One of the many services offered at Blue Door Beads is jewelry repair; we are happy to simply reattach a jump ring or a broken clasp, but we are always tickled when customers bring in real challenges that involve having us breathe new life into their broken jewelry. We happen to be located right across the street from Piedmont Gardens, a senior living community filled with friendly folks, many of whom have come into Blue Door Beads with the hope that we can fix treasured pieces they have had sitting in their jewelry boxes for many years. We recently had a customer come in who was interested in mixing and matching beads from broken necklaces and bracelets to create a new & fabulous necklace to wear to her granddaughter’s wedding. We were happy to work out a new design with her, and it was during our time rearranging beads, filling in the blanks, and discussing necklace styles that she mentioned something interesting:
When we laid out her beads and added some very modern, big, chunky beads of our own and asked her what she thought, she said she loved the design, but felt that she was beyond the age where she could wear such a design. When we asked her what she meant, she said she may have been able to pull off such a piece “in her younger years,” but that these days, she felt she should tone it down a bit. We respected her decision, of course — she was going to be the one wearing her new necklace, not us. But it got us thinking: who gets to determine what is “age-appropriate” jewelry? We know that everyone is different, and jewelry tastes do change, but if your tastes HAVEN’T changed, and you still want to wear big, bright, funky jewelry, then darn it, you should!
We are not alone in feeling this way. NPR recently featured a 30-something blogger named Ari Seth Cohen, whose fashion blog Advanced Style features beautifully fashionable women over the age of 60 who refuse to fade to the background of the fashion world. Cohen finds these women on the streets of New York City and asks to photograph them, then share their stories and feelings regarding their fashion tastes. The women Cohen highlights are daring, bold, and unapologetic about the clothes they wear and the way they style their hair. We especially enjoy the ultra-sparkly jewelry many of them are wearing in the photos! We applaud Cohen for giving these women such wonderfully positive recognition for their fashion fearlessness. Not only has his blog made people rethink how they define the typically narrow-minded concept of “high fashion” (Gaunt, sulky supermodels? No thank you!), but his blog has also given his photo subjects much-deserved exposure in the fashion world. One of Cohen’s most famous subjects, Ilona Royce Smithkin, 93, now gets modeling jobs and is featured on billboards. As she told NPR, “It’s a lovely feeling…like you are part of the world and the world is part of you.”
As a side note, Blue Door Beads is 10 months old today! We would not have made it this far without the support of our wonderful customers of all ages. We look forward to being in the bead business until WE are 93! 🙂
All photos courtesy of http://advancedstyle.blogspot.com.