Alexandra Lange
Architecture & design critic

FLAIR: Bead Necklace

The fifth PROJECT:OBJECT volume is a 25-part series of true stories about significant accoutrements, appurtenances, and regalia

By rights, I’m a spring. In the 1980s we all got our colors done and my results were discouraging. Pink, light blue, Easter hues would be most flattering to my pale skin and light eyes. Small, gold jewelry and minimal patterns were recommended given my small scale. It all sounded very… pleasant. Who ever heard of a pleasant critic? Inside, I didn’t feel pastel or small or minimal. Inside, I feel loud. Beads, round, colorful, unmissable, flattered my personality.

With them I wear big prints, Marimekko when I can afford it, and the combination has become a kind of uniform. If I’m giving a talk, you can see me in the back. I’ve worn the same outfit both pregnant and not. I look like a paper doll, the graphic essence of myself, with a breastplate of beads. I am a character.