Get The Look: How Future Brit-Bride Meghan Markle Does Classic American Sportswear

With just a few weeks left until the New Year, Meghan Markle just became the hottest topic of 2017. Fans know her as associate Rachel Zane from the hit TV show Suits. Some may know her as well um….Prince Harry’s fiance. Following the recent news of their engagement, the media thrust Meghan Markle into the spotlight. She revealed in a BBC interview that she’s not used to so much public attention despite being an actress. Now her career, ethnicity, relationship-history, and family are the subject of a lot of scrutiny: is she British royal material or isn’t she, blah blah – Simply put we trust a lady whose favorite accessory is a beagle named Bogart.

First and foremost she is…one stylish gal! And she documents all in her fashion blog Meghan’s Mirror. We checked out how the most famous American girl in Britain does style via her Instagram account. Two words: American-Sportswear.

 

OOTD

Think the iconic white button-down. It seems to be a go-to piece for Meghan’s daytime looks. She often pairs it with a skinny jean or pencil skirt and classic pointed pumps. Not surprising since these separates make a super comfortable, practical, and versatile ootd. Get the look by accessorizing them with a nondescript handbag and one piece of understated arm candy.

meghan markle style get the look

Hermes sterling and 18k bracelet

1960s Gucci black handbag 

Banana Republic Parker-Fit White Boyfriend Tunic 

Meghan also likes her aviators. She is a repeat offender on Instagram, which of course we follow her account. What can you say the style looks great on her!

 

Red Carpet

There are a more guidelines to follow if you want to get the bride-to-be’s red carpet style though. Fans of Meghan’s fashion might notice that she keeps her hemlines short—midi to mini—showing off her fit legs. She tends to skip prints in favor of solids with textured detailing. The look is usually finished with a hard case clutch. She seems to love classics as go to jewelry, stacked rings or bracelets, small diamond necklaces or even a watch…She likes a little sparkle, and keeps a simps foundation for her accessories. meghan marble red carpet get the look

Trifari Old Hollywood Bracelet 

Wilardy black lucite clutch 

Missguided Mesh & Lace Minidress 

 

 

Meghan Markle seems to have mastered—hats! Her everyday outfits are comfy and classic. And she sometimes adds a dressed-down topper like a straw fedora or baseball cap to finish off her incognito cool. Sure, she’s usually donning hats when she’s on holiday in coastal Europe or hanging out with one of her uber-famous friends—ya know, regular people stuff. Who knew there was so much genius to the ole “jeans and a tee”?! Here are our picks:

If you want to make Meghan’s accessory hack yours, shop these hats.

 

Saks Fifth Avenue Small Fedora with Genuine Leather Band

Ebbets Field Flannels® for J.Crew Brooklyn Eagles ball cap

 

Cuyana Panama Hat

 

J.Crew Wide-brim packable straw hat

 

River Island Black wide brim chain trim fedora hat

 

Ivy Park khaki baseball cap

 

Lack of Color Ultra Wide Spencer Boater

 

Is Meghan Markle’s style the right amount of cool? Leave a comment!

*All images of Meghan belong to her via her Instagram account.

Jewelry Report Card: Adina Mills Power Jewelry

 

If I ever want to give someone a knuckle sandwich…in a really zen way, I know just what jewelry I am putting on for the occasion… Wonder Woman with a dash of bohemian goddess is the only way I can describe the jewelry of Adina Mills. Chosen by the blogazine for our Sunday jewelry report card, she is our favorite Instagram jewelry or fashion accessories account/shop this week!  I have long been lusting after her pieces and following her colorful yet soothingly powerful Instagram account. Jewelry lovers senses are sure to be awakened with her every lush post.

Image from The Cut interview with Allyson. Follow the link in the image.

Adina has a background in fine art and sculpture and you can tell. Each stone is carefully chosen and placed by hand in an array of exciting natural color combos. Worn by Erykah Badu and Bjork as well as others, maybe the most enjoyable client to watch wearing her goods is: Lily Tomlin as Frankie on the series Grace and Frankie. Her signature jewelry is by none other than Adina. Stylist/ costume designer Allyson Fanger posts fashion, projects, and updates from the show on her account.

