The link between fashion and art is one that goes a long way back in time. And how could it not, when fashion draws inspiration from the many beautiful aspects of life? To an extent fashion can be art, and art can be seamlessly translated into fashion. Clothes can be architectural and strong, ethereal and pastel-like or rough and grungy. And just like art does, they can help us express ourselves without uttering one word. Sometimes that line between the two can actually become quite blurry, and the results extraordinary. Which is why I’m going to start a series of posts focusing on just what happens when fashion meets art!
And to start things off, for today I’m picking an almost forgotten form of art: glass work! Many people have never even seen how glass is made. The entire process of heating, blowing and moulding the raw materials until the final product reaches the perfect shape. Glass is extremely malleable and versatile, offering a world of possibilities to its creators. Working with it is also quite a laborious and difficult process, and mastering it takes years of hard work and dedication. If you think about it, it’s an awful lot of work to create something that’s so frail and delicate. But how beautiful it all is!
So you may of course, be admiring some spectacular stained glass windows, or an intricate glass piece of home decor. But how on Earth would you incorporate glass works into your looks? Where is the practicality?? After all, we’re no modern Cinderellas, running around in glass slippers!
Glass can be personalized to your taste.
I think the most obvious way of incorporating glass into your outfit is through jewelry. A handmade glass bead necklace will always be more special than a plastic one. It will be a unique piece, as no two beads will ever look the same. This will be a piece just for yourself, not something mass produced in hundreds of thousands of identical copies.
Luckily I’ve been introduced into the backstage of glass jewelry by a wonderfully talented Venetian artist, Cosima Montavoci. She is the creative mind and artistic execution behind CoGlassJewellery, a small but extraordinary Amsterdam based glass jewellery company. I love her philosophy regarding style, her belief that it is independent of fashion and her desire to innovate and create valuable pieces of jewelry, basically wearable art. All the jewellry featured in the article is of her own creation and can be found on her website!
Glass is more labour intensive and personal.
And playing off my first point, glass jewelry is a lot more special than your typical plastic or even costume jewelry. Since it’s man made, it involves so much work, and the creative process is intense and exhausting. Looking into glass jewelry may be a doorway to learning more about where your usual products come from. It may inspire you to learn how they are produced, how ethical or environmentally friendly they are. It may even convince you to change the way you consume clothing and accessories and help you understand the value of slow fashion. Which in turn will have a positive impact on the whole fashion industry, and on your own wallet and wardrobe.
You have a more unique look.
Going further, incorporating glass jewelry will ensure that your outfit is truly unique. No two artists will produce identical baubles, just as no two glass jewels will be perfectly identical. Even in one necklace, the beads won’t be perfectly alike, since they are man made and not machine produced- just like natural pearls are never identical) And I think it’s exactly these little imperfections that make the jewelry even more special and authentic.
Glass provides variation.
Glass jewels can differ in so many ways- not just design or shape, but in opacity, colour and technique. Glass can be dyed or stained to capture any colour you want. It can be completely clear and see through or opaque, opalescent or crystalline. It can have a variety of textures and can be given a smooth or ridged feel. And it can encase other decorative elements- like crushed gems, gold wires or floral elements. In short, there’s not much you can’t do with it, and after all, variety is the spice of life (and style).
Glass can be elegant and modern.
And speaking of textures, glass will always bring an element of interest into the mix. Heavier than plastic and with a distinctive auditive element, glass can be that pop of something interesting and unexpected. It can be as delicate and dainty as you want, or as bold and orb like. Either way incorporating it in your looks will bring a very modern and sought after 3D quality to them! Just imagine a smattering of tiny glass beads sewn to the decolletage of a bridal gown, playfully catching and reflecting every ray of sunlight. Positively smashing!
I really hope that you enjoyed this article, and that maybe I’ve given you something new to ponder when it comes to enhancing your outfits. Tell me, do you own any glass accessories that you incorporate into your style? Do you appreciate glass jewelry and wear it often? Spill the beans in the comments!
Photo credits: Cosima Montavoci at CoGlassJewellery
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