Gold as a jewellery is fast losing its appeal and patronage as a fashion item as ornaments have now won the attraction of ladies as fashion in vogue
| By Chinwe Okafor | Oct. 7, 2013 @ 01:00 GMT
FASHION, many believe, is dynamic and moves with time. For instance, fashion ornaments such as beads and wire-works worn by ladies are gradually replacing gold as a jewellery of choice to complement their dressing. Formerly derided for its cheapness, ornaments are now embraced by the upper class as well as the lowly in the society. Its increasing popularity is derived from its affordability, durability and versatility. They are beautiful, colourful and attention winners.
Sandra Ajunwa, a banker, loves wearing ornaments because after dressing up for work in suits, she complements her looks with fashionable ornaments. Though she can afford to buy gold, she prefers ornaments because of their availability in different colours. “I love wearing ornaments because they complement my dressing and add beauty to my person. Asides that, I love wearing them because of availability in different designs and materials,” she said.
Amaka Okoye, a boutique owner also prefers using ornaments because their usage complete her dressing in ways that expensive gold jewellery cannot. She disagrees with those who regard ornaments as cheap, saying that there are very costly models too. “It depends on the quality of the beads because those made of crystal are more expensive,” she said. Margaret Ughammadu, a cosmetologist and bead maker, said that ornaments especially beads stand her out and give her a touch of uniqueness. She said it’s a matter of choice because most women do not like them.
“Ornaments are not for occasional usage only; they can also be used when wearing casual outfits. I prefer using ornaments because they speak louder than the regular gold necklace. With ornaments, I am easily noticed wherever I go. “Bead making is the fun side of fashion because it gives one the opportunity to explore various styles and interest in fashion. Beads are known for making a big, bold and bright impact, they give dramatic effects to a plain appearance,” Ughammadu said.
According to her, they are easy to get and can be seen almost everywhere such as in plazas, shopping malls, boutiques and the general markets. She noted that they do not require extra cleaning or maintenance of any form or preservation; they maintain their shine if well kept in a cool and dry environment, and can also be resold if properly handled. They do not run out of beauty or colour. She added that beads can go with any type of dressing if well combined.
The increasing use of the ornaments has drastically affected the sale of gold jewellery. Traders who deal on gold jewelleries complain bitterly about the decline in sales. A gold trader at the popular Lagos Island market, who pleaded anonymity, said “there are no more sales in recent times because even women who normally patronised us have now stopped such patronage in favour of ornaments.” Research findings revealed that these ornaments have been in fashion since the days when women started using cowries as fashion ornaments instead of the traditional silver and gold. Since cowries were a medium of exchange in the olden days, many affluent women considered them as a costlier and more fashionable mode of complementing their outfits.
Some even used them as hair ornaments while some sew them to their clothing to depict their wealth. Although cowries are no longer a status symbol, they still serve some function today. The use of cowries as ornaments led to the awareness in the fashion world that other materials apart from traditional precious metals and stones can be used to complement outfits. Wood, plastics, beads, crystals, feathers and horns gradually found their ways into existence as fashion ornaments. However, in the 19th century, ornaments gained popularity with their common use by the Carribeans during their carnivals. Gradually, the use of ornaments on the runways of modern fashion shows, led to its fame. By the end of the 20th century, they became entrenched as a fashion staple for stylish individuals.