Born in the era of burgeoning post-war optimism, the striking 50s and 60s designs of the Pop Art movement continue to grasp our attention in the modern day. Its meaning is debated – and is currently being challenged at a thought provoking exhibition at Tate Modern – but its enduring appeal is not.
The designs of Warhol and Lichtenstein et al – and a host of modern artists who take inspiration from them – are now proving particularly effective as the basis for some quality men’s jewellery. We’re now in an era where men celebrate and use jewellery to enhance their outfits, they’ve got the desire and the budget, they just need to know how to spend it to get the effect they desire.
Here’s some examples of how Pop Art can achieve the right look for a modern man…
Watch out for it
At the top end of the style spectrum is a limited edition designer watch, the Hublot Classic Fusion.
We’ve long since stopped seeing the watch as a mere timepiece, finding beauty that adds to the function of the watch which is, in many respects, the first and most popular piece of men’s jewellery. Designed by pop artist Romero Britto and executed in champlevé enamel, the Hublot Classic Fusion Enamel Britto puts the Brazilian artist’s recognisable motifs on the wrist. The brightly coloured art – that also includes a dash of cubism – has a fired champlevé enamel dial design.
Two versions are available, a black ceramic edition that is limited to just 50 pieces and is priced at $39,100 and a platinum 30-piece edition that costs $67,800.
Comic book playfulness
While that’s a high end example, there are a lot of cheaper examples of fun accessories that can add a playful tone to a quality shirt or suit when the occasion calls for a lighter tone.
This collection of 14-carat gold and sterling silver chains is an example. It takes explosive Pop Art-style lettering and forges it into fun designs.Jenny Hutson, of makers EdgeOnly, explained the appeal: “I have always been a fan of comic books. I grew up with Archie and my brother’s stacks of Marvel and DC Comics. I loved the style of the illustrations, the dialogue balloons, speech bubbles and explosions on the pages. I spent a summer in Montreal during University when the Lichtenstein Retrospective was showing in The Montreal Museum of Fine Art. I was blown away by the scale of Roy Lichtenstein’s work – the colour, the dots, the drama! His art made me smile – and that’s what I hope this collection will do.”
Quirky cufflinksIf a chain isn’t quite for you, there are slightly smaller, subtler ways to get a splash of Pop Art on your outfit. Suit lapels and cufflinks are perfect to customise your outfit, making sure it’s fit for a fun occasion while maintaining its style appeal. Think child’s party, christening or family party.
Go the whole hog
Still, if subtle cufflinks, Pop Art chains or expensive timepieces aren’t your thing there’s always a more brazen approach. This ‘Badaboom’ suit is the ultimate – and brave – Pop Art statement, although it’s probably more suited to fancy dress than social occasions.