Rainbow Accessories Alert: This Trend Could Change Your Whole Look

What’s your favorite color? We hope it’s all of them because rainbow accessories have become the choice look for outfit extras. And we don’t mean a whimsical splash of three hues here and there. The designs are bright, bold and very purposeful—as in a crystalized multi-color swirl icing cupcake bag. If your closet is ready to taste the rainbow, here are some pieces to help you wear it too.

rainbow accessories

A list of the most tantalizing rainbow accessories we could find. From Left to Right:

Which of these rainbow accessories would you want to rock the look?

Meet Gogo Ferguson: Rattlesnake Rings and Sun Bleached Bones

Painting of Gogo by West Fraser.

One cannot really speak of Gogo Ferguson and her work without discussing Cumberland’s history, natural beauty, and the cultural remains it holds. Cumberland is 40-square-miles which is not a bad size for paradise. For thousands of years this area and coastal Georgia was inhabited by indigenous people. It was first the Timucua Indians that lived on Cumberland, and they left their mark. There was a Spanish mission in the 1600s, Oglethorpe’s two forts erected in the 1730s, the Greene family, the Stafford plantation, descendants of freed slaves, and the Carnegies.  Now, a person could write a book on Cumberland, and in fact many people have done so.

Gogo’s grandmother painted by the artist, Ipsen, Boston.

Gogo is a direct descendant of Thomas Carnegie and granddaughter Lucy Ferguson, daughter of Margaret. Janet, aka Gogo, has quite a knack for finding fossils like shark teeth and eye-unearthing natural remains of all kind. Not to mention her interest in the Native American history of the island. She caught my attention as someone who understands and appreciates nature. Her interests align with my anthropology and archaeological experience, but I was also drawn to her because of my jewelry obsession. The pieces comes in different finishes or metals and the price points vary, allowing for one to buy multiples in silver or to focus on the 14k pieces—depending on your style. 


Her work is really an extension of earth and all of its treasures, what it leaves behind, what it can teach us, the beauty of life and death. Like glittering glamorous fossils, her jewelry catches the eye without trying to hard.  My favorite pieces include her cast metal boars tusk necklaces and the rattlesnake rings. Delicate, yet tough at the same time, though her work is not restricted to jewelry.  I’d love to have one of her seaweed sculptures hung on my wall. Yes, she dabbles in sculpture and décor.

Gogo’s New England Seaweed Sculpture. From Gogo Nature Transformed.

gogo ferguson conch and seaweed jewelry

I personally discovered the island when I was living in Atlanta about 10 years ago and have been going once a year since.  At heart, I am a country girl who enjoys wildlife, nature, and the peace the island gives me. I relate to what many of the people drawn to Cumberland see—pure nature and history coexisting. You either love it or it’s not your cup of tea.

There are two options in terms of staying on the island. Take the national park service ferry over and camp out or stay at the historic Greyfield Inn, still owned by the Carnegies. A few private land holds exist, but nothing public. What you find there are wild beach trails, clean sand, and so much space for just an “island”. I did not stay at the Inn (which Lucy opened officially in the 1960s) until last year on my birthday when I met the talented Gogo Ferguson.  

Her work is truly art, not just jewelry but an extension of her place in nature and Cumberland. Her line includes home goods, sculpture, and jewelry.  Mikhail Baryshnikov photographed on Cumberland’s beach by Annie Leibovitz in 1990 with Rob Besserer explains his first experience with the island and Gogo:

“Like many, my first experience of Cumberland Island was a field trip of sorts. I wanted to see the wild horses that famously roam its dunes-relics, like so many things on Cumberland of past attempts at domestication. What I didn’t expect was the mystery, the majesty, and the simple raw beauty of the place.

I don’t exactly remember when my encounters with Cumberland led to meeting Gogo, but at least thirty years ago, when she welcomed me into her modest house with a bright smile and the offer of an oyster roast, it was clear that she and Cumberland were two parts of an organic whole (Gogo Nature Transformed, Introduction 11).

The ruins of the Carnegie’s Dungeness. Another earlier home site also burned in this same location.

Gogo’s jewelry designs have garnered lots of press, celebrity wearers, magazine articles, and even her own exhibit at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta. She grew up enjoying summers on the island and spending time with her ecologically minded grandmother Lucy, before finally returning to live there in the 1979 as a single mother.  Her work slowly evolved when she began making pieces for guests at the inn and looking back to her roots and the island. Her 1989 spread in People magazine helped propel her work forward. She designed the wedding rings for Carolyn Bessette and John in 1996. 

Interview:

What is your educational background and how do you use it in your life today?

I went to high school in Providence and art school in Massachusetts.

gogo ferguson boars tusk necklace

Favorite piece you ever designed or made?

That’s hard to say…each new piece I design becomes my favorite but if I had to choose one for sentimental reasons it would be my logo which is made of rattlesnake rib bones and vertebrae. It was one of the first pieces I ever created and cast it into gold and silver. It symbolizes 30 years of blood, sweat and tears!

Gogo’s rattlesnake logo, from Gogo Nature Transformed.

 

Describe your process from start to finish.

My process is to be out in nature and walk the shore line after the tide comes in or after a storm and search for new inspiration. The design process is constantly running through my head. Every six hours, the tideline deposits new inspirations for me to discover. I’ll take it back to my studio and sometimes look at it for up to a year until I get a creative flash of what to do with it. The colors and patterns in nature are what are really mind boggling to me. They all have a purpose and I feel my place is to transform that into wearable art or something fabulous for the home.

