Creating community around jewelry
For Aventurine editor Marion Fasel, historical jewelry has always been a source of fascination. “My first job out of college was as an archivist for a vast private collection of mainly 20th century jewelry,” says Fasel. “There was a lot of Cartier, Tiffany, Van Cleef & Arpels as well as many obscure super talents. I fell in love with the subject and stayed at the office for 20 years. Over the course of the time, I became a jewelry historian and began to cover the contemporary market and contribute stories to InStyle.”SHOP MARION FASEL'S EDIT HERE!
Fasel’s passion for learning about historical and contemporary jewelry lead her to create her popular blog, Aventurine, which covers the latest trends in gems and design as well as features deep dives into the history of jewelry. Fasel says that she has always envisioned blogging as an art form, whose seed was planted by a story she read in The New York Times just when blogging was just starting to catch on. “I found the idea of self-publishing so appealing,” says Fasel, who explains those limitations (word count, page count) don’t exist when you’re writing online. “It took me a long time to break away from print,” says Fasel, “But after launching The Aventurine in 2016, I feel much closer to the audience.”
One of the things that makes The Adventurine so unique is the way it connects readers to the specific style of iconic women from the past and the present. In fact it’s none other than Elizabeth Taylor who serves as kind of muse to The Adventurine’s aesthetic. “Elizabeth Taylor is great because she liked big, bold jewels,” explains Fasel. “She had real treasures and was so passionate about jewelry. The pieces in her collection match every moment of her life from her starlet days in the 1950s, to when she testified before Congress to get funding for AIDS Research during the crisis of the epidemic. She sparkled every step of the way.”
“We asked Fasel to share a few of her favorite women in jewels: Marlene Dietrich: “I love her style. It was so dramatic and old Hollywood glam. She knew how to pose in her jewels in this way that made the photos so much more interesting.” Josephine Baker: “She wore Art Deco jewels so stylishly.” Zoë Kravitz: “Last year she wore a traditional gigantic pear-shape earrings set with emeralds or morganites. Yet on her, with her tattoos and aura of coolness, the jewels looked totally fresh and new. At the Vanity Fair Oscar party, she switched things up and appeared in a gold mesh bra Elsa Peretti originally designed for Tiffany in 1974. She also found her engagement ring on Instagram. ”
The best jewelry tells a story in one way or another. It can be what inspired a design or the personal narrative attached to when someone bought it or received it as a gift. The stories attached to jewels are an important part of what makes them personal treasures.
Creating community around jewelry, learning from what other people wear and how they wear it, is an important aspect of Fasel’s own approach to building her personal collection. “I have a couple of friends who collect vintage jewelry almost exclusively,” she says. “We get into the nitty gritty of old designs, pieces we should redesign, wish lists, everything. When we get together, I get even more excited about jewelry than I normal. They totally amp me up to add to my collection.”
When it comes to her own vintage style, Fasel definitely has a decade of choice. “I have a 1970s soul,” she jokes. “I always describe my jewelry style as very Mary Tyler Moore. On a daily basis, I’m usually in a long chain, diamond studs and stacks of rings. For a fancier day of meetings, I will toss on my Bulgari Serpenti watch with my regular jewels. At night, I try to switch things up and wear a big pendant earring. When I am looking to add to my collection, how a jewel fits and functions is as important to me as how it looks. I like my jewelry to feel like a second skin.”