 

Follow the yellow brick road here to join Adina’s Instagram journey. Here is a little taste of what awaits you:

Adina seems to always be creating new one of a kind jewelry art, but here are a few of my current picks:

 Follow us on Instagram as we use the hashtags #jewelryreportcard and #accessoriesreportcard- and tag us and use either to submit accounts for our examination!

*All images belong to Adina Mills via her Instagram account and website.

Shaun Leane Maker of McQueen’s Armor. Auction and Sale Highlights from His Collection.

Sotheby’s catalogue image.

Classically trained goldsmith Shaun Leane and Alexander McQueen made magic together. I have long admired the fantasy that they created together. The pieces made by Shaun are stunning, oversized, full of whimsy, pain, and pays homage to the idea of armor.   As Alexander McQueen once said,

“I especially like the accessory for its sadomasochistic aspect”…

In one moment all of those intense feelings were expressed via their collaboration during each season. Now with the impending sale of Shaun’s personal archive from the McQueen years, I wanted to revisit his work and some of the iconic pieces that will be presented by the joint Sotheby’s and Kerry Taylor Auctions event.

One of the most interesting quotes concerning how they began comes from an equally great interview via Shaun and hint magazine:

“Lee, how are we going to afford to make jewelry? He said, well we won’t make it in gold. We’ll use other materials like silver or brass or aluminum. If you just apply those skills to other mediums you can create anything. That changed everything for me” (Shaun Leane, hint magazine).  Follow link for more.

They were friends first and both from London, but each embraced the challenge of their work as fashion and art, pushing the boundaries so far that the accessories often held a bit of danger in the wearing of them. Runway pieces took months to complete and models sometimes had to be screwed into their “accessories”.  I admire their work together because they pushed those boundaries, the viewer, and the body to the brink.  I wish I could own every piece. I love how tough they, are as well as how beautifully they armed the wearers. Daphine Guinness describes what it is like to wear his pieces via the Sotheby’s interview about her iconic Shaun made glove which is going to be in this sale:

Whether it be the glove or other accessories, what is it like to wear Shaun’s pieces?
There’s a feeling of being amplified. You’re augmented in the right sense of the word. It is empowering, and I also feel he’s with me. He’s my great friend, and it’s lovely to know I’ve got something of his on me, protecting me like an amulet (Daphine Guinness, via Sephanie Sporn for Sotheby’s). Follow the link for the complete interview.

Here is a quick list of my favorites from the upcoming December auction. All images from the Sotheby’s catalogue-

 

Selena Gomez Is Seriously Obsessed With Hoop Earrings, And We Heart It!

 

selena gomez hoop earrings accessory jewelry style

Images from Selena’s instagram feed.

The internet is on fire again this time with the news that Selena Gomez split from The Weeknd after 10-months. That’s about…three years in Hollywood. And what’s more, there is an unconfirmed rumor that she’s getting back together with Justin Bieber. Is it true?? We’ll let the web sort it out. One thing we’re sure about though is that while her relationship status and boyfriend might change, her commitment to the hoop earring is strong! We couldn’t help but notice, of course, that it’s the one accessory she’s always working into her looks and we think it’s cool that hoop earrings are her thing. And appreciate her commitment to them through thick and thin.

So here are some of our picks inspired by Selena Gomez and her hoop-la.

Danielle Rose Bean. Handcrafted Hoops

 

3″ Samira Hoop by Jennifer Fischer Jewelry.

Sarara Couture Steel Cut Victorian Dangle Earrings 

 

Gorjana G Ring Hoops 

Sarara Couture Oversized Chanel Door Knocker Quilted Earrings

 

Luv AJ Pave Kite Statement Hoops

Simply Vera Vera Wang Square C Hoop Earrings 

 

Gripoix, Paris Interview: The DNA of a Jewelry Icon

 

If ever there was costume jewelry that could be called “haute couture”, the examples made by Gripoix, in Paris over the years for the couturiers, fit this definition. Not made of gold or diamonds, but of glass and gilt metal by hand…the work of the house represented some of the finest artisanship in the industry. Let’s follow them as they push forward into the future.

