Monique Péan’s Nordic Trek
Everyone knows their Marcs from their Calvins. But as fashion month kicks into gear, we’ll be spotlighting the up-and-coming designers and indie brands whose names you’ll want to remember.
Need To Know: Jewelry designer Monique Péan possesses a seething intellect that rivals the rarity of her wares. Who else could combine million-year old meteorites, rainbow-flinging arctic Spectrolite, Philip Johnson’s Glass House blueprints, Richard Serra’s cantilevered ellipses and lines from Oslo’s contemporary architecture so seamlessly, and, for that matter, so downright gorgeously? As she admits, each collection takes “lots” of research. That thoroughness dazzles in her Spring ’14 offering, dubbed Rehnet after the Norse word for purity.
It took Péan nine months of prep before jetting to both urban and rural Norway, cues from which anchored her presentation (that prismatic Spectrolite? Found above the Arctic Circle, and sustainable to boot). A pair of earrings featuring fossils suspended in gold nodded to the Norwegian capital’s modernist buildings, and a runic, almost threateningly shaped pendant channeled the fjord-land’s angular slopes. Also discovered in Scandinavia: meteorite shrapnel, which, when laser-cut, reveals geometries so square you’d think they were manmade.
Those angular patterns may have been what triggered Péan’s further exploration of architecture and sculpture. One scrimshaw bangle, dusted in pavé diamonds, boasted hand-carved blueprints taken directly from Johnson’s above-mentioned iconic New Canaan masterpiece.
She Says: Regarding her use of wooly mammoth fossils, which have become a brand signature: “I first discovered fossilized mammoth in Alaska. I hadn’t been back to the Arctic since. The cream-colored examples–their hue was preserved by being trapped in the ice for tens of thousands of years. I literally saw a frozen waterfall, as if someone had just pressed pause.”
Where to Find It: Barneys New York, Jeffrey, and D’NA Riyadh