A Conversation with Jules Kim

A Conversation with Jules Kim of Bijules

The Six Scents Parfums team has been friends with New York based Jeweler Jules Kim for many years now. We have seen her grow Bijules into a worldwide brand that counts celebrity tastemakers such as Rihanna among it’s clients. Despite her successes Jules has always stayed true to her convictions and her own unique personal aesthetic. We sit down with Jules to speak about the jewelry business, her inspirations, scents and what’s to come.

Q: Tell us a bit about the first pieces you made and how you went about creating them. 

A: I started Bijules in the basement of my first East Village apartment 8 years ago. I was throwing parties and DJing and when I went out I found the best audience for selling my work was my peers. I wore double of everything and pushed to sell while I was out! I understood that what I was making was important, but the way to communicate what I was doing was just as crucial.

Now, the quality of both the product and the story around it has become Bijules’ strongest attribute and has set it apart from its competitors. Each piece was born with its own unique personality. The jewelry speaks for itself and its wearers don’t have to say a word. It is an obvious decision what type of person my clients want to be… someone confident and someone who takes time to research what makes them happy.

Q: In many ways you are the face of your brand, was this a conscious decision you made when you started?

A: I definitely did not start Bijules with a 5 or 10 year plan. I began because I wanted to. I felt the overwhelming need to create tangible products but with intangible connections and I asserted myself as the storyteller. No one could do it better and no one has. I believe what I have to say is not unique to just myself but my thoughts and lifestyle choices are shared by millions and THAT is called a marketplace. If I exist in a marketplace then who better to cater to and that is what I have helped create… I am lucky to be an outgoing character and I use this “all risk no shame” mentality everyday…

I made my decision to risk everything I had and everything I could have to build Bijules; therefore, now – I am passionate about sharing my successes and also my failures. That makes me a human being and all of my clients, whether they are Rihanna or not, are just as humble. It’s the shared act of buying Bijules, which makes all of them similar.

Q: Where do you look for inspiration on new designs?

A: I look everywhere. I am a world traveler and when I am out and about either in Paris or Berlin, etc. I am eagerly looking for inspiration! I see a Con Ed guy hanging from a streetlight, I am thinking, “holy shit, look at his body harness. That’s hot!” I keep a pretty tight peripheral vision though; I am not an artist who needs to input what other people are doing. It’s a diversion and I’d prefer to stick to my own original  thought. I see things in a different way and it is this unique vision I communicate with Bijules.

Q: You always seem to have so much on your plate with your business, travel, and a little partying on the side. How do you manage it all?

A:Who says I am?! Ha! I try to maintain a constant schedule of business mixed with a little carousing. I cannot take myself or what I do too seriously or else I’d neglect who I really am! I do all of this because I am obligated to find new business and new inspiration but I am also obligated to find new people and friends!

Q:You have been creating jewelry for over seven years now. What are some tough lessons you’ve learned and some big successes you’ve achieved over that time frame?

A:There are so many! I have learned that consistency is the key and that one must build diligence in everything they do. Each of us measures success differently so it is always a tricky response to what I feel is successful. Ask anyone who you might measure as “successful” and I guarantee they don’t agree. I have a long way to go and have no intention of slowing my pace. I am proud to be an innovator and herald the known and unknown clients who wear Bijules, but I still have dreams and aspirations as designer, artist, and businesswoman. To answer candidly, I have made some huge mistakes in production, billing, pr, blah blah.. but so has everyone and thank god I fucked up because I will NEVER repeat those mistakes!

Q:Speak a bit about the creation of the fashion film Amasia.

A:This film was an amazing opportunity for me to work with the best. It has been screened in respected venues all over the world and seen by eyes that may or may not have known what Bijules is. Diane Pernet asked me to take part in an exhibition in northern Italy for the gold tradefair, Vicenza Oro. I was honored and elated she considered me a top jewelry designer. Using one of my favorite conceptual designs as the basis for the film I approached Hunter Lee Soik and Guido Callarelli. Together we developed a concept not based on skinny models or expensive clothing, but on the base raw human feeling of dramatic change. The theme for Diane’s curatorial project at Vicenza Oro was to “contaminate jewelry”, because frankly, the gold industry aesthetic is dying and so is the fight to keep its value. The industry needs change, and in my eyes – a very dramatic change! Using Iceland as our subject, the talented crew flew, drove, and hiked all over the country in search of the strongest imagery they could find. The final product made me cry like a baby. It is this emotion I wanted to invite the viewer to witness and the gold industry to understand.

