Do not think that this is isolated to just women, as more and more men are accessorising their outfits with different trinkets to highlight their style.
It’s about time that men caught on, now, and I often admire men for their careful attention to detail when picking a particular earring, or the just right colour for their necks and wrists.
In the last few years, many designers and entrepreneurs have gotten involved in this emerging market. Each of these artists is bringing out inspiring and modernist pieces that embody different stories, ethos, and creativity.
New designers are taking inspiration from classic designs and forms and modernising those, incorporating minimalist forms with classic shapes, for example. This collaboration of the old and the new are a way to honour the past and their distinct cultural significance, but also imbue their own personal voice to the pieces.
Our increasingly globalised world means we are no more isolated to our own culture or local designs, and incorporating African and Middle Eastern motifs is not uncommon, bringing a unique perspective not seen in jewellery in this region before.
Artists, designers, entrepreneurs alike are starting to bring into light their talents and skills, and creating bespoke jewellery. They are aiming to make more meaningful connections between brands and their consumers. This is a brilliant way to drive greater awareness for the Bangladeshi fashion community and share its important stories. Ultimately these brands reach new audiences with their signature products and unique personalities.
We are now moving towards a more inclusive and accepting and tolerant country, women and men alike are enthusiastic about trinkets and jewellery. It is no longer only precious metals and stones that make trinkets, as now the trends are all consuming. Inspiration can come from anywhere, and designs inspired by traditional architecture, religious symbols, and paintings are commonplace.
These various designs create some of the most striking pieces imaginable. Recently, I was in Bali, Indonesia, where I saw a piece inspired by the works of Picasso while incorporating traditional Balinese puppet dancers.
Middle Eastern designers often use octagons and traditional Arabic script to create truly unique pieces. Like I said before, however, these designers are not isolated to their own cultures. More and more designers are bringing back ’30s art-deco and noir motifs into their pieces. Fusion between design motifs separated by thousands of kilometres is now common.
Like all great art, these designers are using these ideas to highlight how beauty transcends across culture and ethnicity.
Another major change in the world of jewellery is in its materials. In Africa for example, one of the most mineral-rich countries in the world, it is not surprising that precious stones traditionally took the limelight for most pieces of jewellery. Designers use materials which also send a message, colours which symbolise movements.
Local designers are using locally sourced material more and more. They repurpose driftwood or recycle materials to create pieces, which preserve the history of the location where they are made. Best of all, most designers are trying to be as sustainable as they can be.
This has two profound effects —
Firstly, it sends a very clear message that no material is off-limits, and this fosters creativity in ways unimaginable before. Secondly, it ensures that pieces made in their respective locales can only ever be made there. This adds unique perspective to their designs, while simultaneously demonstrating that people are no longer separated by arbitrary national, or political borders.
Making sure that local indigenous people are credited with their own designs, that they are properly reimbursed for their work, has become another pillar of modern jewellery industry. Jewellery has become a face for cultural and societal change.
Jatra is a good example of this, their pieces are inspired by and often created by rural populations, and they are very proud of this, and this very concern is also their differentiating factor. Historically, jewellery has been stolen from indigenous populations by western colonial powers. Designers now are taking the power back, they are diving into the deep cultural and societal significance of the creations and more importantly, crediting the right people with these designs.
Trinkets are for any occasions, for every day, any day of any hour.
Of course we should also realise that jewellery, in addition to being a symbol for culture and society, also just brings people joy. A striking piece can make the wearer, or onlooker happy. In fact, a large part of appreciating jewellery comes from seeing what others are doing with it. The sheer appearance of it can make you happy. It is not just appearance that makes us love them. For some, the sustainable efforts, for some the sleekness, the cuteness, the size, the statement, the shine, the glam, the stories, the stores, the effort, the brand, the colours, the glitter… people will always have many different reasons to love jewellery.
Like all good art, however, the piece goes beyond the original intentions of both the creator and the people who wear them. Often someone may point out something about your trinket that you never even considered before.
What can’t you use trinkets for? There is not much to say for that, as jewellery is often used for fashion, for social status, for self-expression, and even for spiritual meaning. How can we not love these, as trinkets and jewellery are unique even in their similarity, and of course, most pieces are versatile. These bits and bobs can have sentimental meaning, can capture moments, express love and memories that last forever.
Enter Bangladesh — I personally love my ‘deshi’ dingle-dangles always. Places like Chondon, Jatra, Aarong, Folk International, etc. have the most beautiful designs that I can think of. They cater to all needs, starting from traditional to modern, a fusion of sorts, western and eastern. Somehow our designers have blended all cultures, values, concepts, and given us a world of possibilities.
Our trinkets, nose rings and studs, ear pieces, necklaces and bracelets are all over the world, because we are all over the world.
We have made statements, we make colours pop, we make you love our concepts, or ideas — in essence, us. As much as you love our goods, we love our goods. We make sure that it is of the highest quality, because quality over quantity always.
The things about ‘deshi’ accessories is that you can style them anyway you want. Whether you want to keep it simple or outrageous, subtle or statement worthy, the ‘deshi’ scene has it all. All you have to do is pair them right with your outfit, whether jeans and kurtis or T-shirts, fancy tops, or overalls; saris or kameezs, dresses or bikinis, trust that we’ve got something somewhere for you.
Ask around, find your groove, go wild and let loose. I bet we love accessories for our furry little friends too!