What are your first memories of Cumberland?

Being a young child with my grandmother on the island – we constantly went clamming, horseback riding, and exploring the island. I learned from her about the land and how the magical process of nature worked on it.

Why do you think you feel so connected and inspired by it in terms of your work?

Seven generations of my family have lived on the island – it’s literally in my blood and I consider it the soul of my family. It is my sense of place on this earth and I feel very fortunate to call it home.

What other places have inspired your jewelry line?

Anywhere I travel. I was recently walking down the street in Martha’s Vineyard and saw a beautiful skeleton of a leaf on the ground and now I have it taped to my kitchen window where it will stay until I decide how I want to incorporate it into a design. I don’t have to be in an exotic location to be inspired as long as there is raw nature to see and study.

How would you describe Lucy’s role in your work or understanding of the island?

Lucy was an original naturalist. She taught me everything about the intricacies of the island and to respect it and always learn from it. She had a keen sense of her surroundings — she was deaf at an early age so her sense of nature was far more attuned than most peoples and she passed that wisdom down to us.

What piece do you wear from your jewelry line?

Everything! I am always wearing multiple pieces everywhere I go. I’m currently wearing a new arrowhead opera-length necklace, dolphin disc necklace, rattlesnake rib bone earrings, sea urchin ring, rattle snake multi rib cuff, and a spiny murex conch cuff. I think that’s the great thing about my line…they are all statement pieces, but they all complement each other very well.

gogo ferguson gold silver jewelry

Do you feel your jewelry or home decor is art or sculpture?

Art — that is my goal — to design pieces that are wearable art or functional art for the home that then inspire the owner and those around them who see it.

Your work is now made in the artist community in San Miguel de Allende, please describe your relationship to them and Mexico city?

I started going to SMA in the late 60s through an artist program with the Rhode Island School of Design and fell in love with San Miguel, its architecture and the culture. I have been going back ever since, now own a home there and also work closely with a local artist named Julio Miguel who I take my inspirations to and work with on transforming them into designs. I’ve brought him to Cumberland so he could see the island firsthand and understand my source of inspiration. I have great respect for Julio and his creative talents.

 

Describe your work with Nicole Miller if possible?

Nicole is a dear old friend of mine who often hosts shows for me in NYC. She also designed a beautiful silk custom-made scarf with a map of Cumberland Island on it to commemorate my High Museum exhibit in Atlanta. We still have them in stock and they serve as a great souvenir of Cumberland.

Do horses at all inspire your work or design, experiencing them riding with Lucy and then as they are now on the island daily?

Yes, the horses have been on the island since the1500s. They’ve acclimated beautifully to the island and I love that we all live symbiotically.

What is your work day like? Do you typically “work” and “hunt” during the fall and winter or early spring?

I explore and hike year round, but when I’m on Cumberland I love to walk the tideline to see what has washed up, especially after a big storm comes. I find sharks teeth, shark vertebrae and other natural treasures.

Gogo’s collection of prehistoric shark teeth, most she found and some from her grandfather.

Speaking of home, I have seen inside of your house and the decor is pretty fabulous, as is the history of the home’s construction. Can you speak about it a bit and how you decorate?

Thank you. I always incorporate nature into my home. Deer antlers become towel racks, shark vertebrae become door pulls. Driftwood becomes center pieces for the table. My husband Dave and I designed the house and built most of out of reclaimed items from old carriage houses and barns on the island.

Is it fair to say you have a gift for finding artifacts and fossils as well as the bones you use in your work? Is this something that you have worked at?

I think I have a natural eye for seeing unusual things in nature and I have reinforced it over the years.

What is your most current line and is there a new piece or commission you are currently designing? 

I created a line of pearl designs to mark my 30th year in business this year that have been very popular. I also just finalized an arrowhead pendant that comes in gold-plated, rhodium, and brass. This one is great because both women and men can wear it.

Are you experimenting with any new materials or ventures?

The above-mentioned arrowheads are all made of new materials.

What piece of jewelry can you not live without?

Raccoon penis bones! I make earrings, bracelets and necklaces out them and they are the best conversation starter ever.

Raccoon Penis Bone Earrings. GogoJewelry.com image.

Do you have any books you would recommend for those discovering Cumberland for the first time?

There are great photography coffee table books by my cousin, Mary Bullard. I would love to do one of my own, to showcase the island through my eyes.

What is your trunk show agenda like, how can people interested in your work see it off of the island. I know you spend time in Martha’s Vineyard? 

We are on the road frequently for shows, and I love to do speaking engagements. I have my summer shop on Martha’s Vineyard in Vineyard Haven that is open through September. My shop on Cumberland is open year-round, and we have a permanent store on Saint Simons Island. We have wholesale accounts in Atlanta, Charleston, Fernandina Beach, and Memphis, and of course the website is always open for business!

gogo ferguson rattlesnake rings

Describe how your jewelry has evolved from the very first pieces to now?

I never try to deviate from nature’s designs, however over the years I began combining precious stones to some of my beads.  Part of my evolution was growing my line into homewares, serving spoons of New England sea clams, cockle shells, oyster and mussel servers, candle holders of seed pods, sea urchins and votives of Maine sea kelp.  I’m always transforming in my mind the treasures I found on the tideline or in the forests to some wearable of functional piece. It is how I look at my surroundings. 

