His and Hers!
His and Hers!
Eel leather, people. Eel. Leather. It’s got its own look. Inside is blue suede. Available at Bee Free Boutique in Silver Lake.
“Bastille Day is approaching,” the store owner Nathalie Seaver informed me, “Make me some red, white, and blue items. Maybe I can put them in the window.”
I love Nathalie’s directives. It helps me make sense of the thousands of disparate items in my studio. I rounded up all the bleu, blanc, and rouge handbags from my vintage collection. Then I got out my ribbons in the same colors. And all of a sudden, bags that had been waiting for some idea to make them fabulous came to life.
Vintage enamels and earrings added a pop of bling. The results, which I have just posted on Hexagon’s Etsy shop, may (or may not!) wind up in the display window of Nathalie Seaver Boutique in time for July 4 and, of course, July 14, celebrations.
Fun fact: “Dieu et Mon Droit”, which I had assumed to be thoroughly French, is in fact the offical motto of the British monarchy! Go figure.
At a Paris flea market I found two wooden cicadas, about 3″ long, with a small hole in their backs. I imagine they were meant to be posted on a wall. Not sure. I affixed one to a slim, dark clutch.
Every Cincinnatian has a special relationship to cicadas. Every 17 years the city gets invaded by the large, benign insects. I’ve experienced it twice, and I loved it! They blackened the sky and sang loud songs. It was Biblical!
Even if you no longer go to the disco (or never went to one in the first place) you still need a disco bag from time to time.
Here are three of my favorites.
A black ruched rocker clutch with a silver tassel (there’s a different silver embellishment on the other side.)
A small satin structured evening bag with an “emergency perfume” crystal vial.
And finally, a striated cloth bag with a fabulous amber and black crystal embellishment.
I was introduced to Georg Jensen’s divinely simple designs by Matt Gracie, a friend who gave me the vintage pair of earrings pictured here. I was still a teen, and it was one of the first pieces of fine jewelry I possessed. My family had had a few pieces of Jensen’s flatware and silver tabletop items. The Danish designer began his work in the early 1900s and became a pioneer in the Scandinavian modern movement that blossomed in the mid-century.
Though Jensen died in 1935, his company and name still hold plenty of prestige. This “Cave” ring was designed by Jacqueline Rabun, a designer brought on for one of the company’s ongoing modern collaborations, a few years ago. When Matt himself passed away, in 2008, I bought this ring to remember him, the huge influence he has had on my life, and (apologies for the lugubriousness) the loss I felt.
So much of the design at Hexagon is inspired by Matt Gracie, whose innate sense of art and design imprinted me with the furniture he chose for the apartment we shared, the clothing he sometimes gave me, the books he handed me to read, the cars and houses he pointed out to me on “point-and-squeal” outings. (His wording was equally brilliant!)
Here are two Hexagon bags that I collaged with Jensen-esque silver embellishments. Matt liked structured bags. Extra points if it loudly snapped shut or might hurt someone when you hustled through a crowd.
Another retro-looking bag that is in fact contemporary–but is adorned with a vintage pillbox with a dollar sign on it. I love the notion of an old lady stashing her osteoporosis pills in such a blinged-out container!
Remember Andy Warhol’s dollar-sign silkscreens in the ’80s? “Paint what you love,” he said.
Three handbags just posted to Etsy featuring lovely vintage jewelry as embellishments. The white bag is itself vintage; the other two just *look* vintage.
Ask a bag how it wants to be embellished, and it will tell you.
The green bag is authentic exotic skin—lizard, I believe. It gave me a Galapagos vibe, so I added a gold tone turtle on which I’d added a blue multi-faceted crystal.
The lavender-colored bag is structured and felt a bit prissy to me, so I mellowed it out with a hippie-esque pink-and-gold medallion.
I broke one of my own rules on this structured black satin clutch. It’s from the ’50s. Adding an embellishment from another decade—say, the ’70s or ’80s—usually provides a needed shot of edge. Mixing it with something from its own era, however, can paint it into a corner aesthetically. This time, exceptionally, a’50s/’60s necklace squeaked by without making the accessory look too “Happy Days.”