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Thursday, April 19, 2012

Dick Clark — the host of American Bandstand and New Year’s Rockin’ Eve — died yesterday at age 82. You’ve probably seen his famous Bandstand chat with Madonna a thousand times in the past 24 hours, but I’m going to link to the clip again anyway. I was glued to the television when this originally aired in 1984. I even mentioned Madonna’s big moment in this 2008 interview with gorgeous blogger Jill of Trend de la Creme.

Keep your eyes on her earrings!

Click the screen cap to see the video.

On Monday, I showed you a coat and a newspaper clipping that I saved from the ’90s. You shouldn’t be surprised that I have most of my ’80s jewelry too. That includes the Madonna earrings.

Holding them in my hand to show you the size.

I’ve shown them on the blog before; I occasionally wear them to Madonna concerts.

The earring in 2008. Click for original post.

In the photo above, I’m also wearing the neon guitar-pick earring given to me by the first boy I ever kissed.

He sent this to me in the mail.

He wasn’t exactly a boy. As I recall, he was 22 and I was 15. I told him I was 18.  He was a nice, polite fan of The Fixx who later mailed me sweet, hand-written letters from his college in Connecticut. He wanted to take me for a ride on his motorcycle, but my mother put a stop to that.  I met him — and kissed him — on the plane on a high-school trip to England when Mom wasn’t around.

A few important pieces of ’80s jewelry are missing. I probably threw out the bright plastic earrings from 1983. My 80 black rubber Maripolitan bangles – the same kind Madonna wore — were tragically lost in a move in 1986.  I’m still sad about that. I would happily wear them now. I also seem to have misplaced the black rubber circle earrings you can glimpse in the photo below. Note that I’m only have one on. I often wore just one earring even if I had a pair.

The higher the hair, the closer to God, bitches!

Based on my hair color and makeup, that photo is from 1985-86.  For many years, I’ve looked at pictures like this and thought, “Oh God, that ’80s hair.” Suddenly, I love that hair again. Get me a teasing comb and hairspray — I’m ready to give it another go!

Here are two earrings that I bought as singletons. I liked the watch-parts earring but I preferred the torso. I visited that one at a store in SoHo for weeks before I could afford it. It must have been about $15. I’m pretty sure both of these are from ’85-86.

Both pieces are very lightweight.

I got this clanky, 3D earring as a pair around the same time.

I tried to sharpen this image but it's nearly 2 a.m. and I can't deal.

I think it was from a street vendor in SoHo. I liked to go to SoHo to browse the sidewalk sales and the cool little boutiques, especially a jewelry store called Details. There were no big corporate stores like Victoria’s Secret and Prada in SoHo back then. I also liked to window-shop at Trash & Vaudeville (still on St. Mark’s Place). Fiorucci, in midtown, was where I got my rubber bangles. I saw Michael Hutchence, the late lead singer of INXS, at Patricia Field’s store in 1984. I hung out with my gay friends on Christopher Street. I bought a tiny pink triangle earring at the now-closed Oscar Wilde Memorial Bookshop there to show solidarity and bother my parents. My parents were occasionally bothered by my hair, including my bleached bangs and the long blonde “tail” I had in high school, but the pink triangle didn’t get a reaction.

I’m convinced the pink triangle is here somewhere, but I haven’t located it yet. I do have my pink rhinestone heart earrings. I probably got them at Bloomingdale’s.

I know I visited these for a month before buying them.

I got the gold-colored earrings below at a store called Hartly in New Jersey, around 1987. I had regrets because they were much heavier than what I was used to. Most of my earrings were featherweight even though they were big. I did like the satin finish. I use that for nearly all my designs now.

There was a strict no-return policy on jewelry.

These hand earrings came from SoHo.

Sometimes I wore one, sometimes I wore both.

I don’t remember where I got these clear plastic earrings, but they were my favorites in 1986-87. I felt like Edie Sedgwick in them and wore them for all “fancy” events, like birthday celebrations.

I generally wore both together.

This was one of my favorite pictures of myself.

I’m crazy about this rubber-tipped single earring to this day. I want to reinterpret it for my line.

Long and lightweight.

