Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Marie And Her Bows

Have you ever noticed that Marie Antoinette was rather partial to wearing silk ribbon bows as lovely simple elegant chokers?? There certainly are quite a few public portraits with her wearing one. 
 It appears that this "style" was one she wore throughout her public life, not just when she was a young girl in Austria. There are portraits of her as a new wife, queen  & mother wearing them. It could even be argued she that this was a look she was comfortable wearing, & found it becoming even when she had reach the "matronly" age. 
Of course the average life expectancy for women in the 18th century was about 37. She was considered an older women at the twilight of her life in her 30s. Heck she was still a long way from the wrinkled,sagging body parts that come with the Big "M" Course it also wasn't something she was going to have to worry about
Now you want to know why I started off with a bit of French fashion history?? Well I have always liked the way little bow chokers look in these historical paintings, and have wanted to incorporate them with the current jewelry trends. I've been playing around with a couple of ideas and I'm really liking the way they are looking. How about I show them to you guys and you can tell me what you like or don't like and give me a few suggestions of what you would like to
see. oK?
I started out with about 2+,- inches of dupioni and shantung silk that I tore instead of cutting and finishing the ends. Kinda gives it a bit of a tattered vintage look. I tied the ribbon into a nice full bow, leaving enough length to the ends to wire wrap them a hook to necklace. I made two short strings of faceted garnets and faceted agates to go around the back of the neck.
I used a vintage rhinestone earring as the clasp along with sterling silver handmade hook.
Since I made this blue one for me I stitched a small lobster claw to the bow to hold the focal. That way I can change out the focal for a different one. This one is a vintage hand carved cameo that was my mother's. She bought it from an artisan in Italy. It has always been one of my most favorite pieces.
I also made one with a black&burnt orange/sienna piece of silk, and copper wire.
The stones are some beautiful colored faceted rondelles of aventurine. On the ends where the clasp and the stones meet the silk I wire wrapped a set of vintage iridescent crystal earrings.
For this focal I found this great piece of Mexican agate, which if you look very closely has a small sorta kinda drusy/geode thing going on. Sorta there in that split on the right side of the triangle.
I just couldn't help myself but I had this adorable little crystal heart that was the perfect finishing touch. So with a bit of E6000, it now sits pretty as can be on a little ledge of the agate. :)
I didn't use a lobster claw on this one. I just attached the focal to the bow with a few stitches. I also stitch the center of the bows on both pieces because silk has a tendency to come untied.  As I'm sure you noticed these are far from being chokers. Women have more then one size fit all necks and chokers only look right when they fit nice and snug in the center of the throat. Therefore I opted for a bit of a drop so that the bow lays right at the base of (my) throat.  Ha actually the real reason I nixed the choker is most of us "mature" women and me in particular do not need any more attention given to our plucked chicken looking neck. Well be honest. We all know that a girl's neck seems to have grown an extra bit of skin once we hit the Big "M" stage. It seems that we either wake up one morning to find we are now sporting a double chin or a little pleat on each side of the once sexy "hollow" of our neck. :( So  when I wear a choker I have that pathetic plucked chicken with a ro.er.."bow" tied around it's neck hanging in the market look.  It's just better to admit that I have passed the choker stage in my life before some little child loudly brings it to everyone's attention. "LOOK MOM that lady looks just like..." 

Oye and on that note I hope you have an audacious art filled day no matter where in the world you are  p;) 


stregata said...

Such lovely creations - the bows are wonderful. I agree with you about wearing them a bit longer - I personally don't like choker style lengths.
Hope your friend in the hospital is recovering.

pamq said...

Oh dear.

Now I know what to call that little thing on my neck....a pleat.

Oh crud.

But anyway....

Your neck bows!!!

Now you are really cookin' with gas!!!


Esther said...

oh wow!! the blue one is my fav'!! thanks for the history!! in the middle of the ribbon, she use to wear a stunning diamond... or pearls on her hair .. luxe was here ... beautiful work very inspired!!

Marty said...

I agree with Esther-I like the blue one. It is kind of sobering to think how short a person's life span was in those days-we can thank the progress of modern medicine and nutrition for our long lives!

Pretty Things said...

I just LOVE the dancing ladies cameo! And your bows are PERFECTLY done. I can't make bows look like that.

So gorgeous!

Emmy said...

These necklaces are just beautiful! And thank you for the wonderful snippet of history at the beginning of the post ^_^

Ellen Ross said...

I've always loved Marie's styles. Love this! Love the blue!! so pretty.

Ellen Ross

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