Gripoix for Schiaparelli. Recent collab image. Photograph courtesy of Gripoix, Paris.

My fascination with Gripoix started with the acquisition of Chanel pieces from the 30s-90s made by Gripoix and older examples made not for just Chanel, but beautiful nonetheless. This led to my interest in researching articles, images, and texts on the subject. Many sought after rare pieces were made for indeed Chanel and other fashion houses like Worth, Pioret, YSL, Balenciaga, Dior…but Gripoix also made pieces early on for private clients. Most of the earliest examples can be recognized from a few characteristics, such their use of handmade glass beads, pearls and sometimes the mark Made in France.

Early clasp style and beading example, marked France.

Although, it is important to note that various vintage pieces marketed as made by Gripoix online, are not actually even pate de verre. The back is telling in that it should have a poured appearance. One should look at themes, coloration, and design as well.

Back of the poured glass belt by Gripoix for Chanel. Believed to have been designed or executed with Goossens.

As an admirer of the jewelry for quite a while, my interest was renewed in their history and current jewelry team. They recently have begun working with designers on limited examples and creating custom orders for clients themselves. The custom orders as I understand it will be made to specification and are one of a kind or limited. My intention is not to address here the definitions of couturiers (legally here), but to recognize the brand’s past relationship to haute couture producers/ or couturiers while looking at their future as a jewelry brand. See our previous post on books and definitions.

Lou Lou de La Falasai vintage earrings. Gripoix glass.

1950s example made for Coco Chanel, based I think on a fine design by Verdura.

Piece made by Gripoix for and signed Gripoix.

TIMELINE:

MAISON GRIPOIX, Paris began to produce poured glass or “Pate de Verre” jewelry in 1869, using a special technique of molten glass and enamel which was poured into the metal. They began with pearls and this sort of “gemstone glass” technique reproducing the jewelry of the elite in costume form and working with the French theater.

Great early example of the pearl effect and fine Byzantine style Gripoix construction.

They became more popular when Augustine began creating pieces for specifically for Sarah Bernhardt at the end of the 19th century to be worn by her on stage. The works were theater style recreations of fine pieces and romantic historic designs.

By the 1920s Suzanne Gripoix continued to cement the brand’s role as an iconic producer of couture costume jewelry, with the creation of jewelry for Paul Pioret, Worth, Chanel, Lanvin, etc. The couturiers wanted jewelry that complimented the various moods and themes of their designs. They were part of the overall look for each season. They invented the most realistic faux pearl for Chanel and brought her costume interpretation of Byzantine fine examples to life. Those deep jewel toned pieces and the beautiful poured flowers have become iconic. However; it was still the glass beads again at this early stage that were very popular. The secret of pouring glass flowers was said to have been passed down from the founder.

Collection BillyBoy* Purchased in the 1970s directly from Mme Gripoix. These are prototypes and samples circa 1950s-60s.

Collection BillyBoy* Purchased in the 1970s directly from Mme Gripoix. These are extremely rare and offer us a glimpse into the history and process of the brand.

Robert Goossens for Chanel.

With Robert Goossens in the 1950s, the poured glass designs became more popular among Chanel patrons and collectors. According to some, Goossens did the designs and sometime metalwork, sometimes using fine examples, for Coco Chanel then they were copied by Chanel in Gripoix glass. His training with Parisian workshops and jewelers made him especially skilled as did being the son of a foundry owner in Paris. It is also possible that the Gripoix glass cabochons were supplied to him based on the design,then glued in later by Goossens. He also produced some similar techniques in his studio, so there is some confusion in terms of production, especially later when he became a sort of individual producer of jewelry for design houses as well.

Goossens for Chanel vintage case, Gripoix details. Signed Chanel. Photo courtesy of BillyBoy*

Gripoix necklace, collection of BillyBoy*

1938 Schiaparelli Brooch. Made by Gripoix. From the collection of BillyBoy* Instagram image courtesy of BillyBoy*

Collection BillyBoy*. Gripoix.

