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Gothic Jewellery

Gothic Jewellery

From the moment man became self aware and our ability to think gave us the ability to perceive difference and distinctions, we began to understand beauty and attempted to capture its essence. While clothing’s original use was borne out of necessity (or as retribution for the original sin – if you believe the bible), jewellery had no real purpose other than decorative adornment. The earliest known pieces of jewellery were perforated beads made of mollusc shells found in Skhul Cave on the slopes of Mount Carmel in Israel and date back to between 90,000 and 100,000 years. In the late 1800s, British archaeologist Archibald Campbell Carlyle said of primitive man “the first spiritual want of a barbarous man is decoration”. As mankind progressed so did our understanding of these prized adornments; jewellery has served as a symbol of wealth and status, as well as to protect against harm, ward off evil, and heal ailments. And through the years and across continents from Egypt, Mesopotamia, Greece and Rome, Asia and India to the Georgian, Edwardian and Victorian eras an indeed to modern day, shining examples of such adornment have opened a window to the soul of humanity and shed light on our thoughts, dreams, beliefs and desires.

It is not difficult therefore, to understand why the alternative scene has embraced this means of decoration. Already very demonstrative in their means of attire, jewellery adds the embellishments and can act as icons of their philosophies for the more spiritual among us. Indeed many of the ancient symbols are often found in our ornamental adornment, from Egyptian ankhs, crosses and pentagrams. However, how much meaning and power is put in these pieces vary from wearer to wearer. As Geoff Kayson, Director and Founder of Alchemy Gothic explains, “Each piece can be as meaningful, (and effective), as the owner wishes, in the same way that a plain crucifix to one person is their symbol of a lifetime devotion, and to another is nothing more than a fashion statement.”

For me, the key piece of jewellery in any outfit is most certainly the necklace. The neck being one of the key erogenous zones and an immediate draw to the eye, festooning the décolletage has been known throughout history. Whether it’s by a collar hiding secret promises, a chocker with its imagined constrictions, or a pendant leading the eye to the breast – it’s a highly sensual and powerful decoration. Sitting atop and between the throat and heart chakras with their associations with communication, creativity, love and life – a deeper meaning can also be drawn for those investing in the symbols of their ornaments and having them so near these energy centres.

Even atop layers of fabric, the textures and surfaces which move independently in a snake-like dance or cling to your body and move with you, add a richness and allure to your form. Whether as part of an elaborate costume or a statement piece against a beautifully simplistic ensemble, the choice of necklace should be carefully thought out.

I have collected together some of my favourite purveyors of décolleté decoration for your perusal and some thoughts on how best to wear them.

Alchemy Gothic
A long time favourite of mine, the intricate designs are quintessentially gothic. As they are often quite elaborate so worn on their own or with plain strings of beads really highlight the craftsmanship. If combining pieces try use those with similar themes. Bats, spiders and crosses, when worn together for example, would just make you look like you fell into your jewellery box!




Definitely for the times you feel like bringing out your fiercer side, these collars and stud infested delights suit the more fitted and figure hugging outfits which mimic the structure of the pieces. Pay attention to the material and lustre of your chosen piece and match that in either with the whole outfit or pieces of it, to keep the continuation. Wear them over high necklines for an even more formidable impact.




Artwith Latex / Kat Voodoo
These pieces are fantastic, acting like a tattoo and moving with you as a second skin. They really are best worn over exposed flesh, so deepen those necklines and let the heaving breasts make the latex mesmerize!





Having the same tattoo-esque feel to them but with are a more rigid sparkling construction which lends an air of elegance to the wearer. The larger pieces are the perfect accompaniment to a ball gown or elaborate fantasy outfit and should most certainly be worn over bare skin to highlight the design.





Veil of Visions
This company specialises in elaborate embroidered items, a large variety of lace chokers and necklaces with swirling designs. They have recently started adding historically inspired ruffs and neckpieces which engulf the neck in sheer flamboyance and is most definitely a statement piece. For these items however, you have to dress extravagantly and carry through the opulence throughout the whole outfit for the pieces to work their best.



Photographer credits
Nadya Lev
Simon Pole
Robert Marchosias
Taya Uddin

Published in Alt Fashion