September 28, 2023


Unique & Classy

Jewelry Based on Childhood Toys

6 min read

When the French jewellery designer Marie Lichtenberg was rising up in Paris in the 1990s, she cherished participating in with the Magic 8 Ball. The toy, when shaken, functions as a variety of fortuneteller, revealing answers to inquiries in a smaller window: “Don’t count on it.” “It is sure.” “Ask once more later.”

“My mother and father traveled a lot,” Ms. Lichtenberg said on a cellular phone simply call from her dwelling in Paris. “Each time they went to the U.S., they introduced back some goodies for me and my siblings, and the Magic 8 Ball was a single of them.

“I even now have this ball, and my daughter and minor boy are taking part in with it,” she additional.

Last summer months, Ms. Lichtenberg was sitting down on her couch, imagining about what to layout up coming, when she found the ball on her coffee desk. “I know what we have to do,” she remembered imagining. “We have to make the 8 Ball in gold and diamonds!”

In June, at the Couture jewelry demonstrate in Las Vegas, the designer presented an 18-karat gold, diamond and enamel edition of the $10 plastic toy, but with a price of $21,560. The pendant — which replicates the primary 8 Ball’s fortunetelling operation and was crafted in Italy with the blessing of Mattel, the toy’s company — earned the show’s Greatest in Progressive award. (The judges applauded “its means to spark joy.”)

When Ms. Lichtenberg made the decision to remake the Magic 8 Ball, she did not even know that Mattel, the maker of Barbie, owned the legal rights. Instead, she was working on the similar intuition that seems to be motivating some jewelers: mainly, the want to produce patterns that conjure the playfulness of their childhoods.

As a result, a tide of wonderful jewels impressed by these types of items as unicorns and the Rubik’s Cube are coming to market place.

Camille Zarsky, founder of the 7, a designer jewellery boutique in Manhattan’s West Village, interpreted the trend as proof of a collective want for “lighthearted interruptions.”

“People are wanting for factors that are much less major and more whimsical,” Ms. Zarsky claimed in a cellular phone job interview from Sag Harbor, N.Y., where the Seven experienced just opened a place, its second.

In 2020, through a pandemic lockdown, Claire Choisne, the innovative director of the Paris-primarily based jeweler Boucheron, arrived to a equivalent conclusion.

“Two days just before our journey with my team in Africa, we experienced to terminate it,” Ms. Choisne wrote in an electronic mail. “Everyone was unhappy! We went on Pinterest and expended hrs hunting for inspiration. As a result of this system, I located pictures of Memphis Style and design that reminded me of a pleased time all through my childhood in the ’80s.”

She was referring to the vibrant colors, geometric shapes and bold styles of the Memphis Style and design motion, a fashion involved with a group of Italian architects and designers who dominated the decade with their Pop Artwork-inspired sensibilities.

The outcome was Boucheron’s 30-piece Much more is Additional selection, launched in July all through Couture 7 days in Paris, widely praised on social media for its ingenuity and humor. Among the the line’s a lot of chatting pieces was the Remedy Me necklace, effectively, a deconstructed Rubik’s Dice studded with cherished stones.

“Like the cubes of the primary puzzle, every aspect of the piece has a diverse color,” Ms. Choisne wrote. “The craftsmen set grey spinels and pink sapphires on to minor white gold plates just before inserting just about every one particular into an aluminum dice. Several varieties of mom-of-pearl were being utilized: white, pink and grey.”

Ms. Choisne echoed many great jewelers when she cited the pursuit of joy as the motivating element in her style and design procedure.

“At that time, the most precious factor for me was joy,” she wrote. “I could not consider any a lot more constraints, I felt like a rebel, and I required my staff and I to style and design what ever made us happy, expressing regardless of what we wished to specific. I necessary colors, playfulness.”

Emily P. Wheeler, a fine jewelry designer dependent in Los Angeles, embraced the similar head-established. In Might, she released a Mother’s Day capsule selection of Mommy and Me pieces developed in collaboration with Maria Dueñas Jacobs, founder of the children’s jewellery brand Super Smalls.