Gripoix poured glass necklace for Jacques Fath. Seen in the text Costume Jewelry for Haute Couture by Florence Muller. This style is often identified as Chanel, but nonetheless it is 50s Gripoix in construction.

Josette, Suzanne’s daughter followed her as head of Gripoix, at which point they were already working with Dior, Yves Saint Laurent, Balenciaga, Lacroix, Balmain…among others. By the 1980s the demand was weakening, in favor of less expensive processes overseas.

Late 1980s example of the Byzantine Gripoix style. Chanel.

Her son, Thierry we believe then sold the brand in 2006 to TWS. The next owner Ms. Keslassy, also had the vision of making Gripoix more known as its own brand and more widely sold. This strategy alone has been a hard one. She worked on making designs relevant and a bit more accessible today, as well as simpler in style. Recently, she left the company and it has come to be owned by an investor who is (anonymous). Some collaborations, such as that with Catherine Baba have led to pieces which merge the history with new fashion styles. Her pieces were inspiring because they drew from Sarah Bernhardt and pushed the designs to results similar to that seen in the 70s and 80s.

Hint magazine image of Catherine’s collection click link to see more.

This is where our interview begins. The new creative director, Fanni Fischer produces one collection a  year in Paris and opens the showroom up to wholesalers of the collection. It is sold directly in their shop in Paris, as well.

Gripoix for Schiaparelli.

Recently there seems to be a uptick in demand as collectors and brands begin to seek out these rare vintage creations. Gripoix has also started to work again with more fashion houses and is seeking to keep to its roots as producers of jewelry for designers. As for couturiers, as less of them exist and are legally certified this question becomes a larger more complex one indeed.

Yet, we must appreciate the art of the creations of the past and Gripoix’s works for couturiers to understand why what happens to the brand today is important and how a new market overall affects that strategy. Let’s look at further examples and probe into the new brand’s intentions with our interview below. Examples of recent “collections” done each season include The Botanical Garden Collection.

Red Currant necklace by Gripoix. Last Season.

 

THE INTERVIEW:


Are any original artisans who worked for the family for more than 10 years still working with Gripoix?

There is one artisan, Thomas Lebouille who worked for the third generation of the Gripoix family before, he learnt the technique there.

Is Virginie Curbilie, who trained was trained at Gripoix still working with you? What is her role?

No, it’s been a long time that Virginie is no longer our glassmaker. There is no training for this profession at school. I learnt this fabulous technique from her by observing her gestures, and after she left, I became the master of glass at Gripoix.

Gripoix Paris image.

Where do you get the glass used, is the quality important?

Our glass sticks came mainly from Italy now. I like the Italian glass it’s easy to work with and they have beautiful colours.

How many creative directors have you had? Who?

Marie Keslassy was our artistic director for a long time. She collaborated with other designers like Elisa Nalin for example. The way how they created the jewels was very new for us. They wanted to realize more fashionable, geometrical shapes and that’s how we modernized the technique too. Sometimes this task was not easy with the glass. Today we use more floral shapes, and ornamental patterns to keep the good quality and the naturally curved shape of the glass.

Could you give us a sense of how the pieces were signed through the years?

Gripoix never signed the pieces. It’s been more recently that Gripoix Paris exists as a brand individually and signs the jewels. Gripoix was the supplier of the big fashion houses, the design came from the designers and the amazing technique and realisation from Gripoix. The other reason is that it was not so important at that time to put the logo on every piece, not like today…

Also, do you still have the drawings and sketches? What is left of the old archives?

We have a few of them but not from the old archives. We have mostly sketches and pictures.

Could you give us a sense of the main design elements used on antique Gripoix pieces from the early 19th century, do you have any images of such pieces?

