The modern concept of jewelry is changing. Designers are challenging conventional ideas of jewelry with different areas of the body to embellish while they reinvent those types of jewelry in astonishingly beautiful and unexpected ways.
These changes are coming from exotic places…toe rings and pierced noses, from India…hand jewelry and body harnesses, from the Middle East, crowns and headdresses, from all throughout history. And the list goes on.
I am so excited to introduce you to a friend of mine, Marianna Harutunian, who is at the forefront of jewelry design. Marianna, a cherry-haired visionary, pictured below, designs and executes pieces that can define an entire wardrobe. As jeweler to celebrities like Cher, Lady Gaga and Nicki Minaj, pictured above wearing a jeweled glove from the Marianna Harutunian Collection, Marianna has a pretty impressive resumé…but she’s also really down-to-earth. Her accessories, however, are not.
This woman creates the most outrageous jewels…jewels that look like they came from another world, another time, or both. Sometimes her work is feminine, sometimes it’s dark–really, really dark–but it’s always mind-bogglingly unique, very interesting, bizarre, and completely surprising, and I love it all…from her dagger-sharp rings to her fingernail armor. From her intricately filigreed harnesses to her heavily-jeweled masks, which, I must say, I cannot decide whether they disturb me or have seduced me. I think it’s a bit of both.
Marianna’s pieces have been featured in Vogue Japan and on the runways of London’s Fashion Week…plus, she counts a formidable force in fashion, Italian-Japanese fashion director Nicola Formichetti, as one of her Facebook followers! He’s the former art director at the French fashion house, Mugler. Now that is impressive.
You scarcely see a repeat idea; and when you do, its execution is so different that it renders it completely unique. Marianna just never runs out of ideas.
And so I am so excited to have commissioned Marianna to work on a piece for me: a dress for Halloween, fashioned entirely out of jewelry! The back will be a spider’s web…But that’s another article for another time. For now, I am delighted to show you some of her most captivating creations.
This elaborate bodice is actually encrusted with hematite and smoky grey pearls. Just look at the detail invested in this piece. This is ART!
The left sleeve of the bodice redefines the impact of jewelry. Wear it over a flesh-toned bodysuit…or a corset, if you’re daring!
My current obsession with gold meets an intricate structure that’s crazy-beautiful. Check out those huge, shoulder-dusting earrings! And I’m way into the claw the model is wearing on her index finger. Keep your eyes open for claws. They’re going to be a new ‘thing’ for the youth.
Nicki Minaj is already a huge fan, as seen with one of Marianna’s claws on every finger in the photo above.
Green gem-encrusted sunglasses? Why not. Snoop (yes, the only Snoop) utilized Marianna’s talents in a recent video with his females decked out in bejeweled sunglasses, taking eyewear couture to new heights.
A glistening mask of tiny black jewels makes a dramatic and most memorable entrance…I don’t know where, but that’s up to you to figure out…
I do think it would look quite spectacular with the body chains above. It just doesn’t get any better than this!
This is as ordinary as Marianna will go: a bold gold bib, ornate with filigree, and a bracelet, heavy with pearls, transform a simple black pantsuit.
Facial jewelry is a new development in fashion, and this delicately-draped, lace-like creation couldn’t look any more current. Wear it to the clubs.
Sparkling crystals compose an entire dress! And just look at that headpiece!
Lady Gaga shines in a pale display of Swarovski crystals, set in shimmering silver.
Loving this harness, this fabulous bracelet, and the enormous hinged knuckle ring. The detail is outstanding. And that ring is a must for many a woman’s wardrobe.
Check out the detail studio shot above of a near-identical bracelet, if you choose to call it that, in different lighting, just so you can marvel its workmanship, the design, the details…Isn’t it complex and gorgeous and unexpected? It’s positively arm candy in Marianna’s skilled hands, where pieces are ‘more is more.’
And speaking of arm candy, this obscenely huge, gem-encrusted bangle is taken to such an extreme as to be indescribable. The scale of the piece is almost ridiculous…Isn’t it great?!? I love the drama. Don’t you just adore Marianna?!?
Another arrestingly beautiful mask/headdress is sure to leave everyone speechless, including the person who is wearing it.
This shoulder piece is both bold yet feminine. Wear it over something, or wear it under something. Just wear it.
Marianna’s version of a “simple” necklace is one that plunges practically to the waist. It’s anything but average.
Too gorgeous for words, this gold-and-pearl set is positively spellbinding!
Now I know what some of you are thinking: “Where would I wear any of these designs? They might be beautiful, but they’re a little ‘out-there’ for me. Too weird.” Personally, I think any woman would look fab wearing one of Marianna’s oversized rings or a giant cuff bracelet. If you’re a little more daring, go for a bold statement necklace, or a combination of the aforementioned. You can wear her things casually with jeans and an off-shoulder sweater, for example, or with couture, for that matter. Loosen up and get creative.
And if you really, seriously cannot bring yourself to fall in love with these most edgy, iconic jewels, then stick with something elegant and simple, like this gold necklace that speaks of sophistication. You can’t go wrong wearing this creation to the opera with a plunging neckline, or as-is over a black cashmere turtleneck during the day and into the night for dinner and drinks with friends.
My advice is to go to Marianna’s Shopping & Retail Page on Facebook, and poke around. Make sure you ‘follow’ her on FB. She sometimes has big sales with slashed prices that make owning a Marianna Harutunian an irresistible bargain.
Also check out the Marianna Harutunian Etsy storefront. There are 375 items in that store. You may find a few you like. I’m currently lusting after her adjustable knuckle rings with matching fingernail armor, $125, above. I need these in my life, lol! I want a set for both hands…Now how dramatic would that be?!?! You must admit, it’s a tad more sophisticated than nail art!
I’m also coveting the black grapevine-style cuff made with hematite Swarovski crystals and plated in black metal, $375; the diamond cluster choker made with lime green Swarovski crystals, plated in 24 karat gold, $278; the triple-stone ring made with vitrail medium Swarovski crystals and gold-plated with adjustable band, $85; the Medieval arrow ring, with hematite Swarovski crystals, $55; the antique silver hematite cluster ring made with Swarovski crystals, $65; the emerald beauty necklace, $195; the fairy ear cover, $38; the Queen Bee ring made with light peach Swarovski crystals and gold-plated with adjustable band, $55; the couture body armor, $3,500; the large cocktail ring, $98; and the crystal flower cuff, $145.
Marianna’s pieces are certainly more interesting than what you’ll find at the mall. And it’s not even that expensive to walk away looking hip and cool and completely unique. Get a piece of Marianna before she’s too costly for us mere mortals; she is Cher’s go-to jeweler, remember?
You’ll be seeing Marianna’s pieces on the celebs, of course, and these types of creations on the street as they infiltrate urban fashions. But you’re not merely wearing Marianna’s pieces. Let them become a part of who you are. Someone once said that when you buy something made by a person, there is something special there, and you do feel it. The consciousness with which a thing is made is often more important than the thing itself. And trust me, you’ll look amazing, darlings! Ciao.