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This week BurdaStyle goes to the dark side. CHAIN OF GHOULS

A diamond is forever, but jewelry designers seem to have another kind of eternity on their minds these days: Eternal rest. Skulls made a style comeback a few years ago now, and at this point the motif is so mainstreamed it’s lost all sting. Then there were the dagger pendants, still a favorite in certain circles, mean little stilettos of metal meant, I think, to give wearers a campy sense of gangland danger. The campiness exists, too, in jewelry such as Alex + Chloe’s plastic “dead Chanel” necklaces, which sees the infamous double-C logo stabbed through its heart or shot to pieces, in either case spurting blood. It’s a good joke, but it’s not really morbid. More elegant, and more tenderly dark, is Alex + Chloe’s antler pendant, especially poignant in its oxidized silver incarnation. The designers are one of a few working a taxidermy theme these days, alongside, for example, Thorn, which makes an oxidized mouse skull pendant and a ring cast out of tooth, and goldsmith Gerard Tully, whose miniature buzzard and bunny heads have a disturbingly lifelike quality. None of these pieces seem inspired by irony, and they don’t wear “cute,” at least not yet. Maybe it’s just one of those things in the water, a result of Lower East Side and Brooklyn designers all having brunch at the same couple spots where antelope heads are mounted on the wall. But you can’t look at Alex + Chloe’s antlers, for example, and not see the lovely, accidental geometry of nature, or consider, at least fleetingly, all living nature’s inevitable decay. Many times I’ve seen a trend and thought it passing; rare is the trend that makes think: This too shall pass.


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