At that time the main characteristic of the custom jewelleries was the imitation of the Byzantine jewels. To have this aspect they mixed the jewels with metal stamps, which came from a supplier called ‘Janvier’, they are in Paris and they still have beautiful pieces from that period. They have a huge collection of metal stamps, more than 1000 references. An amazing place to visit when you are in Paris. Also, they used the glass to imitate the precious stones. To get this finishing they created the jewels with ruby, emerald, sapphires, topaz colours, with an irregular, called baroque surface.

Describe Robert Goossens’ role in the history of the brand as you see it?

I’m so sorry, but this question is very hard for us, as we don’t have any information about this. I think it’s only Goossens and Chanel who could clarify this question or someone from the Gripoix Family.

What makes your technique so special, I’ve seen the color card- I’d say that is one aspect?

Our technique is special because of the glass work. There are only a few artisans around the world who can ‘ flow the glass’ in this way, directly in the metal. It’s a very old ‘savoir faire’ what we are meant to pass from generation to generation.

Fanni what led you to Gripoix?

The magic of the glass. I always wanted to learn this technique. As I’m also a jewellery maker and designer, I tried to do jewels with the glass before at home, but I couldn’t as I didn’t have the right materials for. When I learnt that this is Gripoix’s speciality, I knew that I should work here, that this profession was made for me.

Gripoix Octopus by Schiaparelli. Gripoix, Paris photograph.

Who are some current fashion houses you intend to work with or are working with today?

In the past 3 years, we had several collaborations with Schiaparelli and today too we are working on a very nice project with them. We worked also with YDE, we made very nice scarabs for them. Also we might have a collaboration with another well known fashion designer, but this is a top secret for the moment;)

I know you said you are working on recovering the history and archives, does that include vintage or rare Gripoix examples? Are there any pieces still in the archive? Did the family keep those pieces or that information?

Yes, we are trying to rebuild the archives for this we are using the informations from the auctions and we have a lot of reparations with vintage pieces, that we include each time in our datas. Mostly we are building new archives, we have drawers and we keep good records today of the drawings and sketches, like this I hope we can help the generations after us.

Do you have any past sketches we can see to better understand the process? Who usually does the sketches?

Yes. We have a creative team of professional drawers. Also, we like to work with interns. They are very creative, quick, fresh brains, and like this we always have a new member in the team. It’s always nice to have an active life in the workshop.

Take us from concept to the final product?

First we find a nice shape or a vintage piece what we would like to rework. We build a collection, for this we do a lot of sketches and colour trials. The way of the colour use is very important as this is our DNA. After we use the drawings to do the prototypes and if we are happy with the result of the metal part, we can flow the glass directly in the pieces. The last part is the guild, 24 Carat on the jewels, and of course we put the crystals or pearls after the gold finishing.

Books and articles to get you started:

Patrick Mauries. Maison Goossens Haute Couture Jewelry. Thames & Hudson.

Patrick Mauries. Jewelry By Chanel. Bulfinch.

Florence Muller. Costume Jewelry for Haute Couture. Vendome Press.

Ariel de Ravenel. Natasha Fraser-Cavassoni. Lou Lou de La Falaise. Rizzoli.

Jean Leymarie. Chanel. Skira / Rizzoli.

Alice Pfeiffer. Glass, with Class. Fashion and Style. New York Times.

Couture. The Great Designers. Caroline Reynolds Milbank.

  • This post is an attempt to research more specifically the history and future of the brand. I would love to talk to someone in the family, but could find no contact. I hope they have the drawings and images or samples, my intention here is to highlight the importance of preserving the Gripoix  design archive.

 

Lynn Ban in Sarara Couture Vintage French Theater Headdress

Our clients are the best, but some excel in their use and rebirthing of the vintage accessories they buy from us! Lynn Ban designs inspirationally modern and tough jewelry, working with celebs and magazines regularly. However, what many don’t know is that her collection of vintage accessories, which our two 1960s headdresses joined, is beyond inspiring. In fact she is behind many editorial moments as she styles as well. If you follow her instagram feed you will be inundated with artistic direction and accessories overload to the max and we love it!

Lynn in Rococo Candyland:

French Headdress now in the collection of Lynn.

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.

 

 

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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: