I'm a big fan of the ridiculous.
I'm an even bigger fan of the silly meets ridiculous.
Remember back when anyone who was anyone (like a year or two ago) was Instagramming their adventures designing a custom, colorful enameled bracelet at one of Roxanne Assoulin's bead parties? An overly simple design with the option to personalize is really all it takes to grab people's attention these days, myself shamelessly included. I remember wanting a monochromatic version so badly. And priced at $75, it's not that horrible a deal. Could you find something similar for less? Yeah, duh. But I must say when a friend of mine who had a stack of them found the color was chipping off, they replaced it straight away. So with a warrantee like that, it's not not worth it.
As a familiar fan of this campy concept, why then am I struggling so to get behind the latest incarnation of this DIY aesthetic?
I first came across Carolina Bucci's Forte Beads Bracelet via Arielle Charnas of Something Navy when she did an Instagram story on hers. Apparently she had seen a woman wearing one, complimented it, and asked if her daughter had made it. The woman then clarified it was not in fact the arts and crafts creation of her child, but was actually a piece by Florentine fine jewelry designer Carolina Bucci.
Now, if I see something and immediately think that a kid made it, upon hearing that it actually costs over $500, my initial instinct is not, I should buy that.
But that is where Arielle and I part ways I suppose, because she seemingly left that interaction and immediately bought one. Or, as influencers are more likely to do, requested one.
With a price tag of £450, and an exchange rate that's not exactly favorable to us here in the states, this stuff had better be worlds better quality than dime-a-dozen enamel, no? And it is. The bracelet collection is based around a rainbow of precious hard-stone beads, including everything from lapis and coral to amethyst and turquoise. So yeah, I suppose the value is semi-defendable. But still, to spend over half a grand for the fate of constantly having to tell people that your jewelry actually isn't a pity accessory worn out of love for the maker, well that's just too ridiculous for me to get behind.
I'm sure Gwyneth Paltrow would be all over this. Which I'm not going to lie, is a thought alone that does make me slightly reconsider my stance. But for now, sans Goop approval, I stand firm in my skeptical judgment. Do you agree?