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Face framiNg accEssories


For the latest issue of INPRINT, Rosie Dalton discusses how face framing accessories have come to define the Millennial generation.

Sunglasses and earrings both by gUcci

When we think about the Millennial generation, the term ‘selfie’ often crops up. In an era that’s dominated by square tiles and instantaneous likes, the art of photographing oneself has become a foremost concern for many young consumers. And, when thinking about how fashion fits into this picture, face framing accessories spring immediately to mind. Whether it’s the geek chic glasses popularised by Alessandro Michele at Gucci, or Gaia Repossi’s deft hand with an ear cuff — the rise of the selfie has meant Millennials are now increasingly drawn to accessories that fit the frame.

Oversized ear adornments are certainly nothing new, of course. The 1980s was ripe with brightly coloured or sculpturally shaped adornments. And, as fashion returns to this era in the clothing department, it makes sense that we’re also coveting the accessories to match. But there is something different about the approach now; a hidden motive underlying. Take Céline’s pearl drop earrings for SS17. Worn on the runway in Paris and then again by Daniela Kocianova in the campaign, these oddly shaped pearls became a pivotal focus for the collection.

To this day, they remain one of the most memorable aspects about Céline SS17 — in no small part because Juergen Teller positioned them front and centre in the campaign, of course. In one particular image, for instance, he subverts the traditional selfie by setting the face off-frame and zooming in on the earring instead, amidst a swirl of hair. This visual captures Generation Selfie to a tee. And it’s a similar idea that has been capitalised on by fine jewellery labels like Repossi and Sophie Bille Brahe as well. Both of which are known for their innovative ear cuffs — the Berbere and the Croissant respectively.

Even fashion collaborations have tended towards the realm of face framing accessories over recent years. This was the case for New York based Australian label Tome, for example. Ahead of their FW17 presentation, designers Ramon Martin and Ryan Lobo collaborated with Closer by Wwake, who used Swarovski crystals to create sculptural pairs of mirrored earrings. And, as shorter cropped hairstyles become the look du jour for many models on the runway right now, the timing couldn’t be more perfect. In this context, Tome’s collarbone-grazing pieces make just the right sort of impact that is needed to cut through all the noise.

When we think about the Millennial generation, the term ‘selfie’ often crops up. In an era that’s dominated by square tiles and instantaneous likes, the art of photographing oneself has become a foremost concern for many young consumers. And, when thinking about how fashion fits into this picture, face framing accessories spring immediately to mind. Whether it’s the geek chic glasses popularised by Alessandro Michele at Gucci, or Gaia Repossi’s deft hand with an ear cuff — the rise of the selfie has meant Millennials are now increasingly drawn to accessories that fit the frame.

Oversized ear adornments are certainly nothing new, of course. The 1980s was ripe with brightly coloured or sculpturally shaped adornments. And, as fashion returns to this era in the clothing department, it makes sense that we’re also coveting the accessories to match. But there is something different about the approach now; a hidden motive underlying. Take Céline’s pearl drop earrings for SS17. Worn on the runway in Paris and then again by Daniela Kocianova in the campaign, these oddly shaped pearls became a pivotal focus for the collection.

To this day, they remain one of the most memorable aspects about Céline SS17 — in no small part because Juergen Teller positioned them front and centre in the campaign, of course. In one particular image, for instance, he subverts the traditional selfie by setting the face off-frame and zooming in on the earring instead, amidst a swirl of hair. This visual captures Generation Selfie to a tee. And it’s a similar idea that has been capitalised on by fine jewellery labels like Repossi and Sophie Bille Brahe as well. Both of which are known for their innovative ear cuffs — the Berbere and the Croissant respectively.

Even fashion collaborations have tended towards the realm of face framing accessories over recent years. This was the case for New York based Australian label Tome, for example. Ahead of their FW17 presentation, designers Ramon Martin and Ryan Lobo collaborated with Closer by Wwake, who used Swarovski crystals to create sculptural pairs of mirrored earrings. And, as shorter cropped hairstyles become the look du jour for many models on the runway right now, the timing couldn’t be more perfect. In this context, Tome’s collarbone-grazing pieces make just the right sort of impact that is needed to cut through all the noise.

“The rise of the selfie has meant Millennials are increasingly drawn to accessories that fit the frame.”

