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Art and Fashion

Thursday, 16 August 2018 3:16:00 PM Australia/Sydney

Trend spot: Surrealism in Fashion

As one of the 20th century’s most influential art movements, Surrealism was quick to make its mark on 1930s fashion and design.

Drawing on visuals from dreams and the unconscious, Surrealists brought something entirely new to the decorative arts.

Strong, symbolic, iconic motifs, often recurring – just as they do in the dream world.




In the context of Surrealist design, these motifs take on new meanings, however abstract. Consider Salvador Dali’s famous melting pocket watches in The Persistence of Memory (1931).

Undoubtedly the most widely recognised Surrealist artist, Dali frequently collaborated with fashion designer Elsa Schiaparelli.

This marriage of Surrealism and fashion was immortalised in 1937 when Wallis Simpson, the newly married Duchess of Windsor, shocked in a Schiaparelli-Dali lobster-print gown in Vogue.


By the 1980s, Italian fashion designer Franco Moschino paid homage to Surrealist artist Rene Magritte with Moschino collections featuring witty and irreverent slogans inspired by famous works such as The Treachery of Images, better known by its translated caption: “This is Not A Pipe”.

In his seminal autumn/winter 2000 show, Hussein Chalayan caused a buzz with a living-room setting that transformed into wearable art in front of a transfixed fashion show audience. (If you’ve never seen it, watch this clip, starting at about 4:19, to see the extraordinary transformation in real time.)

Chalayan’s ‘table skirt’ is the epitome of wearable art, not only a showpiece of craftsmanship and design, but of storytelling. Like the Surrealists before him, Chalayan was telling a story through symbolism, this time of the way war forces people to flee with their worldly possessions on their backs.

And just like Surrealism in fashion, NAJO’s new collection, La Isla SS18, uses graphic motifs and repeated geometric shapes to tell a story.

La Isla through a Surrealist’s lens

Seen through a Surrealist perspective, the window-like design of the Midi Earring and matching Midi Ring serve to frame the wearer’s skin like a living artwork.


The tear-shaped pendant of the Daria Silver Necklace might evoke rain or tears of joy, depending on the wearer’s story, while the name of the Halo Necklace offers its own loaded symbolism, perfectly matched to the shape of the Rhoda Ring and the Rally Bracelet.

In the Reba Earring, with its tentatively balancing Amazonite stone, we are reminded of Rene Magritte’s cloudy blue skies. The organic ripples of the Dimple Necklace recall Dali’s melting pocket watches.


And perhaps the most ‘Surrealist’ design in the entire La Isla collection is the Paperclip Earring, a humble office staple elevated to a precious jewel thanks to a new perspective, material and fine craftsmanship. ‘This is not a paperclip’ indeed!

Posted in Inspiration By The Najo Collective

Buy better to last forever

Monday, 6 August 2018 8:51:33 AM Australia/Sydney

New gemstone jewellery: buy better, buy forever

 With so much to distract us (Netflix binges, endless Instagram stories, fast fashion), is it any wonder that we’re craving more connection to natural materials, handcrafted objects, the artisan over the mass-produced?

What’s the ultimate antithesis of a 10-second video that disappears in 24 hours?

One answer is a carefully crafted artisan piece of jewellery that lasts forever, comprising precious sterling silver and exquisite stones sourced from the earth.

Choosing to wear forever jewellery is a powerful way to express our values. Values of sustainability. Thoughtfulness. Considered consumerism. The value of choosing a single investment piece instead of 10 inferior/disposable/fast-fashion accessories.

Investment dressing takes confidence, maturity and contemplation. It comes with understanding of your personal style, and a desire to tell a story of yourself that is about more than the latest catwalk trends.


Reconnect to nature, quality & sustainable style 

Expressing your personal values with your fashion choices can be both fulfilling and powerful. Choosing to wear (or gift) jewellery from a brand like NAJO means supporting local/independent Australian industry, buying less but buying better, and opting for genuine stones and high-quality sterling silver that will stand the test of time.

These are heirloom pieces to be enjoyed through the generations.


The real deal rocks

Choose gemstones that speak to your personal style story and reconnect you to nature’s unmatched beauty. Make your choice based on a favourite colour, or your birthstone. The celestial creaminess of moonstone is given an updated warmth with a frame of yellow gold in our new two-tone Antonia Earring and matching Antonia Ring.


