Posted on 16 December 2016
Women politicians use the power of jewelry to send subliminal messages.
From Roman amulets to the grand pearls of mighty society hostesses, baubles have projected the values and aspirations of the wearer.
But power jewelry today is used more subtly - to underscore a shift in message, target a specific audience or suggest a more irreverent side to a staid image. The new trend in power jewelry relies on a single good-quality piece that draws the eyes, rather than an ensemble of busy ones.
The palette for women in power is more neutral and subtle than it was a decade ago, with pearls, brooches, silver and black.
For Hilary Clinton, it used to be a hefty pair of gold earrings, or diamond and sapphire ones- classy bling left over from her days as first lady.
In Clinton's case, that has meant downplaying some of the showier pieces that until recently defined style. On her second quest for the presidency, Hillary's jewelry consists of classic adornments with a note of folksy sentimentality.
Red is the colour of power
Theresa May, Britain's post-Brexit prime minister, has also marked a political journey through her choice of jewelry.
Everyone remembers the large Margaret Thatcher's imperious adornments -long strings of pearls and regal brooches
Like many prominent women of the Conservative tribe, May, begun by emulating Thatcher's old-fashion style.
She sharpened her accessories and now sports quirky geometric jewelry, like an eye-catching necklace or large blue molecules, like the one she wore on her first cabinet meeting. A silver necklace with dominatrix overtones..
Madeline Albright, America's first female Secretary of State, has described using her "pins" (power jewelry types under the term "brooch") to project defiance and strategic aim.
Some traditions survive new trends. Michelle Obama's is famous for outsized pearls, while Clinton selects a large pearl collar for formal meetings. But women don't have to wear pearls and gems to communicate with jewelry.
Albright’s décolletage diplomacy began after the first Gulf war, when Iraqi media described her as an “unparalleled serpent”. Revenge was swift. “I happened to have a snake pin, and wore it to my next meeting on Iraq,” she recalls. “I was the only woman on the Security Council, and I decided to get some more costume jewellery. On good days, I wore flowers and butterflies and balloons, and on bad days, all kinds of bugs and carnivorous animals.”
Here again, we can see the use of red suit as the colour of power and persuasion along with subtle silver jewelry.
Source of information @The Economist