The stylin’ life doesn’t get any better than this.
Home, happy and here – at the “Personal Accessories” section of “NY NOW, the Market for Home+Lifestyle.” Personal Accessories, however, doesn’t seem to fit the bill. Me? I’d rename the section “Amazing Creative Creations, Born of Love, Passion and Talent.”
Yes, jewelry is a huge and my favorite part of this section (what? how are you surprised by that? y’all know what jewelry means to me!), but my biggest take-away from this show was the leather goods at Dana Glaeser’s Slightly Alabama booth. Dana’s collection of leather accessories is crafted in America, made by hand with the “artistry of traditional leatherwork,” just under a year old and named for the Deep Southern roots that ground this transplanted New Yorker.
Initially, I was drawn to his booth by the lovely, personal, handwritten note he sent inviting me to visit the debut of his brand at NY NOW. He was so real and personable, just as nice and polite as his etiquette-correct card. Great story, too. Started his company last October, quit his day job as VP marketing for an insurance company in November, launched the e-commerce website in December and was picked by Daily Candy as a “find” this past February. The rest, as they say, is history. And, now, here he stood before me, speaking to me about his spectacular wine totes, Dublin Tote bags, iPad cases and key fobs. Now I realize I will have to own one of his tote bags, stat. Of course, I loved his booth, too, merchandised as it was with this vintage Underwood.
My afternoon at PA was filled with serendipitous moments. As I chatted with the lovely Austinites working the Leighelena collection of cool enamel and leather bands created by artisan Leigh Elena Navarro, below, they complimented me on my jeweled “hand” ring. Now, I have been mad about this ring that I purchased from Amanda at her East Village Dusty Buttons boutique a couple months ago. The story is that the designer cast it from one of her child’s action hero doll’s hands (see photo after Leighelena’s bands). I said, “Oh, can you read the name? The designer is Emmie or Ellie or something.” The girls in the booth were like, “Miss Ellie! But you know she’s just across the aisle from us, right?!”
Anyway, so not only was the ring cast from an action hero doll’s hand that belonged to her child, but it was an action hero doll belonging to her five-year-old DAUGHTER, Charlotte, who happens to like to play with action heros. Of course! While it seemed the story around my ring couldn’t, it just got even better. Miss Ellie, who’s real name is Ellie Mathias, works out of an old Victorian home at the Jersey shore and casts the most amazing baroque, romantic and over-the-top jewelry, from rings and necklaces to hair accessories, all made in New York City by American workers. She intersperses vintage filagree with old stock and new brass for unique, limited edition work. Be still, my beating heart!
A new favorite is born. But let’s not forget the other designers I’ve met over the past year who continue to hold a special place in my heart. Case in point, Teresa Kahres, whose t.kahres collection I love, cherish and covet. Teresa makes brilliant fine jewelry inspired by her travels and love of the outdoors. Her razor rings and earrings are often studded and embellished with the spark of a tiny diamond. Her new focus this season? Bridal. And her stunning rings are pure gorgeousness, so if wedding bells are in the offing…. Then, too, I fell in love with the oxidized sterling of the necklaces cast from fish spines — yes! fish spines — giving an exotic spiny organic quality to the necklaces, below. Another plus: Teresa is stocked at one of my favorite special go-to gift places, Still House, owned by Urte Tylaite, just down the block from me. I think tiny razor earrings may be beckoning me.
Of course I had to catch up with Julie Nolan, the Massachusetts-based artist whose delicate mobiles from last season have evolved to this variant, below. This season Julie’s touching on moonstone as her favorite gemstone. We love it, too! Looks amazing in her sweet gold cuff.
Austin-based Christina Fail, unfortunately, wasn’t in her booth when we passed by the other day. But perhaps when I’m in Austin in October, I can track her down at her studio. Anyway, we love, adore, cherish her delicate mobiles and had to give them – and their creator – a shout out.
Of course, what NY NOW show could be complete without a visit with the talented Tam Tran, one of my most adored jewelry creators and co-founder of Lost Wax Studio. LWS, where I’ve taken a couple workshops and no doubt will be back for more, promotes an amazing range of artists’ work, from the baroque pearl and stone necklaces of Lauren Bergman to the hand-forged gem-embracing pods of Tracy Hutt to the delicate emerald and sterling or yoga-inspired gold statement cuffs of Amy Pivar. Immediately below, a labradorite necklace from Tam.