Pyscho Candy!

Now I'd never heard of  "pyscho candy" before but I've heard of "pycho billy" ... I bet they are equally awesome in person. 

Pycho Candy is the name of Tom Binn's pearl necklace on the cover of In Style's July issue. Now Michelle Pfieffer looks fab, she IS fab dang it, but I'm having issues with her "pearl" necklace. Apparently it's a semantics issue, a few investigations have been made actually.

So the description for this necklace claims that these are "hand dyed cultured pearls".  I'll get into the whole cultured pearl history in a sec, so you are telling me some of these came out of GIANT monster mollusks?  I actually really like his work, but in a world where the terms handmade, vintage, made in the usa and god forbid silver are used so loosely it's hard to determine what the heck anything is anymore. 

Case in point, he has a Faux Real collection (faux real, really? pleeeease) and a Real Deal collection -- here are some of my fav's:

you're typical pretty tough chic stuff, but I REALLY like his earlier work the best:
These are from the Desert Island collection from the 90's and I love them with all my heart. especially that first one, woooeeee. 

He's been quoted as saying "you are not dealing with reason you are dealing with attitude." 
I'm not sure I like that quote, but I must admit it's true. This relates to the pearls discussion, he likes to mess with people on the whole real/fake issue.  It's all in those vague descriptions, sure these are pearl-ish:

Back to that Pyscho Candy, look at the big purple guy in the middle:

I'm not saying these are fake or anything, I don't know what the heck they are. I just want to see the giant oysters they came from, damn! 

There are 3 kinds of pearls: natural, cultured, and straight up fake plastic spheres painted with a pearly paint.

Natural pearls are pretty rare, they are naturally occurring when a spec of something gets into an oyster or a mollusk then gets coated for years and years with this calcium stuff.  A diver then collects them from the bottom of the ocean. They are generally irregular in shape:

There is whole fascinating history of Japanese women oyster free-divers called Ama  - no scuba gear! they have been pretty romantized in history (mainly because they were known to dive in skimpy clothes!)
(Takamura, Women Diving for Abalone, 1840's)

James Bond even married one (Kissy Suzuki!) in You  Only Live Twice.

It's supposed that the majority of ama are women because of how their bodies differ from men. The fat on a female body is distributed differently than men, which ensures that they can stay warmer longer in cold water.  At least it's good for something! 

Here's a trippy vid from some Japanese ama divers:

Cultured Pearls are a whole other thing -

The process of "growing" pearls was invented by Kokichi Mikimoto in the late 1800's - I'm not sure of the reasoning behind it, probably because of the rarity and the demand.  

Did you ever that episode of America's Next Top Model where they get free Mikimoto pearls and they fake knowing who he is, it's hilarious!  check it out here. skip to 3:30 to keep your brain free of the model drama.  

Mikimoto's  goal was to make a perfectly round pearl, he worked by injecting the oysters and imitating a naturally occuring growth.  

He eventually succeeded, making them more affordable to the whole world - fulfilling the desires of all the Betty Draper's out there. 

history lesson #4 for ya, school's started up again what can I say.

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