I was fortunate enough to be in Beirut at the right time, on the right night, and happened upon the Vanina store opening. It was love at first sight. I fell head over heels for both the Cease-Fire collection and the Say It Differently line. When you see Vanina’s playful and humorous designs, it comes as no surprise that the brand’s motto is “Never fully dressed without a smile.”
Their exquisitely crafted pendants from the Cease-Fire range were created as part of a project in collaboration with the Permanent Peace Movement. Twenty percent of the sales of the necklaces goes toward their vital work. Formed from delicately linked matchsticks, the pieces are individually handcrafted by artisans in the mountains of Beirut. Each necklace comes in its own presentation box in the shape of an oversize package of matches. I must say that the first time I wore my match necklace, I was wary whenever a smoker came near, for fear of going up in flames. As it turns out, the matchsticks are specially made without the chemicals that make them ignite, a process loaded with symbolic meaning.
Say It Differently is a collection of swirling, gold-plated wire pieces that form charming witticisms and phrases. My favorite are the “Laugh Out Loud” bands, but others include “Un Peu,” “Beaucoup,” and “Passionnément,” if you are in the mood for love.
Vanina can be found at Colette, in Paris, or on its website. Be warned, though: They are quickly snapped up when they arrive in-store, so book that ticket to Beirut if you can’t wait for the next delivery!
Photos: Courtesy of Mira Mikati