I recently joined Tessa Packard's new jewellery launch at Ampersand Hotel, in London. As soon as I stepped into the private business suit I was warmly welcomed by Tessa Packard herself. The room was filled with famous and fun characters from movies and cartoons that we always loved so much to imitate. With one fruit cocktail, our conversation with Tessa started to flow. There was so many beautiful jewellery displayed on the table that you could not notice but start reviewing and trying on. It was an absolutely beautiful day. On the right side of the table was another table that was set up for the guests to sit and enjoy lunch and learn about Tessa's new adventure and learn more about the collection and why it was called "Costume Drama".
Tessa has explained that she has been planning and designing the collection since January 2023. She says that she spends half of her time in peaceful Scotland and half her time in the buzz of her London-based home which gave her ample time and inspiration when designing her jewellery collection. Tessa really does enjoy having a bit of both worlds. Her new collection is fun and inspired by the fun of fancy dress parties, childhood role-play, theatreland, masquerade balls and the transformative power of costume. With a little bit of imagination, this collection allows you to explore the limitless fun and creativity that you can have with the statement accessories.
Tessa was always known for jewellery that provides a level of escapism, theatricality, or juxtaposition to normal life. Her favourite kind of jewellery is playful, colourful, fun kind, the dear, cloud, pig and foxy earrings alike conversation pieces. The jewellery for her is about self-expression or that creativity is not just about giving you something pretty to wear but more fun, discovering one's fun side and confidence to embrace their inner Pocahontas, Ballerina, fairy princess or circus clown. For this particular collection, Tessa has gone for base metals and real stones. Many of the alloys they have chosen to use for the chains, findings and settings are most certainly not real gold or silver, or even made from metal at all, but when you look at from the playfulness side of the dressing up, costume and looking like something you are not, then you understand that they are on point.
From our conversation, I really liked that as a genre, costume jewellery was created to liberate the wearer from the constraints of fine jewellery, which few could afford. On a daily basis, I am lucky to review a lot of jewellery and some you could risk breaking the bank. Tessa's costume jewellery brought equality in expression to the accessories market, and for the first time in history, it allowed women to experiment with jewellery without fear or making rather expensive mistakes. Costume Drama is a tribute to costume jewellery, both as it was then at its inception, and how it is now, many decades later. We often forget that the whimsical, bold and avant-garde fine jewellery that we read about today owes much of its trailblazing spirit to its (materially) poorer industry counterpart.
Author: Shohista Turdiyeva