This ‘Another Skin’ collection by Japanese jewelry designer Akiko Shinzato is about people’s obsession with their appearances. We perform appearance managements for the sake of beauty, from dieting to exercise, makeup to cosmetic surgeries and so on. Facebook and other social networking services are used to broadcast certain images of self and “make up” an identity.
We treat our appearances according to how we want to be seen by others and put this alternative veil of identity on the faces. In other words, our appearances can be modified and manipulated as we wish.
In addition, appearance managements are enacted so as to keep self-esteem. In fact, physical attractiveness affects a person’s mind; the more you feel that you are attractive, the more you get confident. Historically, women used men’s outfit to project power. Therefore, in this collection I am using the aesthetic and structural idea of a pair of pince-nez as an element of Victorian attire that attaches and detaches to maintain the self-esteem of the wearer.
This collection is a series of jewelry around the face since facial features are the most important parts to the first impression and what most people care about. It explores how simply and easily you can change your appearances with a piece of leather or crystals, and it consists of two series: Wearing makeup and Putting on someone’s identity. In the crystal series “Wearing makeup,” the wearer adopts the masked features of a painted clown. In the leather series “Putting on someone’s identity,” a wearer mixes her own facial features with that of others; whereas she looks at herself reflected in mirrors at the same time. Each piece of the collection partially hides the facial features of the wearer whilst revealing a whole other identity.