Q:How would you describe your personal relationship with fragrance? 

A:Fragrance is a personal thing to me. I have been wearing fragrance off and on for a while and each scent I keep around like photographs of my childhood. They are secret looks into my past and a hopeful search for something of the future…

Q: If you had the chance to create a scent what do you imagine it smelling like?

A: Don’t laugh but I think I’d like to call it Coke Whore… hahah… It would smell like cigs and sweat… spicy and raw… Whenever I’d wear one of my perfumes after partying I always felt sick and that’s why I stopped wearing them. I figured if I smell like I am always partying then I’ll wear it forever?!

Q: Do you have any advice for new jewelry designers who are just getting started?

A: Follow your own path. If you want to be a real jewelry designer I recommend taking a crash course in metal smithing because if you don’t understand your medium it will own you instead of you controlling it. I see a piece of jewelry in my mind and know how to execute because I got my hands dirty. Do not fear what you do not know and always push your experiences from a place of discomfort to one filled with  confidence.

Q: What’s next for Jules and the Bijules brand?

A:Whoah! A lot. Firstly, to make money. Not money like –  “cool I can get a cappuccino without breaking the bank…” but more along the lines of “cool, I can hire a  full time press agent in house without breaking the bank”. In order for me to reach that point there are spreadsheets to be made and markets to conquer! I hope to build Bijules into a brand that people identify with and one, which provides insight not only into the world of jewelry but into themselves.

Portrait by Francois Dischinger

Questions by Rocky Li

Please visit  http://www.bijulesnyc.com/ to see more.

END

Blonds at the Beach

We were recently honored with an invitation to The Blonds Spring 2013 showing. To say we were thrilled would be an understatement. Upon arrival we ran into familiar faces ranging from iconic club kids to bedazzled beauties from all over the world. The energy was high as looks pushed and pulled their way into Milk Studios all hoping to get a glance at the glamourous designer duo before the show.

Paris Hilton and Adam Lambert Pre-show

We ran into some industry favorites like Kerin Rose, a rockstar eyewear designer who has a long list of celebrity clients, to view her intricate and unforgivably awesome pieces click here. Next in line is a longtime suporter of The Blonds, Adam Lambert. Showing up sporting an ashy grey new do Adam comanded the room with a well-crafted leather detailed blazer and smokey eye. Shortly after we ran into one of the most recognized blonde beauties to grace the front row, Paris Hilton. In her usual ever-so-photogenic demeanor Paris posed for fan photos before taking her place next to Adam in the front row. One of our new favorites was the surprisingly sweat Rick Genest, or as most of you know him, Zombie Boy. In a punked out Mad Max inspired outfit Rick was ready to put his own spin on glamrock. He kept the audience members captivated with his intricate outerwear that balanced with his over the top aesthetic.

Rick Genest Wearing The Blonds

The crowds quickly took their place around a crowded runway with anticipation and excitement. Natalia Kills was seated dead center to witness the sickening looks first hand while we closed in for a good view of the show and a place to snap our favorite looks. At that moment the music started thumping. It was a mixture of Caribbean beats and club kid throw backs with a fun energetic beat. In true Blonds style the show started out with a dazzling one piece that almost emulated Gem to the T.  Shortly after a tongue and cheek men’s suit followed with a strategically placed tube of lipstick that played off of the Blonds sense of humor and youthful energy.

Outfit that Started the Show

The Blonds Menswear Spring 2013

At this point in the show the crowd was cheering and throwing their hands into the air with every new look to stomp the runway. Luminescent colors and floral decals owned the runway as the show progressed. A true taste of Rio followed with bedazzled corsets and one pieces that captivated the viewer to the brink of hypnosis. Each piece had a spark of its own character and construction, but the one piece that made everyone’s jaw drop was a look Phillipe Blond owned on the runway. This jewel incrusted piece sported a blood read color palette framed by a sliver king sized shark jaw that would have made jaws blush. We wanted nothing more than to dive into the hauntingly glamourous piece and rock it at a pool party just to hear the screams.

Phillipe Blond in a Show Stopping Piece from the Collection

We left the show frazzled and bedazzled, and wanted more.  Team K quickly joined forces with Astro Erle, Amanda Lepore, Rick Genest, Bobby Webster, and a handful of glamour gals to head over to the after party at Le Bain. Avoiding a line that looked like it stretched all the way down to the water’s edge we made our way through the crowded “it” spot of the moment. We were greeted by some of our favorite faces including Mao and Rodger Padilha who made the entire night possible. It was a night straight out of the iconic Limelight events from the past. Dancing on tables, Acid Betty hosting a fashion show with icon Susan Bartsch, bottles as far as the eye can see, celebrities and New York personalities shoulder to shoulder.

