It's getting harder than you may think.
I sometimes take for granted the wide variety of jewellery I am exposed to. As a result, my online window shopping can range from the designer haven that is Net-a-Porter to the literal troughs of mass produced tat seen on eBay and Wish. And they all have one thing in common:
And it’s not just the high street stores or online discount brands. It seems these days that producing cheaper knock-offs is no longer reserved for the Canal Street merchants in New York City or for the top players within fast fashion. I don’t know if it’s just me, but it seems like those at the top are lacking a little bit of inspiration.
Large Puka Gold-Plated Bracelet £200 • Large Puka Gold-Plated Necklace £300
I impulse bought a gold-tone puka shell ring from the ASOS sale six months ago and loved it. So of course the puka range from Tohum instantly caught my eye last week when browsing Net-a-Porter, along with a number of similar items from other designer brands.
New Pool silver and gold-tone bracelet - £130
Very similar to the Tohum bracelet but I'm afraid the execution doesn't cut it for me. The chainmail backing adds too much noise to an already perfectly simple design.
14-karat gold diamond choker - £3,080
A very similar concept, in that the necklace is gold and has puka shells, but you also get a whopping 0.12 ct. worth of diamonds. Fewer shells though.
Gold-tone necklace - £245
I see what you did there Yves. You thought we wouldn't notice. The attempt to stand out with a single heart shaped puka shell is giving me strong Claire's Accessories vibes.
How Hi gold-plated shell necklace - £170
This necklace mixes both natural and gold-tone in this designer's take on the puka shell trend. Similar to the Saint Laurent piece but instead looks like something you'd find in H&M.
This is starting to look like a group project...
Imitation is the greatest form of flattery but when it comes to jewellery, it can be hard to know who is the chicken and who is the egg. That said, if we didn’t have this kind of behaviour, we wouldn’t have trends to follow thus making the whole industry redundant.
I really hope people stop looking down at affordable costume jewellery for making luxury designs and trends accessible for everyone. These examples were all taken from one source (Net-a-Porter) but there are tons of similar styles elsewhere. And at all price points.
In an ideal world I’d love to own the set by Tohum or the necklace by Jacquie Aiche, but that’s not likely to happen anytime soon so I will join the masses content with Top Shop’s finest. Anyway, in cases like this I really don’t think you need to pay designer prices to get an excellent product.