Laurie’s refined eye and a foot in both America and France gives her a keen edge on choosing just the right combination of modern and vintage, funky and chic. She combines old brooches and pendants and teeny Chanel perfume bottles with ultra-sleek, feminine purses or bold chain necklaces.
“It was a fairly sudden decision (to quit journalism) and go into the making of physical goods,” says Laurie. “But at the same time it was the inevitable culmination of loving fashion yet hating hyper-consumerism; loving vintage yet wanting to say something new with design, and loving France but wanting to represent that stylistically with something more original than an Hermes bag or Chanel earrings.” Since all of the materials are repurposed from existing pieces, you can rest assured you’re helping the earth too with Laurie’s green endeavor. I’m totally crazy about this necklace, the “Sailboat Hits Glacier,” which brings to mind Argonauts and icebergs and Titanics.
“The Paris flea markets and vide-greniers are treasure troves for items that hare hard or impossible to find in the US. For instance, Bakelite belt buckles from the 1940s that clip closed, silver name bracelets engraved with Jean Paul or Pierre, and all manner of dainty smoking accessories that translate will into bags and jewelry,” Laurie says. “The flea markets are such fun places to meet people and I always wind up in conversations about the provenance of the items. And often the French do not value certain things (like, say, enamel pins or felt military badges) as much as Americans might. This allows me to keep prices low for all the stylish cheapskates out there–like me!”
In my heart of hearts I have fallen in love with this vintage purse embellished with the silhouette of France – complete with a bright red jewel where Paris resides. What a perfect complement to a simple black dress (or red! Red.) for an elegant night on the town.
My friend Laurie Pike (who also runs The Paris Blog), has gone into the upcycled handbag and accessory fashion world, launching Hexagon.
“I got tired of pushing consumerism in my day job as a fashion editrix,” she told me in Paris the other day. “So I quit my post and started collecting fabulous vintage items in desperate need of a makeover.”
The result is an eclectic line of one-of-a-kind purses and baubles that have been “reverse modernized”—made better by mixing old with new elements. Methinks this is not only good for the environment but good for folks who like their vintage in choice spots.
Laurie said: “Now I can sleep at night knowing that my love for style is not promoting landfill. In fact, it is doing the opposite, by rehabilitating castaways and presenting them as an alternative to new.”
Laurie Pike’s words and idiosyncratic style have inspired Los Angelenos for years. She wrote about fashion for Los Angeles magazine, website LA.com and her own journal The Paris Blog. Occasionally, she became the story. New York Times and other periodicals ran features a few years back on her unique eye for style and for cobbling together a swank, but low budget lifestyle in Los Angeles and Paris. We were jealous.
And when she parted ways with her full-time gig as style editor for Los Angeles last year, she didn’t go to the ‘dark side,’ or journalists’ fun, yet snide, characterization of the all too common fate of getting a job in public relations. You might as well say she got a job on the glitter side. She recently debuted her handbags and jewelry line Hexagon Accessories. Its jewelry and handbags repurposed in a way only Pike could design. Hexagon is sold on Etsy and some groovy shops in the L.A. area like the Nathalie Seaver Boutique.
With the Hexagon design gig, looks like you’re a lifer in the fashion world Laurie Pike. Glad we still see you on Paris Blog and a few other sites. And for those of you who haven’t crossed paths with Pike, check out a pic of her at the Vivienne Westwood boutique debut last year. Dig that icepack hat!