‘The unbearable lightness of being’ is the title of a 1984 Czech novel and marries two seemingly opposite sentiments, both of which inspired the Grace Collection.
Lightness because I wanted the feel of the collection to be lighter, more casual and to reflect our inner hippie! One of the pieces is called ‘Flower Power’!
Unbearable is the word for the suffering of those women who fought for – and won 100 years ago this year – the right for women, in this country, to vote.
This year’s collection honours those women in that so many of the pieces feature, green, white and violet or purple stones. All three colours feature in ‘1918’ and ‘Suffrage’.
These are of course the colours of the suffragette movement. Some believe that those colours were chosen as a secret code for ‘Give Women the Vote’. In truth the colours represented green for hope, white for purity and violet or purple for loyalty and dignity.
Marrying lightness and unbearable hardship is not easy but as ever a gemstone does just that. Diamonds are both amazingly light, reflect and refract the light and are one of the hardest substances known to woman.
They are also, as Marylin Monroe famously sang – ‘A girl’s best friend’.
Whether we feel the light or are fighting through hard times Grace is essential. Grace is a name, a word and a state of being. It enhances our lightness and helps us deal with the unbearable. It conjures up images of Grace Kelly, Grace Darling, the three Graces. We talk about someone’s ‘saving grace’; in the words of the hymn ‘Twas Grace that brought us safe thus far, And Grace will lead us home’.
So I hope, in this centenary year that we all experience grace and lightness as we remember those women who suffered unbearable hardship as they fought, admittedly not always with grace, for equality.
E D I T H & K I V E E N