There’s a Difference Between Tantalizing and Over-Stimulating

Jewelry retailers and designers, like any retailers and designers, want and need to promote their wares, and potential buyers want to know what is available for purchase. 

Some design houses that sell popularly priced jewelry opt to display so many pieces from their collections in a single ad as to obscure the beauty of each of the individual pieces and, as a result, to discount the perceived value of all of the pieces. While I appreciate the desire for economy and efficiency in marketing, at some point that tactic fails horribly. When I see a BOM – a “big old mess” – of jewelry piled on a model in an ad, I make a mental note that she looks like a fashion victim and I move on.

At least in the case of a designer or retailer selling goods there is an underlying rationale for overloading a single image: Show the line. That is no excuse, however, for the BOMs presented editorially in the December 2010 issue of Marie Claire magazine. “Put an end to preciousness,””suggests the fashion spread text, “Fine diamonds and family heirlooms mix with eclectic treasures to tell the story of your life.””



Here is one of the photos from the fashion spread, with nary a “family heirloom” in the lot. On the model, who wears a chain-printed swimsuit and clutches a handbag by Gucci, are loaded the following jewelry items: bug bracelets by Bottega Veneta, an “ivory bangle” by Miriam Salat, a braided bracelet by Strenesse Blue, a stone bangle from Stephen Dweck, a diamond bracelet from Gray & Davis, what is described only as a “green bracelet” from Yara Jewelry, and a metal link bracelet from Domingo Ayala Collection. . . plus a total of six rings from designers Monique Pean, Yewn, Stephen Russell and Alexis Bittar. The exquisite solitaire diamond ring from Stephen Russell in particular looks pitifully puny surrounded by much larger designs. If Marie Claire seeks to “put an end to preciousness,” this photo accomplishes that.

There’s more. There are several pages of similar stylings overloaded with jewelry. On a separate “Shop the Shoot”” page that relates back to the fashion spread, Marie Claire features another mish-mash of jewelry styles accompanied by the text “Body of Work: Knock sense into swimwear with a thorough beading and some cuff love.””

Does anyone think misogynistic language makes any fashion-savvy woman want to purchase jewelry?

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