BA Jewellery Design, Unilever #Unstereotype, 2018
My final year collection is based on a woman’s relationship with self-identity, chained as it is to the female personas of our time.
In traditional, pre-modern societies the identity of the individual was solid and stable; it was a function of social roles to provide an indication of one’s place in the world. Identity was therefore fixed, determined in advance, independent of the acts and choices of the individual. In the modern era, identity became more mobile and subject to change, individuals began to construct their identities from a set of common social roles. These constructed identities set out for a renewed recognition and validation from society, often causing anxiety in the modern individual who could never be certain they have chosen the “right” identity in a world of options.
This process is even more complex for women. Women have made huge advances in equality, widening the scope of potential roles that were previously restricted, making identity even more fragmented. While the mass media has a large influence on society, pattern seeking and stereotypes have become dominant, placing increasing expectations on women.
The question arises: Are women more liberated or more constrained nowadays? Using the symbolism of the chain, I explore different female roles and archetypes under the current sociocultural conditions, translating them into pieces of jewellery, the chains representing different characters. Wearing them all together reflects an impossible mission: to be the perfect woman.
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