I felt more iffy about these earrings but I wore them anyway.

They're nice enough but not as fun as my other earrings.

Initial jewelry was popular while I was growing up. I usually wore just one of these rhinestone “W” earrings. I have a vague recollection of wearing them pre-1985 with pink stirrup pants and my dad’s oversize white shirt. I also liked to wear them with the cartoon shirt here, because the shirt had words on it. Words on my shirt and a letter in my ear! I felt well-coordinated.

One of these is damaged.

Earrings were obviously my favorite jewelry category but I wore these giant rhinestone brooches on my denim jacket.

The NYC brooch is much better quality than the Paris one.

I got the New York City brooch at Serendipity 3 or a neighboring hair salon before I went — unwillingly — to Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., for my freshman year of college in 1985. I wanted to be in New York so badly. Even my ears wanted to be there.

Single, lightweight, plastic earring. I'm holding it by the post.

I transferred to Columbia University in New York in 1986 and I’ve been here ever since.

I never had NYC rings, so it’s fitting that I made a three-ring, sterling-silver set for my WENDYB by Wendy Brandes line.

$320 for the set. Click to purchase.

That old earring makes me feel that I should do an earring version of my rings.

Picture these on my ears. Click to purchase the rings.

What do you think?

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13 Responses to “Dick Clark, Madonna and My 1980s Jewelry”

  1. sulky kitten says:

    From little rebel to hoarder!I bet Mr B has to keep his entire wardrobe in a tiny sock drawer. I love the gold satin-finish earrings. Love seeing all the old Wendy hairdos.

  2. This is one of my favorite posts of yours…blast from the past! I wish I had saved the jewelry!! Loved seeing past pictures of you!! Dick Clark’s passing brought back a flood of memories and the feeling that a dear friend is now gone!

  3. Particularly loving the nudie lady earrings, and the watch parts one – amazing!

    I am really having to *learn* to wear jewellery. I had always had quite subtle stuff in the past because anything large always bothered me and I ended up taking it off otherwise. But now I’m wearing enormous pendants and rings. Rings are the hardest not to fiddle with and absent mindedly remove…

    Do you have any Bill Schiffer stuff?

  4. déjà pseu says:

    I’m really impressed! I think I still have one cloisonné pair bought at a street fair in SF in 85 or so, a star on one side and a moon on the other. I don’t wear them but do keep for sentimental reasons, was a fun weekend. 😉

    I especially like those “Edie Sedgwick” earrings. I would’ve worn those to dust.

  5. Lara says:

    I always get so nostalgic for things I’ve gotten rid of when you show things you’ve kept! I had little pink triangle earrings too! Of course, they’re gone.

  6. I love these posts when you show your “retro” 80s stuff (and I love the pictures). I didn’t have a lot of jewelry in the 80s – mostly I filched stuff out of my mom’s jewelry box that was from the 50s-70s. It’s all stuff I still wear, lol.

    Man, Madonna was such the thing back then – never thought she would still be around!

  7. Megan Mae says:

    Fascinating jewelry. I’ve learned that jewelry for most people has all kinds of memories, thoughts, and emotions tied up in them. I find it so interesting as a mostly non-jewelry wearer.

    I love your “3D earring”.. it’s very industrial.

  8. Silvergirl says:

    it was kind of shocking to read about Dick Clark yesterday
    such a watcher of bandstand back in the day
    love that you have so much of your 80\’s jewelry
    i look back at my \”big\” hair and just want to crawl under a rock!

  9. stacy says:

    I’ll never forget that Madonna moment. And she practically did take over the world. I love the guitar pic story. The first band I ever saw was the Fixx — at the fairgrounds in my hometown in PA. Haha, so weird. You should have included my giant airplane earrings 🙂

  10. Jean says:

    I think we looked fabulous in the 80’s. I don’t care what they say!!! I love your jewelry stories and love your new stuff too. Styles may change, but I think you’ve got damn good taste, then and now.

  11. Elizabeth says:

    You have a great collection of ’80s stuff. I didn’t keep any of mine, unfortunately. I love the clear plastic ones best—they look like they belong in your modern WendyB jewels.