Are these in bad taste? John Waters is among my idols, so you know where I stand.
At the fashion shoots I have styled and produced over the past 15 years, I came to learn how important the model is. So much more than a pretty face, or body part, on which to show clothing and accessories, the model is the magic dust that fabulizes everything. To paraphrase Vidal Sassoon, if she doesn’t feel good, you don’t look good.
I got very lucky when Alana Hillen agreed to model for the first Hexagon look book. I had met her through a friend the day before the shoot, and asked her to swing by for what I thought would be a half hour’s worth of photos. (It was more like 3 hours.)
When Alana showed up, fresh faced and bright, I realized she was the perfect woman for the jewelry: Natural, effortlessly chic, authentic and interesting. She had a sly smile, and she knew–or rather, WAS– everything the jewelry needed in a model. And although she volunteered to help me out for free, she had thought to paint her nails and put some self-tanner on. So many of the pro models I have worked with don’t go through the trouble.
Though Alana is from Hawaii, she seemed the quintessential California girl, from her blond hair to her entrepreneurial streak (she’s launching a clothing line called Studs and Idols).
I’m waiting for the images from the photographer, Reuben Reynoso (who is equally wonderful, and whose brilliant lighting gave the shoot an editorial, rather than catalog, look). For now, all I have are these images…and the contented feeling of a shoot that was everything I hoped it would be.
My friends Michele Lamy and Scarlett Rouge are the only duo I know that can pull off mother-daughter dressing.
This is on my mind because Mother’s Day is one month away. I’m not one for Hallmark holidays, but I admit to being a bit sentimental when it comes to family and the amulets we wear to keep them close: a crest, a monogram, a ring passed down over generations.
So when I was about to leave for a lunch this week with a friend who is a mother, I wondered if I could make her a present with some sort of family element to it. The result was this wrap bracelet, in metallic brown leather, with my friend’s birthstone in the middle–an amethyst–flanked by the birthstones of her two kids.
Well, almost. One of her kids was born in September, whose birthstone is sapphire. Not having a precious gem on hand, I used iolite, which is also called “water sapphire.” It has a wonderfully smoky indigo color.
I’m on an LGBT kick with the vintage pins. These go for $29 each on the Etsy shop.
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.
I’m not big on hearts, but this heart-shaoed locket seemed apropos for this Irish Lass-themed charm necklace for ST. Patrick’s Day.
Asymmetry and telstars, on the other hand, always float my boat.
And bling. Fogey bling.
Everything seems to look better when framed in a circle.
Caged bird, free butterfly. Well, they are both chained to this necklace.
Today the wonderful photog Mark Hanauer took photos of 20 Hexagon handbags and 10 pieces of jewelry for this site and for a press request (!). I brought everything in my purple mini-suitcase to Santa Monica, where Mark has a mini studio behind his succulent-bedecked home. I lint-rollered the bags and stuffed them with plastic bags and even used museum clay to prop up a pin here or make a strap stay in place there.
Here are a few images. Ah, which brings me to the title of this post. About two days after I make something, I decide it’s not quite good enough. So instead of borrowing Hex items that are in stores now (I don’t have stock yet) I pulled all-nighters for 2 nights in a row, and made 30 new items this weekend. I find I hit my creative stride around 4:15 AM. I love this stuff. For now, at least.
I brought the Hexagon collection of handbags and jewelry pieces to two boutiques today. The Nathalie Seaver Boutique on West Third took some surprise-element pendants, such as a gold ball with a turquoise “egg” hidden inside, and a bird’s nest (made from an Armani Prive perfume bottle cap) with three abalone birds peeking out. The owner, Nathalie, will make a shelf for Hexagon to feature those necklaces and two of the TypeBall purses (among others).
Being in this store is a big coup because it is one of those brilliantly curated spots that have put L.A. retail on the map. Besides Nathalie’s own collection of flirty, feminine clothing, it also stocks vintage Dorothy Thorpe glassware, French-motif home decor items, chic hats, and even kids’ clothing and toys. One of Nathalie’s reversible skirt designs is so popular that she can barely keep it in stock. Here’s an article I did about it for Los Angeles magazine a few years ago. I watched someone buy this same style today when I was delivering the Hexagon items!
On the east side of town, the brand-new boutique Bee Free bought eight items from my first batch of jewelry and bags, including these two pieces. This shop, opened across the street from LaMill by a North Carolina native named Angie, marks a glamorous new chapter for Silver Lake apparel retail. It’s airy and elegant, done up in neutral tones with one wall of gray-and-white wallpaper in a large geometric print.
Bee Free will throw a party this Thursday (March 2) from 7 to 10. I am told there will be cocktails, free hair trims, and food catered by the L & E Oyster Bar next door. I’m planning to arrive right at 7 to hang out with Angie, who is a real Southern spitfire, and Sarah, the glamazon computer wizard/super athlete who works with her.