Candid shot of Allanah Starr, Mao Padilha, Roger Padilha, and Amanda Lepore at the After Party

The drinks were flowing and we soon found ourselves posing with our favorites in the industry, but the cherry on top of the night was getting a hug from Phillipe before The Blonds ran off to their congratulatory vacation in Puerto Rico.  We can do nothing but await their return and watch the show on loop until the next installment. We have high hopes for fall and can not wait to see the long list of celebrities clamoring over these one of a kind  works of art. Stay tuned for more killer developments and behind the scenes photos brought to you by Team K.

View the ull show by clicking here.

 

Bantering with The Blonds

Our highly anticipated interview with the glamourous power house known as The Blonds. Needless to say our interns were excited.

David and Phillipe Blond

Q:You have admitted to being inspired by glamorous blonds like Marilyn, but
how do you think you inspire the new generation of aspiring blond vixens?

A:Hopefully we inspire them to be more glamorous! You don’t have to be blonde to be Blond!!

Q: The recent trend after the economy crashed is to become your own brand and
sell yourself. Clearly The Blonds were very successful with breaking into the
industry. What advice would you give for a young designer trying to start out on
their own?

A:You have to choose something you love and stick to it. Create something that’s different and unique. NEVER GIVE UP ON YOUR DREAM!

Q:What was personally the hardest obstacle for you to overcome to reach your
level of success?

A:There are so many obstacles in life but you work through the challenges and most of the time something better than you ever expected comes out of it.

Q:We love your designs whether it’s for the runway or for the stars, but who do
you prefer to design for? Yourself or clients?

A:Our clients breathe life into our clothes and inspire us to do what we do. Of course we love dressing up too!

 

Beyonce in a bodysuit from The Blonds A/W 2011 collection.

 

Q:You are known for being one of the nicest designers in the industry. How
important do you think personality is in fashion? And have you ever had issues
with other people’s egos (no names necessary)?

A:Thanks, being nice is a prerequisite in any field and you definitely catch more flies with Honey! Personality is so important and even more important is a good sense of humor. If we had issues with anyone we wouldn’t work with them.

Q: The Blonds are everything that is glam-rock, but if you had to choose your
favorite look what would it be?

A:That pretty much sums it up.

Q:You have been a staple in fashion for several years and have bumped elbows
with some of the greatest. When was your “wow I’ve made it moment”?

A:Every moment we get the opportunity to spend doing what we love is a “WOW MOMENT”. Recently we had a big one with Barbie!

The Blonds Barbie

Q:With the price of materials going up drastically including leather and cotton
have you found alternative ways to generate amazing looks?

A:Materials is the last thing to be sacrificed when producing a look. Sometimes the budget isn’t ideal but we know how to work it!

and finally…

Q:Many designers are branching out of fashion design and collaborating with
corporations and artists. What do you seem coming next for The Blonds?

A:You never know so stay tuned! ;))

We at Team K would like to thank The Blonds for not only keeping us on our toes, but truly supporting the creative community. We can hardly weight to see what grandiose statement pieces one of our favorite labels struts down the runway. To view their most recent collection click here.

Kreatives

Sometimes we at Team K like to get creative, and when we get creative we like to drag our friends into the action. In a previous post we were gushing about one of our favorite face painters Denise Daly. Denise recently had eighteen pages picked up by the bible of the industry, Italian Vogue. It is always an amazing experience to see someone we consider an original talent get noticed, and when that talent wants to introduce you to her rock star friends it is hard to say no.

Denise Daly putting on the finishing touches for the foundation.

We recently took part in a laid back photo shoot as an excuse to pull together some amazing people for our roster. We met with Denise in her colorful and exuberant apartment for a few glasses of wine and a whole lot of makeup. Upon arrival Denise was breaking down her impressive kit that had any and every color you could imagine. It proved extremely difficult not to want to try all of them.

After a few minutes our new favorite fresh face entered the apartment. Stephanie Nicole Podasca instantly reminded us of one of our old friends and “it” girls Julia Dunstall. She had an easy going attitude with one of those faces that could easily morph from classic beauty to uncontrollable rockstar. The role of the model is often downplayed and sometimes the beauties we shoot are referred to as mannequins. It is important to drop this  outplayed mindset. A wide variety of girls and guys walk into a shoot and bring their own perspective that not only helps you identify their strong point, but can also be the factor that takes a commercial look to the high fashion pages of Italian Vogue.