Your daughter was involved in your business, has that continued?

My daughter Hannah remains as creative as ever and even though her priority immediately is raising her precious son Ronan Zephyr Carnegie Thomas, she has started her own line in England where she now lives.  One of her designs was auctioned at the Princess Trust for the largest amount in the auction.  I am so proud of her and know that she will soar, she is so very creative.

What do you hope your legacy will be and the future of your brand?

My desire is for my designs to be considered art, that my clients become collectors and understand and appreciate the beauty and perfection of natures designs.  

www.gogojewelry.com

CBS Sunday Morning

High Museum Feature

Book List:

 

Shop my personal picks from Gogo Ferguson:

Gogo 14k Armadillo Shell Cuff. GogoJewelry.com image.

Spiny Murex Conch Cuff. GogoJewelry.com $295.

Boars Tusk Cuff. GogoJewelry.com $50.00

Boars Tusk Pendant. $200. GogoJewelry.com

Seaweed Necklace. $450. GogoJewelry.com

Rattlesnake Double Rib Ring. Gold/Silver. $425. GogoJewelry.com

Alligator Scute Earrings. $150. GogoJewelry.com

  • All photography unless otherwise stated, taken by Sara Brandon the author, rights reserved Sarara Couture. Images of jewelry displayed reflect her original and personal shop/home experience on Cumberland.

 

 

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Nashville: Secret Designer Shopping Spot

If you have been following me on instagram this month, you know that I’m back in the my old southern stomping grounds. From Nashville to Atlanta and St. Simons. My stop back in Nashville to see dear old friends has me wishing I was headed back… I have been hearing for a couple of years about how the city is undergoing a renaissance, but little did I know to what extent.  There’s a whole new hipster crowd, some imported from Brooklyn, of course. This seems to be concentrated in the Belmont- Vanderbilt area….East Nashville.  There is a decidedly country spin on organic healthy living coupled with the way Nashville does the arts and music that I find comforting.  The historic homes all over the city are being renovated or sadly in some cases torn down. The new construction is everywhere from communities to detached modern style homes.  I will say I did not see any extremely tall buildings while there this round, also a comfort.

Some of My Favorite Neighborhood and Their Vibes:

Belle Meade:

Belle Meade is still well established homes in an appointed sprawling area welcoming us with a horse and ample roads, quietly meandering to homes with large yards. The area is a mix of mansions and older mid century as well as ranch homes.

Richland-West end:

Has an old luxurious history vibe of well established money and has attracted a mix of successful creative types.

Belmont / 12th:

This is the area I stayed in this trip. My friend’s homes are amazing, but with beagle in tow I decided to give them some personal space. My arbnb was right in the heart of the historic bungalows, with walkability to 12th Avenue south and Hillsboro village shopping.  It is a fun area with a young style and it seems to be also currently under construction, with newer homes and mostly historic renovations happening. Belmont was once the home of America’s riches woman, Adelicia. The area derives the name from that historic site.

Green Hill- Hillsboro area:

This is the sort of higher end shopping destination. Green Hills is near Belle Meade with homes starting a bit more accessibly and in the style of Bungalows and Cape Cods.

UAL (United Apparel Liquidators est. 1980)

While there are lots more area neighborhoods to explore, the point of my post today is to introduce you to one of my secret favorite spots to hunt couture and designer pieces at a mere fraction of the cost. No this is not the American Picker’s shop, but don’t forget to stop in there if you are a fan. While talking to the owner and taking pictures, one of the customers said “How fun, but don’t go letting too many people know”.  This is the general consensus about UAL. This brand is a southern staple with locations in Texas, Louisiana, Tennessee, and Mississippi… And why is that you may ask? The deep discounts on Marni, Escada, Prada, Givenchy, Zac Posen,Rag and Bone, Lanvin and frankly whatever new designer piece that comes in- which for some reason did not sell. Thus the over flow was sent to them.  Their shoe section, bags, and especially jewelry is well stocked.

You can find the Chanel bags and rarer things in the cases. New and older established high end jewelry around the counter. While there is a dig style feel to the shop in some ways, once you scratch the surface you realize what is there! The inventory and brands carried change frequently and you never know what you might find. After a close friend and Nashvillite showed me this store years ago it has been on my must stop in list every year.  What is nice is the really young new vibe to the store’s selection. These pieces somehow are not the total cast offs and bad designs. They are hip!

My online picks. Jewelry selection here is also not too shabby. I have a mind to buy those Rosie earrings right now!

How deep are the discounts: Well something that retails for 1000 maybe 200 or something that is 300 may go to 60.  Not to mention if you catch their sales on top of those prices.  They have 2 Nashville locations one in the West End and another in Hillsboro Village as well as an online site. Nothing compares to being there in person to score the deals!

So here are some images of my shopping trip to the West End location in the hopes I’ve added a secret Nashville source to your list:

 

How to do that 1980s Earring Thing…..

DION LEE swimsuit, Boohoo.com t-shirt, vintage Ehanel earrings and Gucci hat via 1stdibs. Popmap.com 80s inspired sunglasses, Mark and Graham beach bag.