Those who love soft and feminine pinks and lavenders will adore the pastel perfection of our Amazonia Teardrop Earring in rose quartz or blue lace agate. Rose quartz is also considered the stone of love, said to promote a romantic energy and heal matters of the heart.

Amethyst, meanwhile, February’s birthstone, brings its unmistakable lilac beauty to NAJO’s new Shelby Hoop Earrings, with their delicate dancing design.


If you prefer the look of faceted gemstones to cabochon, the sparkling blue topaz of our Circa Ring evokes crystal summer waters and clean, modernist design.

When it comes to forever jewellery, NAJO’s latest gemstone collection has you covered in style. Which will you choose to tell your story?

Posted in Inspiration By The Najo Collective

Complement your NAJO with SS18 Make up trends

Friday, 27 July 2018 8:31:20 AM Australia/Sydney

This season’s key beauty trends – and the jewellery to complement them

If there’s one thing that stood out on the international catwalks for spring/summer 18, it was the head-turning beauty trends.

Trend 1: OTT eyeliner

Exaggerated eyeliner, mostly in dramatic black, is one of the strongest trends to emerge from the international spring-summer collections. For example, at Jill Stuart, creative liner created a stylised lash-on-lash effect.

These moody black lines are perfect paired with NAJO’s newest oxidised silver jewellery. Against a background of blackened sterling silver, the intricate patterning of bright white polished sterling silver really pops. Case in point: the Mobo Hoop Earring and Shia Hinged Bangle.


Trend 2: Dewy, flawless skin

It’s hardly a look to ever fall out of fashion favour, but flawless, barely touched skin has never been hotter. Along with houses like Bottega Veneta, Alberta Ferretti and Roland Mouret showcasing a lightness of touch in their summer makeup, the un-made-up trend has garnered unprecedented popularity since Megan Markle, now Duchess of Sussex, embraced her freckles in her thoroughly modern & minimalist bridal look in May.

Pair with: Jewellery pieces that are minimalist in decor yet bold in profile. For example, the substantial-yet-simple hammered disc of the Solar Earring, and the narrow golden arc of the Crescent Necklace.


Trend 3: Vivid eye colour, especially orange & turquoise

Missoni knows summer equals colour, and took eye colour to the electric extreme with its highlighter-style treatment in unabashed blues and yellows. Marni and Tadashi Shoji had a similar approach, pairing vivid eyes with high-impact jewellery for maximum appeal.

NAJO knows that most women will interpret this colour trend in less direct ways – maybe a finer stroke of coloured eyeliner or a lighter dusting of shadow – but bold summer colour still calls for rich golden boho beauty, as found in our Crescent Stud Earring and two-tone Antonia Choker with its luminescent moonstone centrepiece.


Trend 4: Just bitten/stained lip

Prada bucked the loud colour trend, pairing its eighties-inspired SS18 collection instead with minimalist makeup, androgynous side-swept fringes and cropped hair, with a hint of femininity brought from a softly tinted lip. A big trend seen at Dolce & Gabanna, Max Mara, Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini and Chanel - one of the most readily replicable trends of the season, the blush-stained lip will hold its own against the long-profile Chant Earring in yellow gold plate or highly polished sterling silver. This understated makeup style also complements the eye-catching glamour of the Maxi Necklace.


Trend 5: Glitter or jewelled eye

Nothing evokes the seductive glamour of summer skin more than a little glitter. Recalling shimmering sunlight on sand, new-season glitter adds a beachy insouciance to your look that’s more sophisticated than childish. Take for instance Ralph & Russo’s somewhat futuristic use of silver glitter in their ready-to-wear show, again a strong trend seen at Ryan Lo, Saint Laurent and Jeremy Scott.

Glitter makes the ultimate companion for NAJO’s new Wednesday Stud Earring, with its silvery pebbles sitting like giant sparkling specks along a sterling silver hoop. Or the even more oversized silver discs of the Vineyard Necklace. In fact, NAJO’s latest catalogue showcases this very combination of Vineyard Necklace and silver glitter makeup to stunning, summery effect.


From eye colour to earrings are you ready to sparkle? Explore here:

Posted in Inspiration By The Najo Collective