August 28 2014

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10 posts tagged "Monique Pean"

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.

Monique Pean Spring '14

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

Photo: Courtesy Photo

Old Bones, New Tricks


The phrase “I’m really excited about this fossilized purple stegosaurus bone” is not something we typically hear when previewing an accessories line. But that’s exactly how sustainable fine-jewelry designer Monique Péan led into the discussion about her Fall 2013 wares. The starting point for her collection, which actually marks the second time she’s worked with 150 million-year-old dino bones, was a recent stint in Guatemala. Ancient pyramids in the jungle inspired the geometric shapes of her multilevel stones. (For instance, one necklace features a Herkimer diamond that was cut with a range of jagged planes and covered in pavéd white or black diamonds.) The trip also led Péan to her newest material—Guatemalan black jade that is literally spit to the surface because of volcanic activity. She fashioned her latest find into sharp diamond-embellished pendulum earrings and textural rings.

This season, Péan continued to work with her signature scrimshawed woolly-mammoth ivory (which, at 150 thousand years old, seems pretty new next to her Jurassic fossils). In fact, she embraced the spirit of the collection by painting her own nails to match the intricate etched patterns on her cream-and-black earrings and rings. However, it was those dinosaur bones (some of which were polished to reveal an intricate cellular structure) juxtaposed with diamonds on necklaces and rings that really stood out. “I want people to collect these pieces and pass them down,” Péan told “And hopefully, they’ll be around for hundreds and millions of years, just like the dinosaur bones.”

Monique Péan jewelry is available at Barneys, Jeffrey, and other select retailers.

Photos: Courtesy of Monique Péan

Monique Péan Spring 2013


Label: Monique Péan

Need to know: Monique has been quietly showing her collection to editors and buyers for the past several fashion seasons. This time around, the designer did a bigger presentation at the Danziger Projects gallery space in Chelsea, and the collection was the most comprehensive yet. Péan’s latest efforts were inspired by her recent visit to Guatemala. The collection, named K’Atun, has a particular focus on geometric pattern, ancient and modern architecture, and the repetition of symbols and shapes. It’s the first time the designer is using fossilized dinosaur bone in the collection, for her signature rings. My favorite is pictured above.

She says: “Although everything is handmade, I want it to have a finished look. Even our Muyal fossilized woolly mammoth ring with multiple stripes inside (pictured) is done by hand but looks machine-done.”

Where to find it: Barneys New York.

Photo: Courtesy of Monique Péan

Monique Péan’s Paris Diary


New York-based jewelry designer Monique Péan was selected as one of ten past CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund finalists for round two of the Americans in Paris program. While in the City of Light, Pean shared a showroom space with the like of Albertus Swanepoel and Simon Spurr at Paris’ Galerie Joyce and made time to stop by a few of the week’s biggest parties, too. She shares some of her snaps and memories, below.

“With my boys, two of the most talented American designers in Paris—Simon Spurr and Prabal Gurung. Simon’s suits make almost any man look handsome and Prabal’s prints are stunning.”

“With Hannah Bronfman (in Monique Péan fine jewelry) at a lounge in Place Vendome.”

“At Alber’s ten-year anniversary party! Love Lanvin and the cake made of books!”

Continue Reading “Monique Péan’s Paris Diary” »

A Healthy Breakfast


On the ride up to the seventh floor of the Museum of Arts and Design today, Arianna Huffington and Maria Cornejo chatted on the need for coffee and other morning matters. It was half past 8 a.m. after all, and Huffington was a panel member for the CFDA Health Initiative’s “A Well-Balanced Life” discussion. (The news magnate was joined by other busy ladies: Elettra Wiedemann, Monique Péan, Karolina Kurkova, and moderator Alina Cho, who brightened the room in a sunny yellow print frock.) The conversation covered practical tips. Huffington, for one, sang the praises of getting a full night’s sleep. “For me, there is nothing more healing,” she told the audience that included Francisco Costa, Joseph Altuzarra, Prabal Gurung, and Olivier Theyskens. She also touched on something she nattily called “GPS for the soul,” which includes activities that keep people centered (read: weekend yoga). Wiedemann, meanwhile, recommended self-development, such as enrolling in graduate classes. And Péan, a former Wall Street banker turned jewelry designer, advised carrying on-the-go protein during fashion week.

With focus turning to the show season and tough casting decisions, the mood veered in a more serious direction. Kurkova related the pressures models face with body weight and image. In her successful career, she has dealt with health issues, she said, and teared up when mentioning her husband’s devout support throughout that rough patch. Huffington talked about her youngest daughter Isabella, who battled an eating disorder at age 12. But if there was one takeaway from the morning go-around, it was that mentors help light the way. Wiedemann said her father was her rock. For example, when she had to wear a back brace as a young teen (“it was real-life Romy and Michele,” she said), he steered her toward swimming. He was also a former model and he met her mother, Isabella Rossellini, on the set of a Calvin Klein shoot. To which Wiedemann cheered to Costa, “Thanks, Francisco!”

Photo: Neil Rasmus/