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Then and Now: For Years a Chameleon, Madonna Goes Back to Her Roots

The pop icon shows up at “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” in goth jewels.




Then and Now: For Years a Chameleon, Madonna Goes Back to Her Roots

Photo: Instagram/Madonna

MADONNA RECENTLY BROUGHT BACK her goth look, which defined much of the early to mid ’80s, with her leather jacket and lingerie tops, layered heavy chain necklaces, crosses and ropes of beads. In a photo this month, she was wearing a more hip hop blend of fashion, but the jewelry brought to mind the pop icon we remember from the film Desperately Seeking Susan, which helped to launch her career and a look that girls everywhere wanted to emulate.

I believe the shot was taken before she appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, as she is “striking a pose” in front of Radio City Music Hall. In the Instagram post she wrote about New York City: “Reminding me again and again to never forget where I came from-The blood, sweat and tears—the loneliness-the struggle- But most of all the Dream—that kept me afloat like a lifeboat.” Later in the post she added, “There are many more beautiful places in the world but there’s no place like New York City. Unrelenting and unforgiving. She does not suffer fools gladly. But She will teach you how to survive.”

And who could have said it better than Madonna, a singer/songwriter who learned how to survive and thrive after struggling to gain the recognition she deserved as a strong, independent and multi-talented woman. Madonna knew about marketing in the music business, starting as a young woman who got her first big break in the city and showed us street style at its best. From there, one of the keys to her success was the ability to recreate herself time and time again.

She showed us how it was to be “Like a Virgin” and “Material Girl,” conjuring up the dream of Old Hollywood, imitating her own favorite icons of the silver screen. But no style could compare with the girl who gave us rubber bracelets, vintage clothes and piled-on faux silver and gold jewelry to great effect.

Here she is then and now. How do you feel about the goth/punk girl look coming back into style?

Beth Bernstein is a published author of three books and jewelry and fashion expert with 18+ years experience. A broad knowledge of the history of jewelry and fashion coupled with a background in "the story", writing, trends, design concepts has earned Beth a proven track record.



When There’s No Succession Plan, Call Wilkerson

Bob Wesley, owner of Robert C. Wesley Jewelers in Scottsdale, Ariz., was a third-generation jeweler. When it was time to enjoy life on the other side of the counter, he weighed his options. His lease was nearing renewal time and with no succession plan, he decided it was time to call Wilkerson. There was plenty of inventory to sell and at first, says Wesley, he thought he might try to manage a sale himself. But he’s glad he didn’t. “There’s no way I could have done this as well as Wilkerson,” he says. Wilkerson took responsibility for the entire event, with every detail — from advertising to accounting — done, dusted and managed by the Wilkerson team. “It’s the complete package,” he says of the Wilkerson method of helping jewelers to easily go on to the next phase of their lives. “There’s no way any retailer can duplicate what they’ve done.”

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