The Natural and Nude selections from Denise's extensive kit

Denise went straight to work on one of the hardest looks one could attempt, a natural complexion with a dramatic eye. After a good minute of meticulous makeup work we were ready to take off to our next location. We grabbed a few bottles of wine and made our way to the impressive loft space of camera equipped Rocio Segura. We were finally getting back to the root of all creative endeavors. The feeling of orchestrating a story for the sake of creating has long been abandoned in the professional industry. We had a collaboration one could only dream of on a shoot. Everyone seemed to get along seamlessly. Without any egos we were able to create some amazing looks and even better shots.

Behind the scenes shot of the Girls at work.

Team K took a back seat and watched the ladies work as they created something spectacular out of a simple concept and a back drop. More often than not the editorial pieces that we have come across recently seem to lose their voice behind props and editing. It was a great refresher to break down the process and go back to the basics. Perhaps next time we will drop digital all together (fingers crossed).

Denise putting on a hot pink lip.

Each look seemed to take seconds to switch out and the versatile Denise Daly was able to generate colors and textures that only come with knowing the tricks of the trade. Our model was beyond verssed in her own face, which if you have ever worked with an uncooperative model, you know is a blessing. Rocio Segura had walked us through her impressive book earlier in the night and we quickly realized her success lies in her grasp on the core concepts of photography; lighting, proportions, and timing.

Stephanie playing with smoke for a shot

We are more than thrilled to have a network of individuals who are immersed in the industry and willing to work for a concept, not a check. There are already ideas flowing and projects in the works. For a closer look at the individual work of our favorite new team members follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and keep an eye out for the finished shoot that we will post as soon as we get our eager hands on the finals.

To see more of our girl Rocio Segura’s work click here.

Be juled.

If you haven’t noticed by now we at Team K live for anything shiny. It only makes sense for us to be drawn to the jewels and gems crafted by Jules Kim. The appropriately named Bijules line has paved the way for a new understanding of how to wear your favorite pieces. To those not familiar with Bijules (and it’s equally awesome creator) get ready to fall in love and into debt.

Jules Kim Modeling her Nail and Stackable Rings

Her work with statement pieces, such as the nail and single bar ring, has opened new doors in the industry. Suddenly the hard decision of which of your favorite pieces to rock has all but been eliminated. Jules mainly works with collage rings, and has been a major influence in the popular trend. Her aesthetic incorporates the use of previously forgotten placements such as her knuckle rings and “handlets” that use the entirety of your hand as a canvas.

Jules Kim Modeling her "Handlet" Piece

Kim has yet to lose her wow factor and has even gone as far as to create custom pieces for close friends in the industry, and if you are lucky enough to get your hands on one hold on tight. Kim’s shock factor has been perfectly matched with one of her biggest supporters, Rihanna (don’t believe us? Peep the pictures below.) She even found her way to becoming the solo force behind the twisted accessories of the psychological thriller The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. The reasons behind this amazing opportunity can be summed up from a pull from Jules’ own website,

“Jules Kim, the creator of Bijules, is unapologetically conquering the balance of art and aesthetics in jewelry. This makes her one of those rare artists who harbor the ability to create objects that mirror the beautiful and chaotic world we inhabit: with all its humor, tragedy, ambivalence, love and hate…”

Candid Photo of Rihanna Wearing Bijules

Jules Kim finds a way to put her energy and personal aesthetic into every single piece and at times it is hard to imagine her work on anyone but the artist herself. The whimsical and dark understanding she holds inside of her brings forth an energy understood by anyone, and manages to mold itself to every individual seamlessly. It is a rarity for such a strong voice to find a way to transcend a single aesthetic and customer base. This understanding of herself and the industry makes her a force to be reckoned with. Kim has charted her life and experiences around finding a truth in her work that speaks to her. Jules separates herself from the masses with her underlying belief that every piece in the collection reflects  a struggle, accomplishment, and a memory in an individual’s life.

Rooney Mana Modeling Bijules Pieces Especially Made for the Film

We are hypnotized by her amazing beauty, talent, and understanding of the human condition. Bijules has been featured in numerous fashion editorials including juggernauts like Italian Vogue, Numero, and L’Officiel. We highly suggest following her blog and keeping and eye on her steadfast progression as a staple in accessories design. We look forward to running into her at a dark smoke filled bar in paris, and picking her brain in exchange for a few glasses of red wine.