So, the 1980s earring….part of me is afraid, having lived through the 1980s and the other half is esthetically happy. The style of the 1980s was a little punk, a bit geek, over the top, and let’s face it the jewelry was pure fun. Color, especially the primary and a new class of neons reigned. You can absolutely wear the 80s earring styles that we are seeing now, in a classic way or even with a modern take. I can’t tell you how many of these have been pulled for editorial shoots recently.  So, how should one wear it without looking like you stepped out of the DeLorean in Back to the Future? There are tons of new styles and vintage examples to choose from. However; the most important part of that undertaking is a base which is classic- use black, wear some jeans and a white t-shirt, the right sunglasses or fun shoes mixed in and a focus on well, those earrings- I say leave off all other jewelry.

1980s BillyBoy* earrings from my personal collection.

She inside Cap Sleeve T-shirt, vintage 80s lightening bolts from my collection, Citizens of Humanity Rocket jean, Tory Burch heel sandal, Rag and Bone Fedora…..

Lastly, really this new take on the 80s earring is about using the glamorous oversized sterling or rhinestone earring worn in a clever modern way…. But for that to happen one must pull in their own style as well.  Maybe that is your signature curly hair, or lip color!

Collection of Wendy Gell earrings. She was featured in magazines from Vogue to Elle in the 70s and 80s.

Sterling silver 80s examples from the image archive.

Frocking Life by BillyBoy*: What’s in a Blue Box

Circa 1976 image of Billy Boy from his archive.

Let me begin by stating that Frocking Life, BillyBoy*’s new book is worth it’s weight, but if you are faint of heart proceed with caution. His explanation of interacting with his first Schiaparelli acquisition, a hat, crosses over into an almost divine experience. He openly talks about his life’s journey which yes…gasp… involves, dare I say S E X…. However, I promise his emotional and physical partners are always enthralling and lead you down a path that brings to life fashion, art, and culture. His in depth more personal description of Elsa’s journey brings to life more details as well as a clearer path in terms of how she became an icon. Where many historical depictions of Elsa, skim her early failures and successes, through his collection of personal letters and beyond, Billy breaths life into her story.
Anyone who has seen his creations, met, or read about BillyBoy* probably understands
that this is an individual which one can NOT know well from one interview or meeting. He’s got layers, sometimes too seemly fantastic to comprehendimmediately. It is very
similar feeling to glimpsing a multilayered deep chocolate fudge cake, then being told it is from an ancient secret cacao source? I will tell you, after having gotten through a bit of his layers, that I am biased andthis review will be a bit unprofessional (Lucky that I am not a newspaper writer, I guess- but I promise it will be factual not factoidual:) Initially, of course I enjoyed the book, because I want to know more about the designer of Surreal Bijoux-the jewelry I enjoy so much. However; now this has led to insights on someone who has become a friend. Just when I think well let me focus on what I am enthralled with about his work, he throws out things like well you know I used old Gripoix sample stock earrings on many of the dolls?

Marisa and BillyBoy* at the Schiaparelli show, with Go Go Marisa’s mother.

The book is for fans of his creations, but it is also for those who have any interest in fashion, vintage, Schiaparelli, or life really, because he throws very deep and juicy details out throughout the book. His candid life’s experiences seem almost to great to be true, but they are, as you see by connecting the dots to his work, collection, sketches, and photographs all very real. So, if you are doubting how someone can have meet so many amazing iconic people, refer back to my original interview with him which is chalked full of photographs. I enjoyed this book, as it challenges us to look again at it’s subjects were made of and the notion of what fashion and such artists were like before social media and reality TV. It’s the description of icons in their candid older years and tales of some of them in real interactions, that reminds us how life used to be lived and hopefully inspires one to just get a “Frocking Life”. Here, he’s searching for Schiaparelli, whose own life shaped how he saw the world in part. However, as interested as I am in Elsa…I still cannot get passed the steamer trunks full of old couture he collected or his descriptions of hunting vintage pieces in New York and Paris, when they were ripe for picking. His relationship to fashion is enthrallingly realist, yet stepped at the same time in fantasticalness.

Outfit made for Daisy Fellowes 1929-30 by Elsa Schiaparelli, from Frocking Life.

It is in this deep conversation that we get very dear and special glimpses of Elsa’s not so glamorous and inspiring beginnings as well as her personality as seen via his first hand account of speaking with  the mentor’s daughter in the 1970s.

He quotes Perrine, daughter of Paul Pioret: “They really appreciated each other’s company, and when my father had financial difficulties, it was Schiaparelli who came to his aid…At one point, he was in deep financial trouble and she’d rally all the designers around to give him help. But not in a humiliating way… she was so elegant and so devoted to him. I know he much appreciated her work…She wore his clothes and he was very pleased by that, he said she wore them to perfection….”(Frocking Life, 173).

BillyBoy* Interview:

Let’s start with a discussion of our custom made Surreal Bijoux box, which BillyBoy* and LaLa insisted on making for a 1980s surreal mouth necklace and earrings set, that Iwas obsessed with….and well had to have.

*Why was the box so important to competing this set, which was originally done in the 1980s? *Great question! Well, when I started Surreal Couture, as you read in my recent book Frocking Life, Searching for Elsa Schiaparelli,…it was about doing things organically and things which were not necessarily wearable. My only objective was to create artworks which was commentary and reflection about fashion and what fashionability meant. Back then, I used to make the jewels almost as installations, to be used as sculpture… I did boxes, stands, sets, scenarios, and all types of way to complete the work. Quite regularly and each piece I did had some set up ranging from simple to elaborate. When Lala and I were doing Surreal Bijoux on rue de la Paix in Paris, we did that much less, though we did still do it regularly. Lala understood the idea immediately, organically and as if by osmosis. These last years, let’s say this last decade, we decided to go back to our roots, or rather my roots and we decided even to go all the way back to Surreal Couture manifestos I wrote as early as 1972. We focused on doing many of our creative processes and things as I originally saw them, and I may add, we also went back to ideas Lala had as a young artist at roughly the same time I was thinking these things up. …. back then, when someone purchased the necklace from Surreal Bijoux, I wanted it to be the fullest expression of Surreal Couture and Surreal Bijoux combined. We do this now whenever any piece is sold. As you know we studied and worked on your piece for quite a while and I am delighted with the results. It’s funny because Lala says he sees me in the piece and I see him.

He is very gifted with so much that we do. We have a funny expression about our osmosis. I once said that “I am the genius and Lala is the one with talent” as a joke but he repeats it since 30 years or more by this point. I know someone could be mean and throw this joke back at me for having said it publicly, but it’s true. Lala has an incredible understanding of what I really need to say in my work and I believe I have a total understanding of his needs as co-author of the works we do together, our work is alchemistic and follows all Wiccan, if you will, “protocol”. It expresses completely my Wiccan origins, my belief in love spells which my mother taught me…and it is a tangible object which is the metaphysical existence of the soul contract I have with Lala. As I feel our work is not that easy to understand and perhaps some people possibly don’t understand us, I have to work harder to allow the work to be as organic as possible but the nomenclature must be clear. I want the work to let people know who I am and who my soulmate Lala and I are.

*I love the blue lip painting, Why blue? AH! As I may have mentioned to you when we’ve chatted, colour is an important part of Wiccan energy and like things such as feng shui and other various affirmative rituals in the world, colour is of great importance in our lives. Since I was a child, I had to sleep in a violet room, with pink incorporated with gold. I have maintained this all my life, so far. Violet is the furthest on the spectrum of the rainbow and blue is right behind, which can symbolise sky, water and earthly delights. The blue was essential for this piece as it was to surround the pieces inside…and protect it. As a double Pisces, water is my element and this box is a way of protecting it’s Wiccan powers and the energy Lala and I put in your hands, so-to-speak. We entrust you with our work and it comes along with it’s own magick spell.

*What was the original inspiration for the lip necklace? There were several, clearly one is Schiaparelli and Man Ray. But also it represents sensuality and life, fertility. At the time I was very much into the leitmotivs of the Dadaists and the Surrealists but they have a Wiccan significance as well. In the Bible it signifies various things notably doctrine. The mouth also is the center of many of the fundamental aspects of our humanity. Lips can mean consumption, breath, romance and speech (as in any kind of doctrine). It is communication, interaction, almost a door to the soul. As the mouth of a river, it assumes the meaning of a door, a gate or an entrance which can lead to another realm of existence. Andy Warhol even named a blue after me called Billy Boy* Blue and some silly déclassé society woman named her race horse Billy Boy Blue after me. Blue is one of my colours aside from those I mentioned. One other thing, rather hard to explain but poignant is my Wiccan mother’s views on the existence of life on earth and my role in her life. When we did the small painting on canvas incrusted into the box, we distinctly were recalling some very personal things my mother spoke to me about regarding her views about non-earthly space travel vehicles. These things my mother told me have been always a subject of discussion between Lala and I. They range from ridiculous to serious discussions and the idea of this spaceship is represented by the blue lips.

Book: *The text is very candid and really helps one to understand many motivations behind your work is this why you choose this subject? You could have focused on your collection or jewelry, you had done a book already on the dolls? As you already know, Rizzoli really wanted a memoir of myself because the huge manuscript they bought after reading it, they’d decided it was too academic and that, for a publisher is a fancy way to say fewer people would like to buy and read it. The original manuscript, while I tell anecdotes, was literally every single thing of every single year I had uncovered about Schiaparelli and I had detailed outfit by outfit descriptions for each collection she ever did as well as every license and every anecdote and document I had. Rizzoli felt the fact I knew and still know many people in a diverse array of milieu and some of whom were highly identifiable and in our current zeitgeist, they wanted my story mixed in. So, I did it though I was a bit disappointed to do so. It was difficult only in that I had not anticipated doing a whole new book and I had exceptionally many important life things to deal with including my mum’s suicide. So, though it was written through a ring of fire, the result is what it is…though hybrid, I think it makes sense when you read it. I cannot be objective. I was battling endlessly with copy editors and in total, I think there were five. They really did not know, in my opinion, what they were doing or even reading and it slowed the process down. If they had their way, I am convinced there would not be much reference to my spiritual and metaphysical journey…which is ironic as it is the singularly only thing which counted for me. The very first time I spoke to the publisher of Rizzoli, the first thing I told him was my metaphysical journey was the most important thing I wanted in the book and asked him if this would be an issue to which he replied “no”. Nonetheless, it was and I had to really battle with quite frustratingly unenlightened copy editors. Listing my own pieces would not have been an option as I already had plans for other books to deal with the various collections on academic levels, and these will come out, hopefully, on a more regular basis now that this “BillyBoy* 101” is out.

