I’ve been noticing an uptick in intergalactic inspiration in jewelry recently – stars, planets, aliens, etc – and I’m super into it. Our universe extends so much further than what’s right in front of us, so why not turn that reality into artistic inspiration?
The latest interstellar jewels to catch my eye are the beauties of Jacquie Aiche’s galaxy inlay collection. I’ve seen this style of inlay before and I always enjoy it, but seeing it used to render extraterrestrial scenes is a whole new level.
I love the dramatic color contrast of the inlaid opals with the dark, infinite background of the galaxy, especially with the subtle grounding touchstone of the Earth at the bottom of the frame. This is a design that puts things in perspective.
Look at those glowing chips of opal, that glorious, dynamic shooting star. And can you imagine how this piece must glow in sunlight? I have yet to see these designs in person, but the contrast of the iridescent inlaid gems with the deep, dark background must be staggering.
I think the big pendants are my favorite, but Jacquie Aiche also gave this collection some fantastic rings. I particularly love the one on the left: I like to think that it’s inspired by the view out of a spaceship’s window. The geometry is stunning.
Does anyone else remember their Schoolhouse Rock? I’m hearing Interplanet Janet playing in my head while I look at these.
And I have fond memories of that song: I was in a live musical version of Schoolhouse Rock once, and my crush (the dreamy guy who sang Conjunction Junction) danced with me backstage during Janet. That was as far as our romance went, but it was pretty momentous for my love life at the time.
Jacquie Aiche is a big name in jewelry, but it’s a brand I often forget about. I don’t mean any disrespect to the designs – the jewelry is fantastic – but if you’ve ever seen their advertising or social media, you know that they’re really into the naked supermodel approach.
No hate to the ladies – they’re beautiful and it’s certainty distinctive branding – but when a brand presents their designs exclusively in this way, the message I personally receive from all of those hipbones and thigh gaps is this jewelry is not for women of your size.
I’ve discounted Jacquie Aiche’s work in the past for these reasons, and that’s unfortunate because the jewelry is worthy of attention.
I know that you come here for jewelry, not body positivity soapbox moments, but I also firmly believe that this is an ongoing issue in the jewelry industry and one that is almost never acknowledged…so I will continue to acknowledge it, even thought it would be easier not to.
I’ll end with a message to Jacquie Aiche herself:
Jacquie, your jewelry is beautiful! If you include a woman who is not a sample size in your photoshoots, it will rock my world. Wouldn’t it be powerful to see your designs on different kinds of bodies – especially bodies that more women can identify with? Please consider it.
Wow, I have never fallen in and then immediately out of love so quickly. I love opals, they’re my favorite, and I loved the starry aethetic….and then I checked out the links and saw the pictures. Absolute turn off. Jewelry should be empowering and uniting people, not literally telling me that because I am a woman that I want to eat and lose weight. It’s not the models’ faults, we come in all different shapes, sizes, colors and some are very thin and beautiful the way they are. But put in some variety and remove the overt sexism please. Ugh.
this is gorgeous, fun, innovative, adorable jewelry. i want it all.
i am so glad to read your words calling out the advertising choices of the maker/company. these days i am extremely conscious about where i put my money. i have no desire to support a company or an artist whose values don’t align with caring ways. do please update us with any response from the jeweller!
Isn’t it beautiful?? I’m conflicted as well. I finally decided I liked the jewelry too much to ignore it, but it felt dishonest to write about it without also including my reservations about the branding. I wasn’t sure how this would be received, but it’s been sparking some really interesting discussion here in the comments!
Jaenice Palmer says
Color me fuddy-duddy, but the jewelry would look just as lovely if the models kept their clothes on (paging Joan Didion, Iris Apfel, and Tilda Swinton!). Beautiful, young, skinny–ha! What happened to handsome, of a certain age, and well-kempt no matter what the figure? I also note that hair types are, once again, limited in scope. Pfft! Gather ye corkscrew curls, gather ye Pam Grier Afros! And while you’re at it, gather ye clothes, but we’ve already been over that.
One additional plaint: No brooches in sight. But to wear a brooch you have to wear (gasp!) clothes, which effectively brings the shock value of seeing young girls in the nude to something approaching nullity. Ump! If you must further the image of chic young savages emerging on a desert island wearing nothing but the bling with which they crash-landed into the ocean, drape them in crude duck canvas, toga-style, and pin them shut with brooches. Voila! Instant chic degage. Then let the other naked Maenads cavort and frolic as they wish.
End of rant.
I love love love this comment. You are a constant delight, Jaenice.
Jaenice Palmer says
Aw, shucks! *wriggles about in seat*
This was me in the stance of acerbic and withering critic–not to say snarky commentator. I used to think to think snark was the hubbest of hubba–I have the influences of Ambrose Bierce, Dorothy Parker, and Groucho Marx to thank for this–but these days I tend to reserve my pithiest, least forgiving comments for targets I truly feel have earned it and then some. (I don’t always succeed, but that’s a story for another day.) In this case, after I looked at some of the naughty pictures–eh, sorry, I meant some of the jewelry photography–I whipped out my crusty sword, so to speak, and let ‘er rip. As for anyone else who reads this…bon appetit, my sweet.
I think cleverness is always admirable, and snark as a sword is much better than other, less creative modes of angry self-expression. But then again, I think we are fairly similar in many ways, so maybe I just felt like you said what I was thinking.
Jaenice Palmer says
Yes! I will say this: When I am disallowed from physical and verbal action, my wit is my first and best weapon–something I’ve cultivated from a young age, now I think of it. And I suspect you’re right about similarity, given that we seem to get along like a house on fire. (smiles)
I’ve noticed this too, and I find it interesting that there’s an uptick of space-related art when there’s also an uptick of crazies who say space doesn’t exist, NASA is a fraud, their pics are fake and Earth is flat. Whatever is the problem with Earthlings these days?
When a company uses nudity as their primary branding or advertising, I lose a lot of respect for them. It’s disrespectful to women because it implies we’re nothing more than objects, and woe to the lady who doesn’t fit the current “beauty standards” of the magazines. This jewelry is lovely, and bravo for speaking out about their branding. I also appreciate that you brought it up in the first place. It makes me feel like I can trust your recommendations without the worry of seeing something cool on your blog, but then going to the designer’s page and being caught off guard.
Thanks so much, Lydia! I really appreciate that. Writing this post made me nervous, but I think these kinds of things are so important to acknowledge and discuss. The media we consume has such an effect on us and it’s important to question it.
1. This collection is absolutely stunning (and I am hiding it from one of my daughters – she wants to be an astrophysicist and there is NO WAY she can see this…mostly because $$$ but also because I will hear about it for the rest of my life)
2. Funny, I realized after you wrote it that I was very aware of, and very turned off by, the naked skinny model approach that JA takes in her adverts. I feel like it is more about the bodies than the jewelry, which is a shame because the jewelry is lovely. So thank you for pointing it out and pulling it out of my subconscious. As a mom with twins that have diametrically opposite body types, this message really gets to me on a subliminal level. I can only imagine what it does to my kids.
Thanks so much for reading and commenting!! Your daughters sound delightful – I love the idea of these beautiful pieces appealing to a future astrophysicist. I think that’s more powerful than naked supermodels any day.