Buggin’ Out

FashionJewelry 4 Comments

For lots of us, insects incite fear, annoyance or major gross outs. Then there are some women, perhaps a rarer species, who have a passion for all things arachnid; they are inspired to study them or they simply admire their complex beauty. Whether you hate them or you love them, bugs are fascinating creatures and they are everywhere. Even without an entomology degree, we can promise that you will be seeing lots more of the creepy crawlers all over women this spring.

Bug inspired jewelry is one of the biggest women’s accessories trends for spring 2012. Their exoskeletons, wings, stingers and bulging eyes are being cast in precious metals and adorned with anything from gemstones to enamel by both luxury jewelers and fashion jewelry designers. The architecture of their segmented bodies makes for great jewelry detail and their various appendages offer dimension and unexpected interest.

Don’t have a favorite bug you’d like to wear around town? Well, you are in luck because your choices are endless… you can take your pick from jewelry inspired by the likes of cicadas, beetles, scarabs, dragonflies, spiders, butterflies, bees, ants, etc. So, consider anything with jointed legs or antennae that can disturb a nice picnic as a welcome sign of the spring fashion season… provided the creatures you see are not moving, have a little extra bling, and are perched on a finger, earlobe, neck or wrist, as opposed to burrowing into your pasta salad. The fashion, beauty and shopping site Refinery29, has a great slide show of other bug baubles.

Bug Lover Edith Marion Patch

While we’re on the subject, there is one woman we know who would surely celebrate the idea of accessorizing herself from head to toe in insect jewelry. Her love of bugs ran so deep that she sacrificed a pay check for one whole year just for the chance to work with them and prove that it was perfectly acceptable for women to study something as itch inducing as an aphid (a.k.a. plant lice). Her name was Edith Marion Patch and she is a Woman You Should Know.

Alex Monroe Ant RingAs a child, Edith Marion Patch (1876-1954) won a contest for an essay on monarch butterflies. With her prize money, she bought the Manual for the Study of Insects by John Henry Comstock. When she tried to get a job in entomology, she was repeatedly rejected because she was a woman. Her persistence convinced Charles Woods of the University of Maine to hire her, but she had to work without pay for her first year to prove herself. Patch earned her masters’ degree, then completed her Ph.D. at Columbia University. She became an authority on aphids, and was elected president of the Entomological Society of America in 1930. One male colleague deplored the lateness of this appointment. He said in a letter, “The fact that you are not a man was the only excuse.” (E. Patch Bio Sources: About.com and DistinguishedWomen.com)

  • Jo

    It’s nice to know that we can keep some of the insects under control by wearing them. I guess I can get out my Swarovski dragon fly brooch once again!

  • Gargouille

    These look a little Art Nouveau to me–that period was totally insectophile. Bugs are so beautifully intricate and colorful seen up close, it’s no wonder they inspire artisans who work with precious metals and stones.

  • wow! this is a very beautiful earrings sets I like it.

  • Interesting article!