Probably the biggest fashion revelation to come out of this fashion month (so far! let's not count all our eggs until Phoebe Philo scrambles them, hmmm?) has been these totally awesome ear cuffs created by one of my favourite jewellery designers Caroline Ventura of BRVTVS exclusively for the Jason Wu show. What I love most about Caroline's work is that it manages to fuse both history and modernity in equals parts. Jewellery is an excellent medium for this - one of the oldest and most sacred forms of bodily adornment that we as humans, and particularly we, as women, have, alongside tattoos. Her designs always reflect this historical tension and she always teases that out, whether it be the tongue-in-cheek product names she assigns to her pieces, or the way that her 18 carat gold items always seem to allude, in some way or another, to an ancient roman or greek legacy, albeit in modernist ways, such as the 'friendship' bracelets which spawned the name BRVTVS, or the Cleopatra necklace with its three-piece centre (Cleopatra, Caesar, and Mark Anthony, history's greatest love triangle, no?).
When I met her in New York we chatted about the new developments in jewellery design. At the time we were both enamoured of first knuckle rings and that occupied quite a bit of our gushing. But I have to say that the zeitgeist this moment seems to be leaning more towards ears. I've mused before that the ear cuff appears to be the final frontier for jewellery. There's a hardened, fiery edge to an ear cuff which off-sets any item of clothing or experimentation with makeup, but there's also a sort of cheeky, wink-in-the-eye glimmer to them, the look a child gives you as it tries on its mother's high heels. Ear cuffs are getting steadily more extravagant and more futuristic, but at their core they will always be a nod to the desire in all of us to be the badass who has their upper ear pierced while in the same breath being a reminder of the fact that we are just too chicken. I think that's what I like most about the ear cuff. It's just a tiny, insignificant little thing, but there's a real potent sense of unrealised desire in its golden touch. They're the best kind of edgy, that is, the kind you can take off at the end of the night, right before you go to sleep. I know I seem to go off on jewellery tangents all the time and I agree that sometimes it can seem a bit daunting to try and keep up with the ever growing world of bling trends (dainty jewellery! memory rings! anklets! what will she think of next!) but I can't help it. I've always been fascinated by the little things that can speak for the whole, and in one tiny piece of jewellery you can often see so much. Now, the only thing left to do, Caroline, is find out how, exactly, I can get my hands on a few of these little things!?