Patricia Riekel, jury member and former editor of “Bunte,” talks about her way of judging.
As former editor-in-chief of “Bunte,” you reported for many years about fates, dramas and events from the world of celebrities. If Inhorgenta were a celebrity, how would you describe here?
Inhorgenta would be a multifaceted personality with feminine and masculine traits, seductive, elegant and luxurious, but also conscious of tradition. Inhorgenta is aware of her inner values.
Since mid 2018, you’ve no longer worked as editor-in-chief of “Bunte.” How are you feeling nowadays as a freelancer?
Good! I write more than ever. And alongside that, I also work as a consultant. I finally have time to think my thoughts all the way through to the end. When you’ve directed a weekly magazine for twenty years, you’re constantly thinking about themes, events and people, always with an eye toward something that would be suitable for a story. I was a news junkie. Now that I left that cycle, I can suddenly see the world out there with amazement and serenity. I no longer need to filter, evaluate or analyze everything. That’s incredibly liberating.
What do you love about jewelry?
That it’s authentic. I would never hang a fake gold chain around my neck. A colorful hippy necklace – yes! But I would never try to fake something that isn’t genuine.
What kind of jewelry do you like to wear best?
I love long chains and terrific wristwatches. As editor-in-chief, I saw the world’s finest jewelry: big chokers at galas, marvelous earrings at premieres. I personally like unconventional chains. I never wear more than two pieces of jewelry at the same time.
Which pieces do you associate with special memories?
I was in a department store in New York twenty years ago. They had an absolutely terrific jewelry section, where I discovered a chain with a golden heart adorned with a fine green emerald. It was breathtakingly gorgeous. When I returned to Germany, I casually mentioned it to my husband. And then I forgot all about it. My husband isn’t especially interested in jewelry, but left no stone unturned to get that piece for me. When Christmas rolled around, there it was under the tree. Incredible! That piece naturally means a lot to me.
Praise first, criticize later, and never be insultingly negative: throughout your tenure as an editor, you always complied with the feedback guidelines. How will you be as a juror?
No different. Whether I read a text or look at a piece of jewelry, my first impression counts most. I look to see if it’s a classical piece, if it was created daringly, if it’s unconventional or experimental. What kind of statement does this piece of jewelry want to make? Then, just as I do when I read a text, I check to make sure that the facts are right. In jewelry, this means scrutinizing the craftsmanship. How good is the quality? Is the piece really wearable? Some necklaces and rings tend to snag on objects in the surroundings or to rub against the wearer’s clothing. Jewelry is statement, fantasy and projection, but I must also be able to wear it.
About the INHORGENTA AWARD 2018: this year’s jury consists of nearly equal members of women and men. Do you think that women judge differently than men?
Yes, certainly! Men fundamentally choose jewelry differently than women. I’m curious to see how a ring, a diamond or a wristwatch will be seen from the jury’s different points of view. I ask myself: “Whom are the other jurors thinking about when they judge it? Are they considering only the quality or also the overall concept? Do they have a specific person in mind whom they could imagine wearing this piece?” Sometimes I directly ask my fellow jurors these questions.
Do think that fewer women treat themselves to costly jewelry nowadays than ten or twenty years ago?
Just the opposite: I think their numbers have increased. I know many women who earn plenty of money and who love to treat themselves to something beautiful. I was so delighted when I took over “Bunte” that I went right out and bought myself a Rolex. Nowadays it’s normal that women don’t have to wait for Christmas presents from their husbands. It wasn’t that way in the past. As recently as 1948, “Bunte” ran a headline asking the question: “Are working women neglectful mothers?” Today’s women don’t think that way anymore. Compatibility is the norm and this has boosted women’s self-confidence. Many women accentuate their self-esteem by beautifying themselves externally – with jewelry or fashion or both….
What are you most looking forward to at INHORGENTA?
The atmosphere! People have a primal need to show themselves, to reveal who they are, what they have, what sets them apart from others and what makes them shine. I’m looking forward to all the gorgeous treasures. But I’m a bit concerned that when I see all those beautiful things, I might feel an irresistible urge to own them….
INHORGENTA takes place in Munich. What does that fact mean to you?
Very much – and not only because Munich is my hometown. Beauty, status, luxury and coziness have always belonged together here. I couldn’t imagine Hamburg or Berlin as a location for a trade fair like INHORGENTA, nor could I imagine Düsseldorf, which isn’t sufficiently international. No venue would be better.