We were invited to attend the first Marjan Unger lecture by Dr Valerie Steele at the Rijksmuseum. By hosting this lecture the Rijksmuseum honors the legacy of Marjan Unger-de Boer (1946-2018). She and her husband Gerard Unger (1942-2018) donated seven hundred pieces of jewellery to the Rijksmuseum.
Dr Valerie Steele was described in The Washington Post as one of “fashion’s brainiest women” and by Suzy Menkes as “The Freud of Fashion,” she was listed as one of “The People Shaping the Global Fashion Industry” in the Business of Fashion 500: (2014 -present).
As author, curator, editor, and public intellectual, Dr Steele has been instrumental in creating the modern field of fashion studies and in raising awareness of the cultural significance of fashion.
Throughout the ages, people use clothing and jewelry to protect and express themselves. Choice of wear as a cultural, religious or political expression, to allure or intimidate… In any case an outward directed expression. A concept we find fascinating is that according to the Indian, Hindu belief the human body is seen as the temple of the individual God (Spirit) that houses within the body/ temple. By dressing and decorating the body nicely, the soul or spirit is honored and respected. The inner being gets prevalence over the outer appearance… Mind over Matter, and an intriguing scope on Why fashion Matters.
A lovely example of the deeper significance of jewellery and jewellery design is the Jodha Bai series:
Jodha Bai, named after one of India’s first, strongest and most influential female royal thought leaders, the Rajput Princess Jodha Bai. This Rajput Princes was equal to men in love, life and battle and these strong traits are translated in the designs: strong, distinctive lines, an expressive appearance, detail and enamel work, with color use inspired by the tradition of North India.
Thank you Dr Steele for a lovely evening of meaningful exchange.