We’ve always had a soft spot for Project Alabama, Natalie Chanin’s line of hand-stitched recycled clothing. It doesn’t hurt that Chanin herself is charming and down-to-earth, with blunt, prematurely gray bangs that somehow only serve to make her seem more vital. So we’re glad that, after restructuring her company, the designer who helped pioneer the idea of homespun couture—and unwittingly launched a million craftily over-dyed T-shirts at Urban Outfitters—is back. Her line, renamed Alabama Chanin, has been expanded to include home furnishings, textiles, and now, jewelry, all with the same folksy, make-do-and-mend philosophy of the original clothing. Chunky and substantial, Chanin’s platinum-sterling alloy and gold vermeil cuffs, rings, necklaces, and pins are cast from pieces of coiled and pleated scrap fabric. "I liked taking something that would be considered a throwaway and turning it into something precious," she says. From $500 to $4,600, available at www.alabamachanin.com.
Photo: Elissa Wiehn