Tag: fashion; fashion creators


In her dissertation to obtain the degree of Doctor at Leiden University the Dutch Art Historian Marjan Unger wrote[1] : “The worlds of fashion and clothing and the worlds of jewellery are often seen as two different worlds, which barely touch each other and sometimes are even depicted as each other’s rivals. But is perhaps more useful to explore how they can be productively related to each other.”

Fashion and jewellery are both complex systems:  fashion is not so much about dresses as well as jewellery is nothing but pieces and ornament.  Both worlds connect different fields of studies and have interacted virtually and mutually over the years and finally something new is emerging: the “Brooch factor”.

Among jewels, brooches are my favourite pieces because they are true statement pieces par excellence.  They are small sculptures, little small worlds full of inventiveness and creativity. They condense the history of the artist: a microcosmos where the entire author emerges.

So, I am really grateful to Linda Dyett and The NY Times for quoting my words in a very interesting article about the return of the brooch, entirely dedicated to my piece par excellence: THE BROOCH IS BACK, BABY!

Colorful collar: an assortment of brooches and pins including Biba Schutz’s Cube and vintage Jewelry Library pieces.  Photo Credit: David Lewis Taylor via The NY Times

Fashion, which is always experimenting new materials and reinventing itself looking back and around, has finally understood that jewels are not a mere ornament and brooches, especially (but we cannot forget also necklaces and rings) a real form of art, able to express moods and to communicate feelings.

As for contemporary art, also contemporary jewellery displays itself with multiple languages using different materials and reinventing itself constantly so, I hope that there will be the possibility in the future to open this door with a collaboration between the fashion world and the one of contemporary jewellery, as the great Elsa Schiaparelli did with Man Ray, Dalì, Tristan Tzara and Picasso.

I am deeply grateful to Linda Dyett and to The NY TIMES for this opportunity.



[1] Marjan Unger, Jewelley in Context. A multidisplinary framework for the study of jewellery, with a foreword by Theo Smeets, pp.81-91, Arnoldsche Art Publishers, 2019.

DU DOMAINE D’OUTRENOIR | an education to the absolute

Few months ago, while drinking an apéro, a close friend suddenly asked me “why don’t you wear colours sometimes? You always wear black!”.  I answered her quietly “oh…c’mon! you know I wear white in summer!! Don’t you think this is enough for me?!”

 By the way, the fact is that, even if I really love colours such as red,  a well saturated yellow, blue, light blue, pale indigo or wild tangerine, I always return to black: not only because it has such a fascinating social history, but because wearing black is an education to the absolute. It’s a matter of “silence and slow time”, a constant growth of desire and the reward is a long, trustworthy endurance.

 Being considered for centuries the denial of all colours and the synonym of evil, during classical times black had a different status: the Romans distinguished between  ATER, an opaque black and its brighter shade called NIGER, thus it was a matter of reflection and, of course, light(ness) indeed!

 So, I’ve started thinkin’ to a new métissage, combining the légéresse of black and its strong presence, matching a somber, but tumultuous lightness. Because you know how ligntness can be overflowing!


 KARIN JOHANSSON, brooches from the Butterfly series – oxidized silver, 2010  and  MAISON VALENTINO, haute couture spring coll. 2014.

Moreover, talking about black, I have to introduce you one of the greatest artist of our times, the one who devoted to black  almost his entire artistic life: PIERRE SOULAGES (Rodez, France 1919).

1963 soulages

  PIERRE SOULAGES, Tableau 19 juin 1963, Paris- Musée de l’Art Moderne

From the early ’80s Soulages started painting in total black, giving to the colour an unforeseen clarity: that was the domain of “outrenoir” (beyondblack).



L’outrenoir provient d’un développement. Je peignais une nuit et je continuais à travailler malgré mon désespoir de ne pas trouver ce que je cherchais. Quelque chose de plus fort en moi que l’intention que j’avais. Je suis allé dormir. Après une ou deux heures, je me suis levé et je suis retourné voir ce que j’avais fait. Alors je me suis aperçu que la matière que j’utilisais, ce n’était plus du noir. Ce n’était pas le noir. La matière que j’utilisais, c’était la lumière. La lumière, elle réfléchit le noir. Ma peinture, ce n’est pas ce qu’on croit voir: c’est la lumière. Si on voit ça noir, c’est qu’on a le ventre à la tête. Si on regarde avec les yeux, on s’aperçoit que ce n’est pas noir.” (Michael de Saintcheron interviewing Pierre Soulages, via HuffingtonPost France)

“The outrenoir comes up from a development. I painted one night and I continued to work despite my despair of not finding what I was looking for. There was something stronger in me than I had intended. I went to sleep. After one or two hours, I got up and went back to see what I had done. Then I realized that the material I used was no longer black. It was not black. The material I used was light. Light, it reflects the dark. My painting, it is not what one believes to see: it is light. If you see that black is that we have the stomach to the head. If you look with your eyes, you realize that it’s not black” (Michael de Saintcheron interviewing Pierre Soulages, via HuffingtonPost France).


BLACK, HISTORY OF A COLOUR by Michel Pastoureau


View the complete bibliography on Pierre Soulages via here: http://www.pierre-soulages.com/pages/biblio.html

Karin johansson, red papillon broche
Karin Johansson, red papillon brooch

 A presto,