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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

In 2001, when I did my first jewelry designs — my own engagement ring and wedding band — I opted for a lot of exposed metal surface with a satin finish. I wanted to do something that contrasted with the popular “bling” look of high-polished white metal dripping with pavé diamonds. I was tired of seeing that over-the-top look everywhere. I wanted a style that was luxurious but didn’t scream for attention. When I started my jewelry line several years later, I stayed with that aesthetic. The metal — usually 18K yellow gold — and the texture of the metal has always been the most important element to me. It wasn’t the easiest path to take, because many people think that only gems can be high-end, but I had to stay true to my vision. And, these days, educated people know that gold is the true luxury.

My Empress Wu dragon earrings are all about the color and texture of the gold. Click for more photos.

While I’m particular about what I wear, I don’t care much about what other people wear. When I launched my blog in 2007, I picked the motto that I still use today: Wear What You Want.  I’m not the fashion police. Like the late Diana Vreeland, I think that too much good taste is boring.  That said, very rarely, something is so wrong that I have to draw the line. I’ve drawn the line at:

Now I’m drawing the line at rapper Waka Flocka Flame‘s blinged-out Foghorn Leghorn necklace. If you didn’t grow up watching Looney Tunes like me and don’t know who Foghorn Leghorn is, here’s a short video clip.

Yes, Foghorn Leghorn is a giant chicken with a Southern accent. Here’s how he looks all blinged out for Waka Flocka Flame’s enjoyment.

Waka's Foghorn pendant. Via Real Talk NY. Click for source.

You can see it in action in this clip. Note that Foghorn is wearing a bracelet of his own.

I had vaguely thought the whole musician “bling” thing peaked in 2007 Lil Jon’s record-setting “Crunk Ain’t Dead” chain. I was wrong. It’s not that I’m always against this look: I was very amused by rapper Rick Ross’s diamond version of his own face. I liked it even more when reinterpreted in pumpkin. And, of course, Rick Ross’s own diamond necklace that depicts Rick Ross wearing the Rick Ross face necklace is just beyond.

Is it a dream within a dream?! Rick Ross wearing Rick Ross from The Urban Daily. Click for source.

But diamond cartoon characters? I have to draw the line. “No” to Justin Bieber’s Stewie necklace. “No” to Foghorn Leghorn. (I’m not just anti-cartoon jewelry. I’m anti-cartoon tattoo, so “no” to Marc Jacobs’s SpongeBob SquarePants tattoo.)

Hey, I love an in-your-face statement piece that says “Fuck you” to the world. After all, one of my best-selling designs is my swear-ring set.

My swear rings. Click to shop.

I’m working on some custom rings now that are even crazier than those. But, damn, if your jewelry is going to make people laugh out loud, at least be sure they’re laughing with you …

My LOL rings. Click to shop.

… not at you! And if you’re wearing a necklace that brings the words “rootin’ tootin’ chicken hawk” to mind, they’re probably laughing at you. Just sayin’!

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16 Responses to “Foghorn Leghorn Would Say, “That’s a Joke, Son!””

  1. Samar
    Twitter: samarbabarhps
    says:

    I can’t stop staring at your Empress Wu pieces. They are some of my favorite and really do look like they belong in a museum. Anyway erm yea “bling” has become beyond tacky. The Rick Ross wearing Rick Ross tops the ego driven insanity to me. Also good God how heavy are those pieces!?!

  2. Megan Mae says:

    Ahahaha, yeah I think drawing the line at blinged out cartoon jewelry is too. too. much. I adore your jewelry designs for their quirk-appeal, but are still on this side of fashionable, fabulous, and luxe.

  3. What’s next? (pardon me while I sound like my mother): Foghorn tattoos and Spongebob diamond necklaces? Argghh. P.S. Your Empress Wu dragon earrings are divine.

  4. Paula says:

    lol. no pun intended. Love the lol rings. brilliant, GF!

  5. Back in 1972 I went to college with a free spirit whose father, a denim executive, gave her a F*ck ring for Christmas. Strict Catholic upbringing aside, I thought it was the coolest piece of jewelry ever!

  6. Christy Lorio
    Twitter: slowsouthstyle
    says:

    That rooster necklace looks like a Judith Leiber minaudiere, but not in a good way. It’s funny, so why so serious ’bout it boo? The least he could do is have the matching t-shirt.

  7. stacy says:

    Great post, I’m dying. I say, uh Miss Prissy… !
    LOL re. the Hilary hairclip moment!

  8. Eli says:

    When they’re that huge and obscene, are those even real diamonds being used? I’m so confused by this excessive gaudiness.

  9. Susan Tiner says:

    I think Rick Ross needs to make a necklace that depicts him wearing the necklace of himself wearing the necklace. That would be awesome, cause you’d have to stop and think for a minute to figure out exactly what you’re looking at.

  10. Silvergirl says:

    more money than sense!
    brett

  11. that is one blinged out cartoon character…

  12. Elizabeth says:

    The Foghorn Leghorn necklace/pendant really is vulgar and garish.

    However:

    I wonder if your eye will adjust after a few months, and it’ll join the ranks “Never is the next new thing?”

    • WendyB
      Twitter: WendyBrandes
      says:

      Always a possibility … I have to say I’d be fine with a cartoon character ON the person who created that character. That would make sense.

  13. Elizabeth says:

    Oh, don’t forget the Kimora Lee Simmons diamond Hello Kitty “jewelry.”