*Where did your name come from, you’ve hinted you did not give it to yourself…Is it somehow related to your real family? You don’t have to give details but we must know how such a great calling card was attributed to you My real name is Billy and my surname Boy. I certainly did not give it to myself as it’s not the kind of conspicuous name I’d want though I am proud and happy to have it now as an adult. The surname Boy originates in Berwickshire many hundreds of years ago. There was an Earl of Berwickshire (in some way related to my families) who was surnamed Boy. My real family who were purely Austrian and my adopted family who were purely Russian were linked and knew each other for literally many generations. So, with the English name Boy, through this British link, I guess it all got put together and I was thusly named, so vôila, … my adopted family did not follow through on the name agreed upon with my real family which was long and stodgy and decided this was the best solution. That’s what was always told to me…as vague as it is. I had severe issues with my family about my adoption and had many years of suffering and temper tantrums to find out more and even on the eve of my mum’s suicide she refused to tell me one single thing more about it. She always maintained that it’s best I not know about “all of that” as she’d say. So, I finally accept that as gospel and not longer suffer in that regard. The eve of her death I told my mum I forgave her all and everything and hope she forgave me and we were very happy at letting go of all old issues. I had no idea she’d kill herself, so I feel blessed this occurred before that finality. I found great peace, even after her death, knowing we’d arrived at a mutual agreement on my origins and all the issues of the many years where it was unbearable for us both.

*You were not born in the US, but I do feel you really grew up very touched by the culture until you left in your teens- so I kind of want to claim you as one of us. How important was your time in New York to your identity? Hahaha, sure! I am fine with that, you can claim me as one of your own. I’m touched and flattered. Thank you. I am Swiss though as you know. And I may add very proud of my Swiss nationality. I cannot imagine life being any other nationality. Did you keep the collection you sent over in the LV steamer trunks, do you still have most of it? Yes, I have essentially everything still, though now it’s grown to unreal dimensions. I had to buy a factory to house it. I will one day de-acquisition and finally sell it privately to major museums whom already solicited me for a variety of different things in the collections. I don’t want my family to have to deal with it and certainly not my son, he’d be lost in it. As much as he lovesit, it’s not his nature to keep and store and take care of so many ephemeral and fragile things.

Reading about the time in New York I started to dream about going to one of those packed apartments..How many were there full of vintage couture clothing? Did you leave an storage lockers or apartments by chance so I can just take over:) Those trunks held masterpieces that rival the best of the best but they also had Bugs Bunny dolls and Eve Plumb memorabilia. Those trunks held everything which had meaning for me, so a lot of art, jewellery, haute couture, Pop culture…in my book I mention things I traveled to the Chelsea Hotel with….so you can get a good idea of what they held in them. Unfortunately for you, dear …there are no longer any empty apartments filled with my stuff. I finally got my life together and it’s better organised now. Those trunks were transformed into works of art which have been shown in various shows around the world.

I was very impressed by your descriptions and Schiaparelli’s life from a more detailed stance, which gave me a sense of who she was emotionally. To speak to this, you mention her letters….Do you have an extensive collection of first hand historic documents concerning her or her own letters? Oh yes, I am an avid documentarist. I have literally thousands of documents, letters, photos, all sorts of personal things. Go Go Schiaparelli gave me things from her mother, like Le Roi Soleil flacon designed by Dali, some jewellery which Schiap owned and wore (though did not design or have anything to do with it’s creation), her initials entwined in silver dating to maybe 1900 or so, something she wore as a young girl and later, a few things, costume jewellery in bakelite with her initials, which were hers as an adult. These pieces are not valuable unto themselves, they are not fine jewellery, but to me they are priceless. You know, I have saved every single letter, card, invitation I’ve ever received, it’s hundreds and hundreds of archival boxes and books of documents. I have collected letters from the most famous people in the world, to completely unknown people whom I had experiences with, or loved. Seeing it now, a number of these people in fashion and the arts can sort of be, to an extent, summed up and you get an idea of their work or life incredibly well. As for my collecting documentation, it’s a fascinating experience and is very thought-provoking. It has always given me helpful insight into things I was not able to fully comprehend. It adds so much dimension to a story and to the history. I guess you can see the humanity of iconic people (and even events) through the remaining letters, documents, photos and even things they owned or were made at the same time. What I don’t like, which happens occasionally, is the way someone implies the reason why I am (and others) can be so passioned by collecting documentation is linked to something fetish-y. I preserve these things, not stroke them delicately at night. Apart from this one slightly annoying thing, all of these elements are always very interesting for me. I was fortunate to be invited to some extraordinary events, and shows, fashion défilé etc and as an ensemble when I see it now it seems almost to summarise some of the mondaine events, but also some of the most outside the box underground culture that existed during 1970s up until now. I think about doing something creative with it all …like books. I will show it on my Youtube series no doubt. It’s called Spinach is Fashion and will debut in the late spring and it is going to be a show and tell of all kinds of cultural and lifestyle-related things. I wanted it laid back, casual and friendly. I hope it’ll be perceived as such.

Accessories Talk: It’s all in Your Head

Sita at Yeezy. Rachel G photo.

That’s a wrap. Another fashion week in New York comes to a close. February 2017 was quite a trip for the eyes. Rich, overdone, embellished, and yes accessorized. From the Nicholas K runway collection to Georgine, it was clear that gold and metallic was in the cards….I don’t think the athleisure /street/ punk/grunge influences have gone anywhere either, as alluded to on the runways (Desigual,Hakan Akkaya, Nicole Miller), although a few have gone decidedly militant.

 

Rachel Guillaume NYFW Feb 2017, shot for us. All images on the streets by RG unless otherwise identified.

There was a nod to the overdone 80s and embellishment in all forms. Rich hues and deep red tones were sometimes dotted with earthy carmels…. Oversized layers and off shoulder looks allowed for belt play. Lots of large furs in a kaleidoscope of colors seemed to be everywhere. Overall, pink, black,metallics, red, gold, black and white, and well just an exuberant 80s use of the color white.  Yes, 1990s florals in velvety rich combinations were on designer’s runways everywhere…… Anna Sui, who was an originator of some of these looks (let’s not forget), brought new incarnations in her show which did not disappoint.

Libertine, highly accessorized spider web jacket.

Mixed prints, embellishments, “jewelry clothing” and textures made my review of this week a little fashion drunk, I blame you Libertine. Libertine had what I call jewelry packing its own clothing. It was so embellished and shiny, the accessories were tailored into the garment!  Their show was one of my favorites and I feel a sick need for that hand coat dress….

Overall, there seem to be a dual personality: on one end we have the soft, velvets, flowers, and the other the hard, black leather, studs, tailored atheleisure sweats, gym bags as handbags… Maybe this is more realistic, in terms of how the style of real people exists. With many layers and incarnations.

Jeremy Scott Headdress. Phone image. NYFW the shows.

Yet, the vintage drama queen in me loved Chocheng’s 40s Noir setup, the old hollywood glamour of Badgley Mischka and the decidedly classic showgirl style of Jeremy Scott’s head gear. At the Blonds there was also a bit of the showgirl vibes in the sequin jumpers that came with a dash of Grace Jones! However, let’s get back to hair jewelry because it is sure to continue to please….and yes it was on the streets too. Jeremy please send the gorgeous headdress here to the showroom #WANT.

Jeremy Scott Feb 2017, phone shot from live NYFW coverage online.

What Tales the Streets Had to Tell:

I am always surprised, for some unknown reason how much photo time we devote each NYFW to the sunglass habit. I don’t know why I am taken aback, considering I use mine all the time…. I even try to make them a constant headband. I truly need help. So, there were definitely a lot of sunnies out there and some pretty examples. Playful bags point to a probability, that next season will also be a highly pop art adorned, embroidered, textured, and colorful extravaganza. It’s definitely all in your head, well on the head this month! Attention was definitely paid to hair too, in all of its wide variety of hues.  The hair game was key and I think we saw head gear/jewelry beginning to really take off (even though we saw some last season) with more bands, crowns, headdresses both on and off the runway.

I WEAR MY SUNGLASSES

Giovanna Englebert.

Natalie Joos in a fun and comfortable looking set up.

BAGS AND SHOES:

Zanna in her kicks and leopard. Lots of leopard used in many attendees street style outfits.

Gucci bags are still going strong outside the runways. Lots of dyed fur. Rachel Guillaume photo.

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

Outside Coach, New York Fashion week. Feb 2017.

Street style outside Yeezy. Feb 2017. Loving that Chanel Bag!

Coach bags, street style. Feb 2017.

Closeup on the bags and shoes, Feb 2017.

JEWELRY AND EVERYTHING IN BETWEEN:

Rachel Zoe really kept a sort of Hollywood Glamour to her looks. Love these earrings!

Giovanna accessorizing her legs in dot tights.

More modern geometric and colorful earring example were found and these are also appearing even more in the editorials.

Hair jewelry via Chiara at Coach.

Political messages in the form of fashion. We saw quite a few of these t-shirts and accessories. It was nice to see some definite gal power out there. Caroline Vreeland.

In my mind this is Debbie Harry #fan. If someone knows who this stylish New York we snapped is for sure let me know. The hat is cool as ice.

Paris and Nicky at Oscar.

Leomie Anderson, Adesuwaaighewi, Duckie Thot giving us a crew to be reckoned with.

Chiara at Jeremy Scott.

Outside Jeremy Scott. Feb 2017. Rachel Guillaume photo.

Menswear on the streets. Yeezy. RacheGuillaume photo.

What appears to be a vintage Moschino belt caught on the streets. Feb 2017. Rachel Guillaume photo.

Ending street style with a girl squad who gave us something to chew on and well were very well accessorized. Fashion week Feb 2017. Rachel Guillaume photo.

THE TAKE

What I am personally taking from this season, is some courage to go back to mixed textiles, patterns, and colors. In my home I use this credo and my closet is full of texture and color waiting for a reason to get out. This can seem tricky, but what’s life without some color.  Also, the geometric earrings in larger sizes are really flattering (Annie Costello Brown). I don’t think it’s about the brand logo. Gucci is having a moment, but even in their embroidered clothing its not all about the label text. Right now you can get away with casual finds, abused denim, artist made jewelry, and even more vintage textiles.  I guess, actually it is about having your own voice, an awakening, an expression of your identity or what means something to you. We’ve moved out of your body as a billboard for a brand and into making it a billboard for you.