Distinctive accessories like these pique the interest of Millennial consumers simply because they can imagine themselves wearing them — or being photographed wearing them. And in a world where homogenisation now dominates style, face framing accessories offer a compellingly personalised proposition. Indeed, celebrity piercer J Colby Smith has made an entire career out of this mindset, capitalising creatively on our new obsession for framing the face. Far from the sterility and bulk of surgical steel, his approach is more about delicate adornment. A diamond helix piercing here, or a fine rose gold septum chain there. The permanence of which suggests that face framing accessories are anything but temporal.

It makes sense that this trend would be here to stay as well; given that these pieces are often the first thing another person will notice about you. Which doesn’t only apply to jewellery, of course. A pair of glasses, or a distinctive hat will work equally well when it comes to grounding one’s look. Maria Grazia Chiuri certainly understands this fact at Dior; reinvigorating a rebellion with black leather berets for FW17. Meanwhile, Area’s most recent SS18 collection also went deep on the bold headwear, as conductor style hats were rendered in kaleidoscopic colours. These details serve as the cornerstone of a great collection and there is a reason that they stand out for Millennial consumers in particular — because they have the power to do just that: stand out.

Think of iconic stylists like Isabella Blow, whose penchant for eclectic fascinators has been well documented over the years. Or the eternal ‘Face’ Kate Moss, whose earliest images include some of her running down a bare beach, while wearing a striking headdress. These are the kinds of pieces that we remember simply because of their proximity to one’s eye-level. And while the enduring appeal of a fabulous shoe might eventually fade, face framing accessories tend to have a much longer lifecycle overall.

Not only is the lifespan of jewellery and certain other accessories longer than clothing in general, but these particular pieces also fit within the frame of the perfect selfie. And you know what they say about a photograph lasting longer. So is it really any wonder, then, that creative directors like Demna Gvasalia have been reviving colourful shades over at Balenciaga of late? Or that Michele has been capitalising on the suddenly cool appeal of spectacles? In an age where we’re all struggling to stand out — and first impressions come by way of a digital self portrait — it seems that what happens above the neckline is now more important than ever.

 

This article was written for INPRINT Issue 5, which you can purchase over here.

Distinctive accessories like these pique the interest of Millennial consumers simply because they can imagine themselves wearing them — or being photographed wearing them. And in a world where homogenisation now dominates style, face framing accessories offer a compellingly personalised proposition. Indeed, celebrity piercer J Colby Smith has made an entire career out of this mindset, capitalising creatively on our new obsession for framing the face. Far from the sterility and bulk of surgical steel, his approach is more about delicate adornment. A diamond helix piercing here, or a fine rose gold septum chain there. The permanence of which suggests that face framing accessories are anything but temporal.

It makes sense that this trend would be here to stay as well; given that these pieces are often the first thing another person will notice about you. Which doesn’t only apply to jewellery, of course. A pair of glasses, or a distinctive hat will work equally well when it comes to grounding one’s look. Maria Grazia Chiuri certainly understands this fact at Dior; reinvigorating a rebellion with black leather berets for FW17. Meanwhile, Area’s most recent SS18 collection also went deep on the bold headwear, as conductor style hats were rendered in kaleidoscopic colours. These details serve as the cornerstone of a great collection and there is a reason that they stand out for Millennial consumers in particular — because they have the power to do just that: stand out.

Think of iconic stylists like Isabella Blow, whose penchant for eclectic fascinators has been well documented over the years. Or the eternal ‘Face’ Kate Moss, whose earliest images include some of her running down a bare beach, while wearing a striking headdress. These are the kinds of pieces that we remember simply because of their proximity to one’s eye-level. And while the enduring appeal of a fabulous shoe might eventually fade, face framing accessories tend to have a much longer lifecycle overall.

Not only is the lifespan of jewellery and certain other accessories longer than clothing in general, but these particular pieces also fit within the frame of the perfect selfie. And you know what they say about a photograph lasting longer. So is it really any wonder, then, that creative directors like Demna Gvasalia have been reviving colourful shades over at Balenciaga of late? Or that Michele has been capitalising on the suddenly cool appeal of spectacles? In an age where we’re all struggling to stand out — and first impressions come by way of a digital self portrait — it seems that what happens above the neckline is now more important than ever.

This article was written for INPRINT Issue 5, which you can purchase over here.

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