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.
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.
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.
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.
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 …
… 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’!