Just released, “I Love Those Earrings!”
I contributed to this book about earrings with images of my designer earrings. You can read what I wrote below–or, better yet, get your book from Amazon.
I Love Those Earrings: A Popular History from Ancient to Modern Hardcover – March 28, 2014
“Earrings can talk-of mourning a dead king, supporting a revolution, or resisting an emperor. They have carried the message that a proper Victorian believed in Darwin, and that a woman invited a lover to her bed. Raid the jewelry boxes of the glamorous, legendary, and everyday chic women alike. See what earrings they have worn, when, and why, in ways that bespeak their way of life and personality, and how jewelry carries family and cultural heritage with style. Looking at earrings as tiny sculptures, here are details about gems, settings, and fixtures. Lavishly embellished with over 300 images of jewelry ranging from the Byzantine era to the contemporary artisan, the styles of design, relationships to dress, portraiture and symbolism, and other aspects of adornment are elaborated upon. With research-based anecdotes and her own life in earrings, the author tells a story that will engage anyone interested in celebrities, monarchies, and the barely recorded lives of women of the past, and, of course, anyone who loves beautiful jewelry.”
“I wrote this article as a contributor for Jane Merrill’s book, “I LOVE THOSE EARRINGS!” All the earrings are my exclusive designs. I hope you enjoy reading it!” Janet
It’s the earrings, at a glance, that will convey personality, style and a statement to the world. Of all the jewels worn, the earrings are the most telling. From olden times to today, earrings deliver a message instantly without uttering a word. Whether it is a message of prosperity or simplicity, chic or eccentricity, historically or culturally significant, the communication is clear.
The ancient Persian Kings and Indian Maharajahs wore large natural pearls in their ears to express their extreme wealth and supremacy—the larger the pearl, the more respect they commanded. Natural pearls were the most valuable of all gems, and without doubt, the powerful men’s words were not to be ignored.
Cleopatra conquered her opponent, the Roman Commander, Marc Antony, without combat when she seduced him by betting that she could “give him the most expensive meal he’ll ever have.” She won by causally dropping one of her large, natural oriental pearls in his wine offering it to him to drink after it dissolved.
She not only won her battle, she won his heart—and commanded his respect. In comparison, today’s musicians wear huge, lightening bolt dazzling diamonds in both ears, gaining respect and awe from their devoted ‘wanna be’ fans.
During ceremonial occasions sentimental earrings are part of the costume. Brides traditionally wear earrings worn by their mothers and mothers before them. Ancient ritualistic performances adorn dancers with old-styled jewelry—jingling earrings in shapes of chimeras, bells and reflective colors
Earrings are a cultural symbol—travel the world to Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas and find the most bizarre to the blandest earring design. Identifiable to a particular culture, a design can remain the same to that culture throughout centuries. The number and size of piercings are symbolic for Amazon Indians and the Masai Africans. They wear multiple and large, intricately beaded earrings intertwined with several strands wrapped around their necks, chests and forearms—so integral to their bodies, it’s almost impossible to see each jewel individually.
Indians wear the golden, brassy glow of pure gold earrings that connect from their ears to their noses decorated with striking, reflective colorful emeralds, rubies, sapphires and diamonds set against their flawless dark-toned skin. Long, dangling clusters of small gold balls with golden droplets of tiny pure gold beads attached the Balinese dancer’s earrings are essential to the precise movements of their dance with the jingling delicate tone in sync.
Traditionally, Chinese women only wear pure gold and prefer the luck of the verdant gemstone jade contrasting vividly against their jet-black hair. The Japanese Geisha dance in sensual movements wearing earrings that resemble long delicate wisteria blossoms bending slightly with the movements for the viewer’s pleasure.
Gypsy women pierce their newborn girl’s ears. Large hoop earrings or multiple rings of small stones resembling a lit chandelier represents their unique cultural style. Earrings are essential to their movements in rhythm with whirling dancing. The sharp clinking of the flamenco dancer’s earrings is as powerful as the distinct movements and sounds of their precise clicking heels.
Some European and American women demonstrating their conservatism by wearing clip on earrings without ever pierceing their ears. In contrast, the Native American women and men traditionally have worn heavy, hand-wrought silver earrings featuring colorful turquoise and coral.
Trending western fashion typically dictate earring styles.
For example, Yves Saint Laurent sketched in the jewelry in his drawings of his clothes to be made. Whether the jewelry drawn was linear or over sized rounds each was added to enhance his seasonal runway collection.
Earrings are more than an accessory. Setting the wearer’s mood.– whether to be chic or counter-cultural the selection makes a direct silent statement.
Audrey Hepburn wore simple pearl earrings with her modest black dress in the movie “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.” She appeared unpretentious and suggestive that triggering a trend sweeping across the United States and Europe—women of all ages copied her classic and unassuming style.
I love creating earrings, more than any other jewelry. There are so many options for earrings, not only in the metal and stones to choose, but also the size and movement is a factor. For example, a single pearl drop dangling seductively or large clusters of colorful gems clipped on the ear or a cascade of monochromatic gems each style describes the feeling and style of the entire outfit. The possibilities and need for many different earrings are endless.
Since a child, I have been observing of the uniqueness of individuals. Each person creates for me, as a designer, the palette of a style. Either plain or grandiose, the template to design jewelry for a person is the style that I interpret. Earrings should enhance the beauty of a face. The precious metal, either a warm golden or cool silver and the stones all should accentuate the complexion and eye color of the person.
A single gemstone with a vibrant clarity that stirs the emotions, a perfectly formed seashell, textured wood, fruit and fabrics, contrasting colors of leafs and flowers, an art piece– –from a simple Mondrian or complicated Dutch Master they are all inspirational for me. To create and design is my reasoning and thought—in the words of philosophers and poetry, and in music, I see dimension that abstractly can be captured into something tangible, tangible to the wearer—that is the joy of my work.
So, the next time you put on your favorite earrings and step out—think about your message which is your individuality!
Janet Deleuse, all rights reserved March 1, 2012
Please give me credits if you use any of my writing or images. Thank you.
purchase earrings online at the Deleuse Design Collective www.deleuse.com
Janet Deleuse Designer Jewelry