Jules Kim Modeling Her Work

Gentlemen Prefer Blonds

One of our personal favorite names in fashion made a monumental move this fashion week by releasing their first ever men’s line. We would be lying if we said we didn’t want every single piece in the collection, but for now all we can do is drool over the intricate rock and roll glamour that is synonymous with The Blonds.

Photograph by Veronica Ibarra

The transition from womenswear to menswear is often a difficult one as the construction is generally far more complex, and keeping the collection fluid proves too hard for many designers. As each look came down the runway it was almost as if the transition was seamless.

The signature intricate detailing and formfitting metal-clad-crystalline influences pulled together one of our favorite shows of the season. The crystal laced singlets bring new meaning to the term “glamrock”. The rich color combined with the dramatic texture of the piece is hard not to fixate on.

Photograph by Veronica Ibarra

 

The men’s line offers an alternative for the guys out there who are not comfortable enough with their figure to rock a singlet. A combination metal mesh and leather calaboration come together to create a look that draws from a classic look in a renovated light. In all aspects the pieces speak clearly and concisely with the aesthetic we live for here at Kouturtion. The heavy emphasis of metals and rare minerals bring on an underlying theme of deity-esque road warriors who could kick your ass.

Unlike many designers who attempt a crossover there were no snags either in production value or overall cohesion of the collection. It was as if The Blonds have been in the menswear business for decades. It comes off as effortless  and makes us wonder why their peers, who focus on single gender lines, have been struggling both with concept and production.

With what we have seen so far The Blonds are still a force to be reckoned with and they just added another major weapon to their arsenal. We can only imagine the future direction of this powerhouse label and the new clients that come with it. It is no secret that when an artist is looking to “glamout” their look the first stop is with our two favorite blonde bombshells. Some of their clients include Nicki Minaj, Selena Gomez, Jennifer Hudson, and Adam Lambert. We would love to see our friends, The Semi Precious Weapons, decked out from head to toe in our new favorite men’s collection.  We are already shifting funds and getting ready for a steady diet of ramen to get a little piece of this staple in fashion reinvention.

Visit the Blonds website to view the full collection.

Daly Dose

There is nothing we love more than an emerging creative talent, unless that talent is one of our closest friends. Denise Daly has had a variety of experiences both in life and in the fashion world. She has seen on both sides of the camera, first as a model signed with the super agency FORD models making her mark in South America as a brunette bombshell, and picking up the brush to create some of our most favorite painted faces in the industry.

Denise is a bicoastal force to be reckoned with who has held down positions that most would work a lifetime to achieve, but to Denise her personal well-being and work always come first. When you first meet Denise it is a full frontal assault of energy and laughter, but behind the personality lies a professional mindset with the charisma to match.

Denise prides herself in staying true to her personal style and progression in the fashion industry. She holds a characteristic that most people could only dream of, an understanding that life is too short to squander away. When she finds herself in a situation that is detrimental to her personal and professional growth she throws caution to the wind and sets off on her next conquest. If that means leaving a high paying position to wait tables and build up her book, or breaking free of the hustle of the city to spend time at an Ashram, Denise always finds a way to center herself.

Denise Daly Styling and makeup for Italian Vogue online

Denise has a wide variety of talents and work that spans from commercial to editorial. Her work for Italian Vogue as a stylist and makeup artist was recently featured on Italian Vogue. She is proof that passion and patience pay off and that complacency has no part in successful living. Whether it is her independent projects, her photography, her makeup work, or even teaching yoga classes, Denise brings her own personal style to the surface. If more people in the industry were open to collaboration and self promotion the industry would be back on track. Denise is one of a kind and we are looking forward to seeing more of her daily progression.

Shooting up.

Vibrant colors, saturated shots, and dynamic layouts are just a few of our favorite things about one of our favorite set of eyes behind a camera, Jamie Nelson. If you are not familiar with Jamie’s work it is more than likely you have spotted it in your favorite publication, collective exhibit, or even a billboard.

Jamie Nelson has a vast and lengthy career that rivals photographers twice her age. As a fashion photographer Jamie creates vivid and enthralling storyboards with Candyland-esque color palettes, and pop art inspired  editorials. Although most of Jamie Nelson’s work is for commercial purposes (shooting for brands such as Chanel or for world renowned publications such as Vogue or Vanity Fair) her work is so whimsical and engaging it could easily be hung in a museum.

