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Fashion jewelry 2020: the return of the cameo

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The ancient art of cameo is back in fashion for 2020

Among the jewels, the cameo has its roots far back in time: the technique of engraving on the one hand and the versatility of the raw material on the other have aroused the ingenuity and inventiveness of the first “artisans” since the dawn of humanity. That sort of kaleidoscope intrinsic to the materials used, that is to say stones and shells in layers of infinite shades, acted as a viaticum to the imagination; the lCarthusian and meticulous workmanship of the carving, which stimulates concentration and stimulates thought, did the rest. Unique sculptures were born that invariably reveal a spirituality that has escaped from the hands of their creators.

Joséphine de Beauharnais

© DEA / G. DAGLI ORTI

The cameo runs throughout the history of the jewelery: from the Alexandrians to the Romans, from the Renaissance to the nineteenth century, from dances to the “victim”, whose participants exorcised the trauma of the guillotined relatives using a small string around the neck with a cameo, was of Joséphine de Beauharnais, the love of Napoleon, who came from generation to generation up to the head of Victoria of Sweden; from ruffs with cameo to contemporary revisitations of this very special jewel. Among the subjects that are most frequently represented, female images, mythological figures, animals, heraldic symbols. The instance of remembering and immortalizing is the leitmotif of these jewels: what is sculpted on the stone is indelible. This is the profound meaning of cameos and their timeless appeal.

On the catwalks autumn winter 2019 2020 break out the cameo jewelry of Oscar de la Renta: rings, earrings, bracelets, necklaces and even clutches dotted with cameos to remind the “fashion victim”, a term coined by the designer himself (the modern victims alias victims of fashion), that of cameos is a fashion that never sets. Is it because the beauty is timeless? This is the winning point of view of Amedeo Scognamiglio, “King of Cameos”, which carries on the tradition of this process as old as the world. For Scognamiglio and not only the cameo for the projections of the feelings of which it is the object is among the jewels perhaps the most warm.

In practice, unlike other jewels, the cameo combines the beauty of the workmanship and the preciousness of the materials with the fact of constituting the starting point for imagination, inspiration, memories, in a word personal feelings. Focusing on the cameo today and enriching it with contemporary symbols like sunglasses or a bow tie to make it more familiar to us is a way to soften the weight of tradition without taking away its indisputable significance.

Cate Blanchett

© Stefania D'Alessandro

And it seems so, not even the stars know how to resist the charm of this jewel: during the 2019 Venice Festival Cate Blanchett he wore cameo earrings by the artist Cindy Sherman. Expressive faces dominate the stone to create a happy contrast between ancient and modern.

Dior does not give up earrings made from carved shells or to real small sculptures that will hang from the lobes making to peek to the eye of Horo, while female images will flit between pearls and precious stones, and stylized animals will dominate on rings in antique metal, champagne finish, onyx resin and white resin.

Fenty Cameo by Rihanna beautifully reinterprets the cameo and combines the sculptural beauty of the silhouettes with the representative hairstyles of the Afro tradition: women's faces surrounded by mounts dotted with diamonds and small pearls, cameos in the form of an elegant collar closure (reinterpretation of ancient ruffs with cameo?), maxi hair earrings to adorn chignon with an all-ethnic flavor, rings and necklaces of rare elegance.

The designer Anna Porcu chooses to pull over more industrial materials such as iron, coins, leathers more varied to the historicity of the cameo. The combinations are always more particular.

Here sculpture, painting and goldsmith art are unique, but let's face it, let's face it the cameo is the demonstration that the fascination of figurative arts never sets.


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