I don’t usually wax rhapsodic about magazine fashion spreads. Often both the styling and the photographs are too edgy for my taste. I readily acknowledge that this has to do with my style personality and fashion preferences, most of which preferences are driven by the fact that I want to complement my face and form and the fact that I’m not in my 20’s any more. But I know I’m in good company, and plenty of it.
The fashion spread that has blown me away is the feature “New Pieces You’ll Love Forever” in the September 2009 issue of Harper’s Bazaar magazine. Credits for this gorgeous spread go to fashion editor Jacob K, photographer Benjamin Alexander Huseby and writer Lisa Armstrong, fashion editor of The Times in the U.K. As noted in the subtitle of the article, “These aren’t your garden variety classics. Here are the endlessly CHIC STAPLES that never go out of style.’
Every jewelry retailer should have a copy of the magazine opened to this article in his or her store.
Armstrong writes, “With experience, a woman develops a homing instinct that leads her toward her personal favorites. . . . In addition to identifying the pieces that really are timeless for her body, her personality, and her lifestyle, a woman needs to work out whether she can play those pieces straight or not.”
How does one determine whether one should play it straight or not, which is important since “some pieces need to be tweaked, one woman’s staple being another woman’s instant detour to looking a whole decade older than she is”? Read Armstrong’s marvelous commentary differentiating what flatters classically pretty women versus those with “something arresting going on.”
How does one tweak a look to make it current? Armstrong quotes designer Jason Wu: “Accessories are particularly important for updating classics” and describes the “meat and potatoes” approach endorsed by designer Michael Kors: “a closet made up of 70 percent classic staples and 30 percent fripperies” such as wild colors, zany prints and fabulous statement jewelry.
The article is filled with fabulous statement jewelry, and the styling of the jewelry is exceptional. It combines classic looks with wonderfully creative ideas for the placement of jewelry. See, for instance, the pair of mismatched starburst brooches by Sequin worn in similar locations on a blouse and cape in the photo immediately above, and the bracelet worn on the outside of the coat sleeve along with coordinated necklace and earrings by Lanvin on the photo immediately below.
In the photo on the first page of the article( the first photo above), notice the necklace by Elizabeth Cole Jewelry worn at the edge of the sweater and the pair of mismatched brooches by Roxanne Assoulin for Lee Angel (top) and Sequin (bottom) worn below the hip on the skirt. In the photo below, notice how the marvelous earrings by Angels the Costumiers, London, repeats the color and pleated effect of the collar of the dress, and how the chain necklace from the same designer adds the je-ne-sais-quoi that makes the whole look fresh.
Armstrong concludes: “The whole point of classics is that they’re meant to make looking fabulous each day fairly effortless. But effortlessness requires some planning.”
This fashion spread might just provide the inspiration and incentive for you or your customers to plan the purchase of classics that will keep them looking classically chic.