Accessorize Talk- Here’s To A Bejeweled Fashion Week Season

accessories1

If you follow my obsession with the accessorized streets of the city during fashion week, you know I could NOT close out my review of the fashion week season without the jewels!  Having taken photography classes in college, being slightly obsessed with jewelry history, and I’m actually a trained anthropologist…. fashion week is kinda of my guilty pleasure. It combines the anthropology of material culture, people watching, and literally various cultures with accessories and photos! I love to be on the streets shooting when I can, but sometimes I am busy styling or finding jewelry, attending a show, and just trying to organize the media madness of accessories news as it comes in from the online shows. Things are definitely changing in the fashion world and with the online access and direct to customer designs now occurring it’s hard to keep up.  Reviewing the street style jewelry and runway looks helps me in selecting some vintage pieces for the shop and with my own accessories designs. So to wrap it all up for this season, I am combining the best of what we shot on the streets in NYC with pieces seen on the runways in New York, London, Paris, and Milan instagram style. There were streets lined with big earrings again, big belts, metallic sunglasses, statement necklaces and cuffs, and even glam barrettes.  Let the belt, earring, necklace, ring, hat….festivities begin.  (Click here for the bag and shoe review).

THE STREETS OF NYC:

ss17-nyfw-9-10-13 ss17-nyfw-9-10-12 img_5689 img_5697 img_5700 img_5701dsc_0094 ss17-nyfw-9-10-20

dsc_0067-1

dsc_0130 dsc_0132

dsc_0126-1

dsc_0116 dsc_0119 dsc_0125 dsc_0085 ss17nyfwmk
nyfw-tinashe

cd-choker

nyfw-teanna earrings

img_5793

nyfw-beyoncestylist-1

dsc_0133

A Quick Instagram Illustrated List of What I’d Cut a B#@CH for From NYC, LONDON, MILAN, and PARIS:

img_5794-1

Delpozo earrings via their instagram SS 17. Amazeballs. @delpozo.

img_5795

Creatures of the Wind Earcuff, via their instagram. @creaturesofthewind

Tom Ford, Fall Winter 16. Ready to wear, presented during SS17 NYFW. Gigi Hadid via the instagram @myqueengigi

Tom Ford, Fall Winter 16. Ready to wear, presented during SS17 NYFW. Gigi Hadid via the instagram @myqueengigi

img_5796

Alexa Chung rocking a Girls hair clip by Ashley Williams London. 

@Balmain metal body jewelry outfit and collar chain by @wmag.

fentyxpuma

@fentyxpuma corseted body pearl style jewelry fit for a queen by @lynn_ban.

img_5924

@Loewe madness, large leather and metal cuffs, statement necklaces. By @portermagazine.

img_5922

@crfashionbook instagram account image, @Balmain earrings.

img_5919

@ellebrasil instagram coverage of @Balmain. Another necklace from the well accessorized show.

img_5916

@wmag coverage of Phillip Plein’s belts! @ambravernuccio photo.

img_5818

@thesatorialist coverage of Fendi boots.

img_5812

@proenzaschouler earring lust….

img_5931

@BritishVogue Dior accessories coverage.

img_5948

@Givenchy agate necklaces. Via @nayla_alnaimi

NYFW Spring/Summer 2016 Street Style: Vibrant Electric Accessories

Rachel Zoe and Marisa Runyon entering Oscar De La Renta. Spring Summer 2016. NYFW. Rachel Guillaume photograph.

Rachel Zoe and Marisa Runyon entering Oscar De La Renta. Spring Summer 2016. NYFW. Rachel Guillaume photograph.

 

Every fashion week brings thousands in the business and beyond to New York to partake in the newest collections being presented, however what many have come to particularly love is the street style. In my case, mostly for the accessories…. This is where we see vintage and contemporary pieces merge into a plethora of individual styles that somehow culminate, at the end into a forecast of the trends to come. A panorama of colors and sizes inspired this season. We shot outside on the New York streets before the shows with the help of Rachel.  In the streets the crowds were colorful and clearly drawing in part from a 1980s and 90s aesthetic, yet they had a modern approach. There was a sort of similar urban street influence on the runway at various shows, as well as a romantic flowing vibe at others.  I saw lots of denim on the street and inside.

 

The runway brought a continuation of 1970s bohemian influenced jewelry as well as punk, 80s plastics, oversized earrings and beyond. Whether you would actually wear the Libertine accessories or not they definitely were vibrant and fun to watch. I think the fashion gods that be, are a little evasive when admitting its an 80s extravaganza out there. Keep in mind when accessorizing in term of the runway, we can really pick and pull out those items like the 80s inspired Libertine plastic chain shoes and run with one element we love. So, without further ado:

 

THE STREETS:

Sunnies: clearly an important accessory for next summer and now, they were all over in interesting sizes and shapes.  Big rounded examples seem to be the big winners.  

Perez Hilton Fashion week Zara NYFW Sunglass styles fashion week Fashion week SS 2016 street Street Style NYC SS2016

The Oversized and the Retro Urban:

DSC_1093

DSC_0026

Paula Mendoza Jarama Earrings in Pearl. Photo street style by Rachel G.

DSC_1092

DSC_0004 model90sshoes

Street style shots- all by Rachel. This closeup of multi colored booties reflects a trend towards boots in various shapes. From clunky rock 90s black styles to multi color options.

Street style shots- all by Rachel. This closeup of multi colored booties reflects a trend towards boots in various shapes. From clunky rock 90s black styles to multi color options.

The Chic and the Bohemian Moderns:

Anna Wintour

Anna Wintour on her way to Oscar SS 2106. Rachel G image.

Egyptian NYFW Style

French Theater Egyptian Revival Necklace as seen during fashion week. Street style image snapped by Rachel Guillaume.

French Theater 1900s

Full view of the necklace used in the French theater. I am a fan of this jewelry from France and recognized it on. 1900-1915. Found on 1stdibs.

DSC_0030 Helena modelbraclet.jpg DSC_0054