In Part II, we mentioned that jewelry can sometimes be purchased for reasons that are personal to the buyer, and in this way, tribal designs can take on new meaning for a wearer. For example, someone wearing a lotus pendant may be Buddhist, they might wear it to honor a family tradition, or they may have purchased the piece while on a trip. Whatever the reason, the pendant is something that stirs a memory or strong emotion whenever they wear it.
Patti Geolat, Dallas appraiser / estate jewelry buyer, feels that jewelry is very personal for the wearer. It’s that feeling of being connected to a piece of jewelry that can make almost any piece, regardless of design, “tribal.” For example, a ring that is passed down from mother to daughter, generation after generation, becomes representative of the maternal family line — the maternal tribe.
Jewelry, at its most basic definition, is an adornment. Much like jewelry, clothing shares similar tribal associations. According to designer Anya Hindmarch (who became interested in fashion after receiving an old Gucci bag from her mother), “[Fashion is] very tribal. It’s about saying, ‘This is who I am. This is what I stand for.’”
Fashion icons, including Helen Mirren, have been similarly quoted, noting the tribal nature of clothing. In this way, jewelry and clothing go hand-in-hand. Both are about identification, and both can be very personal to the wearer. Whole books have been written about finding your own style as opposed to following the current trends.
Designers and retailers are taking notice, as well. Buyers are less concerned with brands as they are with finding the right look for them. These dealers are trying to fill a wide variety of interests, channeling past trends and adding modern twists, hoping it will speak to the buyer.
Like these tribal-inspired pieces? Contact Judy Asa to purchase.