Avant-Garde: Fab or Fail?

Art is subjective and that is absolutely the case with fine jewelry, especially when one leans into the Avant-Garde. I just wanted to bring a selection of Avant-Garde jewelry looks and ask for your feedback. What do you love, what do you hate? Sometimes it’s fun just to spend time thinking about what the pieces remind you of.

From Wikipedia: “The avant-garde (/ˌævɒ̃ˈɡɑːrd/;[2] In French: [avɑ̃ɡaʁd][3] ‘advance guard’ or ‘vanguard‘, literally ‘fore-guard’)[4] are people or works that are experimental, radical, or unorthodox with respect to artculture, or society.[4][5][6] It is frequently characterized by aesthetic innovation and initial unacceptability.”

I spend a lot of time looking at jewelry, and I mean a lot. I have definitely seen pieces that looked like random other things, and sometimes I find it stunning and whimsical…but sometimes it’s just not my favorite. What I would love is for PriceScopers to take a look and let us know what your thoughts are!

Your friendly neighborhood PriceScope team is here to chime in with our thoughts as well!



Gilded fingernails at Schiaparelli spring 2021.
Gilded fingernails at Schiaparelli spring 2021. (Image Source: Footwear News)


Daniel Swarovski at Couture Spring 2006.
Daniel Swarovski at Couture Spring 2006. (Image Source: Livingly)



“Oh, I think I had those nails…mine weren’t gold though, they were plastic. Super fun though, throws me right back to my youth!”

“Not for me, thanks. Interesting though, certainly intriguing to look at.”

“Avant-Garde is still being experimented. Is it for me? No, but I do like to admire the creations of Avant-Garde jewelry. I just wish that Avant-Garde jewelry was as recognized as prestige fine art. I say, keep an eye out for experimental jewelers who are including big bold abstract shapes in their jewelry design.”

“I kind of love the giant baubles, it’s like an ugly Christmas sweater party at the Met. That may sound bad, but I think that’s fun!”

“I really like a lot of them, I enjoy the sculptured look that many of them have. Wearable art is lovely for self expression.”


Avant-Garde Chunky Metal And Gem Jewelry for Lanvin 2009.
Avant-Garde Chunky Metal And Gem Jewelry for Lanvin 2009. (Image Source: Trend Hunter)


Noor Fares Spiral Moon Rainbow Earrings.
Noor Fares Spiral Moon Rainbow Earrings. (Image Source: Noor Fares)


Claire Waight Keller - Givenchy Fall 2019 Couture show.
Claire Waight Keller – Givenchy Fall 2019 Couture show. (Image Source: Editorialist)


“When I think Avant-Garde, I think of radical unorthodox artists, the first artist that comes to mind is Salvador Dali and his famous piece titled The Persistence of Memory. It is unlike anything we have ever seen before. The beauty of the Avant-Garde movement which emerged in the 1850s is timeless, seen in the 60s and now in the 21st century. Avant-Garde is still very prominent in an array of art forms specifically in jewelry. Whether that be on the runway or incorporated in streetwear.”

“The necklace and sculptural rabbit-looking earrings look painful to wear, the earrings require a headband.”

“I would legitimately wear the rainbow swirls.”

“I really prefer more classic looks, if I am going to spend my time, money, and energy on pieces of jewelry for my own collection…I am less likely to go experimental. ”

“I love art, it’s ok to feel different ways about it. These are beautiful in their own unconventional way. I hope that people never lose whimsy in art.”

“As long as a piece is practical (doesn’t impede my daily tasks and isn’t extremely delicate), isn’t potentially offensive, and is reasonably priced for what it is, I’d definitely wear something a little off-kilter. That said, Halloween is always a built-in excuse if you want to try something out but aren’t brave enough to just jump in feet first…”


It’s ok, we know that this is opinion, taste, aesthetic. There are no wrong answers, but we would love to hear from you! What do you think? Do you have a favorite piece of Avant-Garde jewelry, pictured or not? We want to hear about it, or better yet…see it!

Written by Kayti Kawachi (Includes opinions from members of the PriceScope team).

Scroll to Top