February 28, 2010

Beads, Bibelots and Bling

Bead: a small, usually round object of glass, wood, stone or the like with a hole through it. Often strung with others of its kind in necklaces, rosaries, etc.

Bibelot: a small object of curiosity, beauty, or rarity.

Bling: a term derived from U.S. rap slang to signify wealth and expensive accessories; flashy, ostentatious jewellery; a sound suggestive of the glitter of jewels and precious metals.

Titling book can be a complicated, not to mention fraught, undertaking. Clever puns and smart-arse wording are well and good when conjuring snappy magazine headlines, but when the bottom line’s on the line a book needs a title that will appeal as much to the interested outsider as to an industry veteran.

My first proposal was Beads, Bibelots & Bling, for the (so I thought) succinct way it captured the diversity of designer fashion jewellery. I was quite pleased with the alliteration, too.

My publisher was less keen, saying it sounded like the title of an academic paper.

The lovely Coco's mock-ups for my debut pitch to Laurence King
Nothing like a bit of bondage to break the ice...
Photo: Danilo Giuliani (top)

Other rejects - each with the subhead New Directions in Fashion Jewellery – included:

All That Glitters

To obvious

Fashionable Fakes
Too cheap


Concern over its similarity to another – less family-friendly – Anglo-saxon word

Binned for sounding too much like the computer programme. Or an antisocial practise indulged in by men wearing dirty macs…

In the end Mr Laurence King himself made the merciful decision to go with Fashion Jewellery: Catwalk and Couture.

And bibelot went to a good home after all.

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