16 March 2012

mix: reinvention

love me - department of eagles
please stay - lizard kisses
i'm on fire - shakey graves
can't help falling in love - ingrid michaelson
no surprises - regina spektor
will you still love me tomorrow - lykke li
all i have to do is dream - tashaki miyaki
skinny love - birdy

09 March 2012

New Music: March 2012 Vol. 1

My Better Self - Tennis
Myth - Beach House
Hold On - Alabama Shakes
White Flowers - Estrangers
The Greatest Thing That Never Happened - Jessie Baylin
I Am Not In Charge - WALK
Stuck In My ID - Reptar
Fever Dreams - Nurses

inspiration: vintage judith evans bangles

07 March 2012

evan rachel wood at stones fest 2012

can somebody tell this girl's people to have her officially cover this song?

One-on-One: Interview with Monika Knutsson of Gilded Lace

Jewelry can be a very coveted, very personal object-- and perhaps even more so when one feels as though it is specially made for them.   This past market week at Capsule, a table caught my eye.  On the table? Collar necklaces, cuff bracelets, and lace rings made by way of gilding antique lace and trimmings from victorian shirts. So pretty!

 Having always had a sore spot for shirts with collars and cuffs,  I thought the line to be not only beautiful, but a brilliant idea.  And so I began to chat with Monika Knuttson, the mind and maker behind this artistic endeavor.  She revealed herself to be far from a novice in the industry-- for in our conversation she spoke of her time working with the coveted French designer Isabel Marant. Monika, however, a creative and studio artist at heart, left to pursue her own jewelry line, which brought her to New York for market week. The name of the line?  Gilded Lace.

As she walked me through the collection, it became even more clear how thoughtfully each piece was designed and constructed-- and given the limited materials, clearly with careful consideration. Monika explained the process of the fabrication of each piece, from the beginnings (sifting through vintage stores and specialty antique flea markets throughout Europe)--  all the way down to the forming of the lace as she dipped it into the precious metals. Due to the limited availability of the trimmings, she explained how each piece was individually made-- and numbered.  

When the hectic week was over, she invited me to her exhibition, which was held at the Charles Bank Galery in Nolita. In the downstairs room, her entire collection was beautifully curated into an installation. Included in the exhibit was her  jewelry, but also, her studio pieces.   Molded antique victorian undergarments-turned-lamps were set onto tables.  A bra and underwear set from the 20's, molded and gilded with gold, hung from the ceiling.   I had the chance to ask her a few questions and snap a few shots! I am very excited and have no doubts that the line will be loved and coveted by many!

1. How did you get involved in the fashion world? What is your experience in the industry, and how did you find jewelry design?

I got into the fashion world later in life. I was heading a department in medical market research in a start-up company in Philadelphia. Things were going very well, but I missed the creative side so I signed up for an evening class in fashion design at Moore College of Art. The instructor was the head of the fashion school, he loved my work and convinced me to quit my job and enroll in school full-time. The following year, I continued my studies at ESMOD in Paris. I worked for a few designers after school and then I started working full-time for Isabel Marant. She used a lot of vintage inspired lace in her collection at the time. I went to the Paris flea markets and I was in awe of the craftsmanship of the lace that I found. I thought there must be a way to use these pieces of lace and to restore the value of the lace.

2. Is there anything significant behind why you chose to use vintage lace and trimming?

My grandmothers were lace makers and my mother still is. I grew up with a great appreciation for this kind of work. I have two sisters and my mother trimmed our clothes with hand-made lace. We were probably the best dressed kids in the neighborhood.

3. Can you talk a little bit about the process and how the pieces are made?

I find the vintage lace at flea markets in Paris, New York and Berlin. They are often smaller pieces, therefore I have a limited production. I hand sew the lace to form bracelets, earrings and necklaces. Then, I shape the lace and seal it so that the gold or silver will not penetrate. The lace is then immersed in gold or silver several times to form a very hard coat.

4. How did you discover this technique? Did you go to school for jewelry design?

I came across an artisan in Paris, who used a similar technique to gild fabric. I did not go to school to learn how to make jewelry, I learn as I develop new products. But I have an extensive knowledge of how to create beautiful pieces whether it is clothing or jewelry.

5. Can you talk a little bit about the special Royal coronation cuff? How did you come across this lace?

I actually have two variations of the Royal British coronation cuff. I found these two beautiful laces from a lace collector. The lace was made in 1936 for the coronation of King Charles VI in 1937. This is the king that gave the inspiration to 'The King's Speech'. The lace had been in storage for all these years. Both are embroidered net lace. I named the cuff that is a little larger 'Elizabeth' and the smaller one 'Margaret Rose'. Those were the names of King Charles VIs daughters.

6. If you could have anyone wear one of your pieces, who would it be?

Michelle Obama. She has such presence and is an inspiration for many women today.

7. Favorite spot in NYC:

I have so many, it is hard. But I love bicycling along the Hudson River and seeing the water. On a Sunday, I can get quickly from the Upper West Side to meet friends for brunch at Pastis in The Meatpacking District and I can leave the bicycle next to the table. 

My favorite jewelry store is De Vera Objects, 26 East 81st Street (close to Madison). The designer, Federico de Vera, creates remarkably beautiful jewelry from vintage pieces. He skillfully places the jewelry on top of antique prints (and many other interesting objects). I love finding unusual and unique pieces in this store. 
8. Favorite spot in Paris:
 I have two favorite spots; Mosquee de Paris,2 Place du Puits de l'Ermite, 75005 Paris. They have a beautiful Salon du The that serves mint tea and delicious arabic pastries. In the warm weather, there is also a courtyard restaurant for couscous and tajines.
My second favorite spot is Rue de Rosier in the Marais in the 4th arrondissement. It has some great Jewish bakeries and the best Falafel places! The street is changing very quickly because the location is fantastic. Designer stores, who can afford the increased rent, are moving in and driving out the merchants. So one has to hurry up before it is all changed.

9. Favorite designer that many may not know about:
Anne Valerie Hash, a French designer. She became known for creative designs, where for example the waist of pants become the neckline of a dress. Or she would create a white classic shirt where the front of the collar is to the back. She has a way of turning the classic garment into something completely new and interesting and she seems to have a lot of fun in the process.