December 31, 2010

Emilie Shapiro: Heavy Metal

For the Brooklyn-based designer, 23-year-old Emilie Shapiro, it all started with a gifted duffle bag flooded with costume jewelry. “I took apart a bunch of different pieces and then put them back together in new ways.” And that pretty much sums up the vintage-inspired, hippie-esque, rough-around-the-edges collection: Found objects assembled in unique ways, creating something entirely original. Pretty cool, huh?

Here we go:

So, let’s see, when did you first start your jewelry line?: I started experimenting when I was 14 by beading and incorporating found objects into my work. I became more immersed once I began studying at Syracuse University's Crouse College for Jewelry and Metalsmithing and with artist Peter Bauhuis at Alchimia, a school for contemporary Jewelry design in Florence, Italy.

How have you seen your style evolve over the years?: My work evolves as I grow as a person and as the world changes around me. It is a really natural evolution. I see the change clearly once I take a step back after I've created something—it’s only then that I realize how the transformation truly reflects the changes in myself.

Overall, how would you describe the collection?: Nature transmuted into metal. I feel like it is my purpose to preserve our generation in my work—that goes for our surroundings, who we are, what we wear, what we do, what we see, etc.—because, as I see it, in a few hundred years, the art that may be preserved will be our story.

What has the response been like?: When you are running any small business it's hard, whether you are an artist trying to represent yourself, opening a bakery, or opening a clothing boutique. The response has been really great, but it has definitely been hard work.

Tell me about your inspirations: My inspirations are my surroundings. My favorite artists are Peter Bauhuis, June Schwarz, Joe Wood, and my Grandmother's fabulous jewelry collection.

Fan favorite: King Henry VIII ring

Personal favorites: Adjustable Two-by-Two ring & Stalk bracelet in Bronze

Find the complete collection here

December 22, 2010

Time For Bows

Don't you just love a pretty, perfectly tied bow?

ME TOO. And though I'm not bow crazy, or anything, I'm loving Thistle & Clover's Anlo Pixie Petal dress, especially because the bow works both in the front and back so you don't have to commit to an overly girly look. Even better—this silky party dress is a solid night-on-the-town option, while also being 100 percent work appropriate.

I think I've found myself a keeper.

Buy it here.

December 13, 2010

The Linger Dress

I know what you're thinking. But no, this is not a robe. Or a nightgown. This is what fashion icon Rachel Comey calls a Linger dress–can you guess what that means? Me neither. Anyway, Brooklyn's perfectly curated boutique, Bird, carries the coveted item. If I could afford it (damn you, hanukkah, christmas, secret santa, office party, etc.), I'd pair this elegant silk dress with navy opaque tights, a black blazer and some chunky oxford heels. Just because the bright colors and floral accent makes us long for the days of boardwalk walkin' and rooftop parties doesn't mean it has to stunt our style. Plus, there's no excuse to not rock peonies.

Buy it here.

December 9, 2010

Mia Lara Jewelry

Mia Lara Nathanson describes her collection as contemporary, yet timeless—“My pieces are fresh, versatile and playful.” And no, you’re not going to find knock-offs on the street in SoHo. When you’re looking for that original gift to give (or to gift yourself) you can rely on 28-year-old Brooklynite Mia Lara—trust me.

Now, read on.

So, how long have you been working on your jewelry line?: Since I was 12, but I started to cultivate a business five years ago. Until last February, I was working full time in the fashion and finance industry, but I decided to devote all of my time to my jewelry collection.

Wow, what keeps you motivated?: It just feels so amazing to reach people through my art.

How has the style evolved since you began?: Since I'm self-taught, my style has grown leaps and bounds in terms of my design capabilities over the past years. I think a common thread from the beginning is my love and attraction to texture, organic/assymetric designs and bright color.

Tell me about your inspirations: I am constantly inspired by the texture and color of New York City. I wouldn't say there are specific artists that inspire me, but I am influenced by many.

Are you up to anything exciting in the coming months?: I'll begin designing my new collection this January in Brooklyn and then plan to travel to India to source stones and develop my line further. I hope to debut a new collection by the spring!

Okay, now let’s talk specifics. What are some favorites broken down by category:

Earrings: Addison (available in Green Onyx, Black Onyx, Smokey Quartz, Lemon Quartz, Aqua Chalcedony, Pink Chalcedony & in both Sterling Silver and 18K Gold Vermeil)

Ring: Ava (available in Green Onyx, Black Onyx, Smokey Quartz, Lemon Quartz, Aqua Chalcedony, Pink Chalcedony & in both Sterling Silver and 18K Gold Vermeil)

Necklace: Lucy (available in both Sterling Silver and 14K Gold Fill)

Bracelet: Makalya (available in Lava/Fresh Water Pearl, Lava/Coral or Lava Turquoise with 18K Gold Vermeil)

And now for a personal favorite:

Savannah Ring

Available in NYC at Only Hearts, Paul Labrecque Salon & Spa, Works Gallery, Facets @ Limelight Marketplace, Treasure Chest, Thistle & Clover

December 8, 2010

A Perfect Pajama Top

Okay, bear with me. I’m not trying to promote a flannel PJ set circa seventh grade. I’m only asking you to consider this single item. Just think about it. Instead of throwing on your shabby college tee—you know, the one with rips and a lingering frat house odor—you can lounge in style with Steven Alan’s plaid, flannel and cropped pajama top. You know you want to.

Buy it here.

December 7, 2010

All Things Knit

‘Tis the season to stay warm, but let us not forgo our trendy style. During that awfully frigid day, when you can’t help but justify your super-fab fall coat (with zero lining), throw on Topshop’s cozy knitted tweed cape with a simple front leather buckle underneath. Beats the hell outta plain jane cashmeres and bulky down coats. At least for another week.

Buy it here