In Ms. Wheeler’s gem-studded consider, she remained trustworthy to the outsized scale of Tremendous Smalls’s rainbow, glittery patterns, but opted for treasured resources. For instance, Ms. Wheeler reinterpreted a $36 Super Smalls unicorn pendant produced in foundation metals with imitation stones into a white agate layout, with an 18-karat gold mane established with sapphires and rubies, on a necklace of white freshwater pearls.

“I’ve generally felt there was one thing especially glamorous about owning easy type and not taking oneself far too severely,” Ms. Wheeler said.

She definitely lives by that credo. In 2019, extended in advance of “Barbie” grew to become a blockbuster film, Ms. Wheeler experienced a scorching pink vinyl wrap put on her Land Rover Defender. “It seemed like a large toy motor vehicle,” she mentioned. “It was so humorous and so wonderful.”

Ms. Wheeler framed her automotive decision as an instance of how silliness can experience like an antidote to recent events. “There’s a whole lot additional seriousness that hangs in excess of just about every choice we make currently,” she said. “Whether to procreate, where to reside. Is it moral? Is this location likely to be underwater in 20 decades?”

But making use of pink cars — or jewelry — to lighten the mood is barely a new phenomenon.

In 2012, Alison Chemla, imaginative director and designer of Alison Lou, launched her New York-based fine jewelry model with a selection of 7 emoji-impressed types that celebrated “a new way of speaking,” Ms. Chemla stated.

4 a long time later, the toy organization Hasbro proposed that she turn a trio of its most basic merchandise — the Tornado and Monopoly games and Mr. Potato Head — into jewellery.

“Because I establish out faces, Mr. Potato Head seriously resonated with me,” Ms. Chemla claimed. “I replicated the Twister board, with the spinning wheel, as a pendant.”

Tatiana Van Lancker, a London-based mostly inside and merchandise designer, drew on similarly nostalgic themes in 2019 when she released a line of gold and colored stone robotic jewels based on an articulated pendant that her mom wore when Ms. Van Lancker was expanding up in Sydney, Australia.

Designed to evoke the retro-futuristic vibe of Rosey the Robot, the maid on the 1960s animated sitcom “The Jetsons,” Ms. Van Lancker’s line of robotic items, called Van, caught on when she wore a prototype to a get together in London and sparked the desire of a vogue editor.

“They are absolutely meant to be your pleasant bot,” Ms. Van Lancker said on a phone from her household in Rome, wherever she and her spouse relocated in 2022 for his work, placing her even nearer to her workshop in Tuscany.

“My customers never consider them off,” she additional. “And due to the fact they’ve received this tactile factor of staying articulated, it results in being soothing. It feels like your little close friend all-around your neck.”

Bella Neyman, the co-founder of NYC Jewellery Week and a frequent lecturer on jewellery history, stated that in addition to evoking a a lot more carefree time, toy-encouraged jewels also served to “elevate the daily by dressing it up in precious stones and metals.”

She cited the contemporary studio jewelers Emiko Oye, Margaux Lange and Lisa Walker as pioneers in the classification.

“Margaux was working with Barbies in her patterns way right before the film was a thing,” Ms. Neyman stated on a recent connect with. “Emiko has been sourcing classic Legos. It’s also about upcycling and getting these matters that are mass market place and elevating them.”

In describing the get the job done of Ms. Walker — “Her factor is about subversion, and surrealism” — Ms. Neyman described Elsa Schiaparelli, the 20th-century Italian designer whose collaborations yielded fantastical jewels like the Aspirin necklace of blue porcelain beads that seemed like the soreness relievers, made with the novelist Elsa Triolet and Ruby Lips, a brooch of a mouth with pearl teeth and lips of rubies, produced with Salvador Dalí.

Ms. Zarsky of the Seven also alluded to the influence Schiaparelli nonetheless experienced on jewelry. “People want jewelry to be additional than just diamonds and gold,” she stated. “It’s about the storytelling, the escapism.”

Ms. Lichtenberg said there was one factor designers in this sector will have to try to remember: “The a lot more unserious you get, the more you have to be tremendous serious about your creation. The craftsmanship needs to be to die for. In any other case, it’s only a toy.” © All rights reserved. | Newsphere by AF themes.