I'm constantly checking out other jewelry designers, and every once in a while I will come across an idea so simple and brilliant that I'll enviously smack my forehead and think, "why didn't I think of that?" Thankfully, the designer in question this time around is my friend Collette Ishiyama, and I can commend her on her innovation. Her use of mixed materials, stingray skin set in polished brass, isn't entirely new, but the placement of the stingray somehow feels completely fresh. While in some pieces it is set as a shimmering sparkly centerpiece, in other pieces it is used to add a hint of texture, or a cooler alternative to enameled paint. However, I find it most interesting when the luxury skin is placed in a setting in the back of her brass pieces, adding a element of hidden beauty, while simultaneously making several of the pieces reversible. Two of my favorite pieces are a bracelet and earring set that appear to be geometric textured metal shapes on one side, and can then be turned over to display stingray on the other side.
The debut collection, "Emerald City" was inspired by Egyptian burial jewelry, samurai warriors, and the Art Deco architecture of New York's landmark Chrysler Building. However, when I look at the jewels, they recall the famous fictional city from The Wizard of Oz that the collection was named after. Take a good look at the sumptuous lookbook shot by my friend Seri, and you will see that they appear to be just as magical as any talisman from the film. Collette's designs are currently available at A Man And A Woman.
Monday, March 7, 2011