So much to say about this show, where to begin….
I had to watch this show. It’s the only reality show out there that is close to my reality. I’ve watched some reality shows in the past and other shows where cast members compete and get eliminated. I’ve actually never seen Project Runway. When I heard about this show I thought “wow, a show for me!”
First of all, they don’t even really say the word jewelry. It’s just “bling”, this makes my skin crawl. To lump jewelry designers with shoe and bag makers and make them all compete under the category of “accessory” is just disrespectful to these very different trades.
Here its not jewelry, it’s costume jewelry. It’s decoration. Here they are all just ways to decorate the clothing on the body, they’re secondary to the clothing, the fashion. And they all carry the same weight.
To me jewelry is so personal. Bags and shoes, while they definitely can be works of art, they are utilitarian, I put my bag down and I take my shows off and still I wear my jewelry. Jewelry carries emotion, history, it’s made of metal and can last through the ages. On this show, all of that is stripped away and it’s simply ‘bling’ something shiny to accompany a cocktail dress. So few techniques are shown, just some hammering, sawing, wire wrapping. It makes me sad.
Of course I still wanted to watch it because its the only show out there that does include jewelry, unfortunately it only went as far as Swarovski crystals and base metals. Not even silver or precious stones.
Now the challenges were interesting and the materials were varied but the idea of rushing through art, having 1-2 days to make something was so frustrating. This is not fast food! I understand the point was to make it competitive but with more time they could have made better pieces and they could have aired only the dramatic bits but given them a week to work.
I’m interested in the fashion world because, frankly, the jewelry world lacks some pizzazz. We don’t have runway shows and copious spreads in fashion mags. Most jewelry magazines are “how to” and are read by makers, not buyers. But seeing things in this show and hearing statements like “very sellable” and “fashion forward” make me cringe. The idea of creating something in style means its only going to be out of style by the next season.
Another bee in my bonnet: only seeing the work on beautiful, skinny models. Sigh. It was all just so superficial which I guess is all that can be expected from a reality show on TV.
Watching did help me to feel firm in my desire to make work for real women. Work that lasts year after year and goes with all kinds of styles. Timeless pieces, well made and made to last. Not throw away, pieces that are always in style. Modern, yet my own. Made for real budgets. Work with its own meaning not just meant to go with a style or outfit. It made me realize I don’t really want to be in the fashion world. I want to combine the best of that world with the best of the jewelry world and come up with something new…