Yes, “tasteful” is very subjective. Maybe what I am looking for is
a person who is a trendsetter, as opposed to a trend follower in her
or his choice of jewelry. Right now big, chunky beaded and faux
pearl necklaces seem to be “all the rage” on TV, and I am seeing
more of it every day. Two years ago it was the big chunks of
turquoise. Before that, it was the “tin cup” necklaces. It seems
to me like clothing designers, not jewelry designers, are calling
the shots. Remember when Madaline Allbright was Secretary of State
and she used to wear those handmade pins?? It seemed like more
people around the country wanted unusual pins that year. (she would
have gotten my vote).
I know there are bead designers, as well as metalsmiths in this
group, and I think there are good designs in all mediums, but I feel
that there are big companies out there using TV personalities to
sell jewelry fads; pieces that can be mass produced at a profit to
thier company. I have to admit, though, coming from a fine jewelry
background, that I’m seeing less and less of gold, diamond, and
colored stone jewelry on TV and the movies, almost as if the
producers don’t want the people in front of the camera to appear
affluent in any way.
In a nutshell, I think if we did the Orchid Awards, they should
reflect originality in thier jewelry wardrobe. Wearing jewelry made
by non-corporate designers would, I feel, be more in going with the
philosophy of Orchid.