I can’t believe I have not taken the opportunity to talk about the 2010 collection from Justin Davis yet. I am a keen fan of his early work where his designs showed more of his wife, Cheryl Davis’ Royal Order design aesthetic rather than his attempts to take shots at popular culture which most often are blanks. Indeed his synonymic relationship with alternative Harajuku fashion and Visual-Kei is very much limited to the former gothic glamour rather than the modern icons.
This year is no different, we can see some gloriously luxurious Gothic pieces taking center stage and this years’ theme of fetishistic sexuality taking a back-seat. You can expect the tired themes of whips, masks and boots next to some slightly more imaginative and figurative pieces like the dita-von-teese inspired – “Dita” corset ring (mid-left) and the plump lips of Angelina Jolie in “Angelina” (mid right)
As usual I have taken a very subjective selection of my favorite pieces, but I think I have got it covered! He has expanded his range of gimmicks to include some very nice magnetic locket rings, reversible pendents, enamel coatings and dividable rings. Nothing to get worked up about but it is great to see a designer trying out new concepts in a structural sense as well as a design one. The only real disappointment in the new collection is Justin Davis’s increasing reliance on synthetic stones. While I cannot deny that the zirconia he goes for are the best in the business and pretty much impossible to distinguish from natural stones even with my eye-piece, but you just can’t help but feel that for the price of admission you would expect authenticity. I guess what really matters in a stone is the setting and on this score too Justin Davis has not disappointed me yet.
Slight negativity aside I do like how he has managed to re-invent his classic designs into new credible work and I cannot help but be impressed by the level of finish that is always evident in his jewelery. On a personal note I am feeling increasingly removed from this kind of polished to perfection work (as perhaps those I have had have long taken on a wonderfully worn feel) and more towards the likes of Solitary Goat who can offer a visceral hand-worked vibe. Maybe I am just waiting for something new from Justin Davis rather than a refinement of his prior work, the last piece to make my draw drop all the way to the floor was his gorgeous “nirvana” ring, and I have no doubts that he will amaze me again.