a maximal type of man himself!
John Wind feels that jewellery has a story to tell, that it has "soul and personality and a narrative quality". His jewellery tells many different stories as you will see from the broad range exhibited on his website. One of the pieces is named the Midsummer Night's Dream Collage Necklace – poetry meets art. It is unusually bold and beautiful yet still has delicate charm. Sounds like I’m describing lots of my gorgeous friends! That’s interesting. Jewellery is most definitely female. Obviously, it can be worn by boys and girls alike, but these beauties are definitely ladies!
So why do we love jewellery? Well firstly I think because it’s pretty. We love pretty, shiny sparkles. Special pieces guarantee to lend something to an outfit. It’s the polish, the cherry on the top, the fine tuning. If your jewellery is doing all the talking, your clothes really don’t have to work as hard. It’s like when I can’t be bothered to put makeup on, I always wear my favourite, special earrings. I think we love jewellery because it is special. I love my clothes, goodness, I can’t get enough of them but, you know, when you wear them you lean on them and sit on them, then you chuck them in a washing machine. Shoes? Well we put our feet in them and stand on them and kick them off at weddings! I mean, I wouldn’t put up with that treatment. But with jewellery it’s a completely different story. We really care for it and protect it from the dangers of the world, we take it off when we go in the shower and we put it in a special box just for jewellery and nothing else.
So when I was out shopping at Selfridges the other day, I decided to take a trip to the Victoria and Albert Museum, where a John Wind piece features in a permanent collection. Unfortunately, the collection is regularly rotated and it was not on display. This was a bit disappointing but I took a look at the current jewellery collection and it was absolutely fascinating. There was jewellery that dated back to 1500 BC and I started to realise how inherent this kind of self adornment is within the human race. My gosh, we have been blinging it up for years! Wearing jewellery is clearly something that connects with us in a basic, instinctive way. It is steeped in history. But, surprisingly, even some of the very earliest pieces still had a modern feel about them. And this is where I find John Wind and his Maximal Art to be so alluring. It beautifully captures the vintage essence in a modern funky form.

The collection has a lot to offer; from trinkets and charms, to brooches, bracelets and necklaces. I love the idea of attaching brooches to strings of pearls. It’s a very clever way to update the jewellery you already have.

Now here comes the good bit. Here is your opportunity to WIN a beautiful classic John Wind brooch. Everyone say woooooooo! One of John Wind’s first ever pieces was a brooch and so we thought it would be lovely if we could give away a very special brooch to one of my readers. Is everyone excited? Here it is...

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