Master jeweller, Theo Fennell, has said that costume jewellery has served to embolden people into pushing the boundaries of what they are prepared to wear.
In an interview with Professional Jeweller trade magazine, on the eve of the launch of his Show Off! jewellery exhibition, the master craftsman said the rising popularity of costume jewellery is raising the profile of jewels as works of art.
Costume jewellery has allowed people to be braver and explore new options and boundaries," he explained in the interview, while being quick to emphasise that size and boldness alone do not qualify something as a piece of art jewellery.
Art jewellery has to have some resonance and enough thought to change the way its wearer thinks, even a little bit," he explained. "The whole worth is in the concept, artistry and craftsmanship. Those decorative jewellers who came so brilliantly close to genius, rarely used particularly grand or expensive stones. The wonder was in the use of colour and concept and craftsmanship."
Fennell said the era of brands and beads in modern jewellery - where quantity has eclipsed quality in many people's minds, and the name is paramount - will fade away. He explained that people have already started returning to putting a premium on design and craftsmanship, above all else.