California native Michelle Campbell Mason was an actress and model in a previous life—her first break was on CSI, as a hooker with good intentions who meets a gruesome fate. (“My parents loved that one,” she laughed.)
Things slowed down at one point, Mason said, and she started to lose it. But after inheriting a bunch of jewelry from her grandmother, she picked up a pencil and began to sketch. “They were a little too antique to wear, so I wanted to create something that would complement them, something a little more clean and to the point,” she explains.
Three years on, Campbell’s floating rings and major cuffs have made waves everywhere from Bergdorf Goodman and Neiman Marcus to Shopbop.com. This fall, Campbell is taking her first step into fine jewelry with a collection that builds on her signature floaty, classic modernism. Her massive honeycomb cuff was the inspiration for a number of new styles, while a darker-than-usual theme in black and white diamonds on white gold conveys an ongoing fascination with architecture, particularly what she finds in her new home base, New York. “This is meant to play off the contemporary [pieces],” she noted. “We all wear fine jewelry—just not by itself. It’s really clean, easy to pile on and layer,” she explained. And that, in a nutshell, is how crime TV’s loss became fashion’s gain.
Fringe is one of the biggest trends for spring, and I still haven’t had a chance to step into it. Ever since I saw Tamara Mellon’s presentation back in 2013, her leather fringe skirt has been on my wish list. Today, Mellon is launching her brand’s e-commerce site, and I finally got a chance to add this little number to my shopping cart.
Tamara Mellon leather fringe skirt, $895, Buy it now
Maniamania’s darkly elegant baubles are about to find luxe new life as the brand branches out with Immortalia, its first fine-jewelry effort, set to launch on themaniamania.com on March 10. Fans of the five-year-old line’s quietly macabre aesthetic will no doubt delight in Immortalia’s jumping-off point: Victorian and Georgian memento mori (from the Latin meaning “remember you will die”) trinkets. Here, though, the ghoulish 19th-century wares have been stripped of more literal motifs like skulls, withering blooms, et al., in favor of sophisticated styles that should please a variety of customers. Pieces range from Equinox, an upscale take on the knuckle ring featuring a delicate crescent moon with a pavé of gray and white diamonds, to Mineralia, a whopping cocktail ring in white gold, rutilated quartz, and champagne diamonds. For those with marriage on their minds, there are both an engagement and wedding band on offer. All nine of the collection’s styles, which are priced between $1,180 and $8,200, are handmade to order in New York using only ethically sourced and certified gems. The release also reunites Maniamania with Lindsey Wixson, who lends her otherworldly pout to the campaign. As designer Melanie Kamsler tells it, “We haven’t deviated too far. Our muse and inspirations are the same, it’s just a more sophisticated interpretation.” Have a first look at the collection here, exclusively on Style.com.
Since September, Belgian designer Glenn Martens has been carrying on in the spirit of Y/Project founder Yohan Serfaty, who passed away last April. But whereas Serfaty specialized in a mostly leather menswear line, Martens has, in addition to designing menswear, been spinning out his late mentor’s style into a full-fledged women’s collection. On the docket for Fall: easy, urban pieces such as elegant but streetwise leather coats made of wide, vertical sweeping panels that sway with its wearer’s gait (or, as Martens put it, “They explode when you walk.”). Serfaty was a strong tailor, and that influence is evident in sharp, menswear-inspired suits with raw cut finishes; oversize blazers; jackets with clever zip work; and wide, comfortable silk pants. Elsewhere, there were thoughtful multifunctional pieces such as a top run through with vertical drawstrings that can do double duty as a dress. “I love that duality. When you’re running around and your day is never-ending, you have to be prepared,” the designer said. “You can make it work to your body.” Judging by the early response (the line has already been picked up by a bevy of retailers, including ØDD in New York), it won’t be long before bodies stateside will be working that vibe.
If you’ve ever fallen hard for a piece of high-fashion costume jewelry, chances are good that it has passed through Edgard Hamon. Founded in 1919, the atelier was the first to create belts for Chanel, and decades later, it was the first to thread strips of leather through metal chains.
Today, the Edgard Hamon archives scan like a who’s who of couture’s glory days: Yves Saint Laurent, Lanvin, Nina Ricci, Chanel, Givenchy, Thierry Mugler, Balenciaga, and Christian Lacroix have all called on Edgard Hamon at some point.
Which is why Lacroix, along with Elie Top, Paris Vogue jewelry editor Franceline Prat, and various other experts all gathered today at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs. Their mission was to elect the winners of the two first-ever Edgard Hamon awards: the Edgard Hamon Prize for Costume Jewellery, which goes to a designer under 30 years old who has worked in fashion jewelry in France, and the 3,000-euro Edgard Hamon Future Hope Prize for Costume Jewellery, which goes to a student in his or her last year at a European school of fashion.
The contestants were challenged to design pieces based on the work of a chosen architect, and tonight, Style.com can exclusively reveal the winners. Century Xie took the 15,000-euro Edgard Hamon Prize for Costume Jewellery, and Yao Yu won the Edgard Hamon Future Hope Prize for Costume Jewellery.
“We had a great time, they were incredibly creative,” said Lacroix of the selection process. “It was really beautiful. Many of them referenced Gaudí or Prouvé, for example. And many of them were influenced by Elie [Top].”
Top, the self-taught talent behind Lanvin’s fabulous baubles, replied that he was flattered to hear it. “Everyone’s always talking about bags and shoes, but costume jewelry really deserves attention. It’s so closely linked with fashion’s silhouettes, color, and what you want now—that’s the magic of it. There’s so much more to it than silver and gold.”
Xie’s line will be produced and displayed at Le Bon Marché; Edgard Hamon will produce three of Yu’s prototypes and she will receive an internship. The winners’ collections will be presented at an official ceremony at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs on July 4.