Sunday, November 21, 2010

Future Pre-History: MAWI

There is something comforting and eternally right about costume jewelry; it’s as if the pieces are proven keepsakes before purchased. The history and technique – not to forget the unusual and often twisted material elements – that are involved with the art are inherent and essential. And something about the quirk factor and variant nature of costume pieces appeals to an inner sensibility of the soul.

Take Mawi – London-based, naturally (home of effortless, top-notch quirk) – a new collection of hard-edged metal and brilliant or darkly-colored gemstones dappled by a skull and spike motif for the Autumn/Winter collections. They traverse a line that can best be described as “upstairs-downstairs”. Picture a family of chic women: the matriarch with her mother’s chandelier earrings, baroque pearls and gold-leaf foiled necklaces, which she keeps stored in soft velvet boxes in the master suite; the daughter, who grows up admiring and then stealing away the jewels for nights of dancing. Perhaps she pins a brooch to the slick satin lapel of a menswear tuxedo blazer. Then she winds a tangle of metal and weathered gemstones around her wrist. It all takes on a vibrant new personality, while maintaining the past life.

Mawi’s respect for the elegance and stature of yesteryear’s work is ever-present, and enhanced by a strict motivation for contemporary craftsmanship and design. Gold plating becomes futuristic in aerodynamic tubes encircling the neck. Hematite spikes and jade crystals trump the dusty diamond multitudes roving private clubs. Each as unstoppable as the next in visual punch, and simply put: mesmerizing, just as the costume jewelers of days past intended. 

In order of appearance:
Gold plated Sunray Tube Necklace - $585
Hematite plated Onyx and Crystal Skull Necklace - $630
Gold plated Jade and Crystal Skull Bracelet - $495
Assorted Drop Earrings: $315 - $360
Gold plated Double Claw "ruby" Crystal and Spike Bracelet - $608

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