5 posts tagged "Miriam Haskell"
Robert Lee Morris. The first name—or three—in costume jewelry blazed a new path for contemporary fashion accessories when he launched his namesake collection in 1971 with big, bold, tribal-inspired pieces that attracted the attention of retailers, press, and fellow designers. He went on to collaborate with some—Calvin Klein, Karl Lagerfeld, and most famously Donna Karan, with whom he designed jewelry for 28 of her collections. After a brief stint in the fine jewelry sector, Morris is now relaunching his eponymous brand with Haskell Jewels (as in Miriam). The prices are lower—ranging from $150 to $1,000—but the iconic RLM look is all the same. Style.com sat down with Morris to talk old days, newcomers, and what stood between him and Tom Ford, and to take an exclusive first look at a few of his new pieces.
Robert Lee Morris relaunches this September at Bergdorf Goodman, Kirna Zabête, Morris’ Soho store, and www.robertleemorris.com.
How is this collection different from anything else you’ve done?
The thing that makes this collection different is that it is primarily affordable. It’s constructed of solid cast brass, which is a wonderful metal; I’ve always used brass in everything I’ve ever made, because I can get big, bold shapes and I can do anything with it. With the economy being what it is, it makes more sense to shift my entire direction towards the affordability and my desire to want more people to have my work, and that’s the big difference. I’m able to distribute my work at a much more affordable price without losing its signature look.
How has the costume jewelry industry changed since you got started 40 years ago?
It’s come full circle. When I started, it was the beginning of a revolution that I was very much a part of. Similar ideas were happening in Japan, Europe, and America—of creating jewelry that was challenging and full of content. That was the beginning of the designer-artist jewelry movement. That has never died, though it’s certainly had some low points. When I started, it was a heyday and opened many doors; retailers went crazy for it. Then in the nineties we had the complete opposite: All shows of wealth became a no-no. The recession hit hard, the Gulf War was going on, the stock market crashed. Everything that was fabulous and wild in the eighties came to a screeching halt. Nobody wanted to spend money on anything that wasn’t just pure “meat and potatoes” safe, and my range of the jewelry business collapsed. Then in 1995, Tom Ford at Gucci started showing Halston-esque, sexy, body-hugging clothing, and the next thing you know, we’re back in business. It was a revival and we didn’t do anything. I didn’t think I was even old enough to have a revival. The creativity is still not 100 percent back yet, but there’s been a slow return in costume jewelry of big, bold, fun-to-wear, wacky, crazy things. Designers who were once subtle are kicking it up ten notches to crazy. Continue Reading “Costume Drama: Robert Lee Morris On The Relaunch Of His Namesake Brand” »
When you hear the name Miriam Haskell, clusters of pearls and antique-y strands of gold probably come to mind. But the label’s latest holiday collection is anything but. Inspired by the skyline of New York City (the brand’s home), the range, entitled Metropolis, is all done in jet stone and crystal with gunmetal filigrees and silver plating. Think thick chain bracelets, zipper-design tear-drop earrings, and a covetable full finger ring ($300, above) that is bound to bring out the dark side in all of us. The collection hits the Web (www.miriamhaskell.com) mid-October.
“It’s not cheap,” Decades proprietor Cameron Silver said at the Crosby Hotel. “That’s the amazing thing about costume jewelry. I rejected it for years at first because I thought, ‘Who wants to spend $2,000 on a glass necklace?’ It requires education. It’s the design, the final product, that is incredibly valuable.” The retailer (and soon-to-be Bravo reality TV star) has since swung to the other side, so much so that Silver was even talking men’s costume pieces. But he was in like-minded company last night: Silver joined fellow panelists Mad Men costume designer Janie Bryant, Candy Pratts Price, and Miriam Haskell president Gabrielle Fialkoff in a CFDA-sponsored discussion on the heritage and business of costume jewelry.
Moderated by Town & Country accessories director Stellene Volandes, the conversation steered from a beginner’s history lesson (Coco Chanel and Miriam Haskell were chummy costume jewelry colleagues) to the modern-day obsession with celebrity (Michelle Obama created an online ordering frenzy for the Miriam Haskell chandelier earrings she wore to the State Dinner this past March). Bryant, for one, was well accustomed to celebrities and the role costume jewelry can play. “For Joan, she has this pen necklace and I think of it as her sword,” the costume designer said of the character the actress Christina Hendricks plays in Mad Men. “It’s funny because Christina never wants to part with it. The actress can become attached to the jewelry, too.”
A tip for the AMC show’s many fashion followers: Bryant found the signature piece in an unlikely “dirty little tin of jewelry at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena.” And despite delays and some nail-biting negotiations, it looks like there were will be plenty of episodes with vintage finds ahead. “I was never worried,” Bryant told Style.com post-discussion, about the show being renewed for Season 5. “I had faith.”
As a recent bride, I was obsessed with finding dresses, shoes, and jewelry I could wear not only on the big day, but then again after it. Cases in point: the flat satin rhinestone-embellished Vera Wang sandals I slipped into at the end of the night came with me on my Positano honeymoon, and I plan to cut and dye my 3.1 Phillip Lim party dress into a new design. I’m equally enamored with Miriam Haskell’s new collection of bridal bijoux for J.Crew. The costume jeweler’s pieces would add a unique touch to any wedding ensemble, sure, but they’ll look just as special later on, paired with a white tee or cashmere cardigan. An added bonus: It’s easier to get away with purchases when you can explain the bang-for-your-buck to your spouse. Trust me on this one.
Available May at J.Crew locations—including the retailer’s first bridal boutique, opening in June on Madison Avenue—and www.jcrew.com.