Jamie belongs to the ever growing population of creatives in New York City that work for themselves and tirelessly chase after any opportunity that could boost their career,

“I have always worked for myself. I struggled for what seemed like an eternity in New York, but it finally paid off. Putting time and effort into yourself and sticking to your passion will always pay off…eventually!”

Her words bring hope to all of us in the industry who have been either looking for that big break or are just trying to finally escape our desk job. Jamie has been educated in photography and credits her time at school for helping her fine tune her work. Much like any designer or creative, a photographer is only as good as their team. Jamie understands that the devil is in the details,

“Hair, makeup, and art direction are a huge part of bringing the image to its final aesthetic result.”

We at Team K could not agree more. Sticking with an art form you truly enjoy and work hard at will only get you noticed. Even if it is nothing more than a few struggling artists and designers getting together to expand their portfolio the more collaborations the better. Not every job will pay your rent, but it only takes that one person in the industry to come upon your portfolio and launch your career.

Jamie stuck with her passion and works hard to perfect her craft. She admits to using photoshop to touch up her images, but only to a point. Like every photographer she touches up blemishes and loose ends, but her signature look is all generated on set and in camera. Using this mindset Jamie was able to translate her fine-arts education into a career in the fashion industry,

“I started out doing fine-art. Ironically I have never been too concerned or obsessed with the fashion industry. The aesthetic and art in fashion imagery is what interested me initially. I still see fashion/beauty photography as art and do not tend to focus on branding or advertising of the products themselves.”

Her ideals on the industry further support and explain our reaction to viewing her work. Jamie’s work easily translates from an advertisement in a magazine into something you would die to hang in your living room. Her focus on the fine details in the human form can be seen consistently throughout her shots. She focuses greatly on the nuances of the human expression; whether it is a slight eyebrow raise or a pucker of the lips her beauty shots are just as dynamic as a shoot on location.

It is this level of dedication that kept Jamie striving to make it to the next level. Even when she was at a position that did not speak to her creatively she made it her own and never sent out mediocre work. This is a very important trate to have in your arsenal. It mirrors the belief of dressing for the job you want not the one you have. Shooting for greater than what is expected will only benefit your career. No matter how big or small the client all you have in this industry is word of mouth and your reputation.

Jamie hopes to one day shoot for creatively infused publications like Numero that will let her work speak for itself. With her tight grip on her camera and understanding of the industry she is more than well on her way. Jamie also hopes to one day shoot for Alexander McQueen, and to be honest we would more than love to see her handling of his dramatic prints and proportions.

To see more of Jamie’s work click here to see her personal website. To follow Jamie’s work and inspiration as it happens click here

 

Incredible Ink.

Most recently we at team Kouturtion have found ourselves attending more and more photo shoots. One of our favorite and most recent were test shots featuring one of our favorite NYC based ink slingers, Mandy Fabrizi.

This tattooed vixen sports a healthy coating of ink herself. With two full sleeves and a wide variety of intricate painterly tattoo work, that’s right painterly, she embodies the pin-up mentality. Mandy has a strong background in fine arts that is clearly reflected in her work. Her mastery of color theory and composition rings true to the old masters. With Mandy you will be comforted to know that you aren’t just getting an original piece, but a work of art.

Mandy draws from the ever growing pop surrealist movement and focuses heavily on detail and trending in the industry. The combination of skill set and keeping up with the competition you are guaranteed quality work. Mandy’s inkings are so highly admired and recognized she works as a part-time model and has been plastered all over everything from posters to magazine layouts.

Most importantly Mandy understands that every tattoo has a meaning and a personality and will go out of her way to find the right fit for you. So if you are looking to get your first tattoo, or fill in that last free space, call in an appointment with our illustrated glamazon at Glamour Garage in NYC.

To see more samples of Mandy’s work  and book an appointment click here.  Interview with the artist coming soon.

Jewelry to Die For.

We are neck deep in paperwork and projects and were hoping to take a small hiatus from posts until the load alleviated a bit, but when we came across one of our favorite designers new jewelry line extension we couldn’t help ourselves.

Inspiration & Process

Designer Gisele Ganne has had her work plastered all over the pages of Vogue, ELLE, i-D, and Harper’s Bazaar. If you have a hard time remembering her pieces think high fashion meets suicide. At first it sounds a bit morbid, but when you hear Gisele explain her influences and inspiration it all comes together,

“I watched the Rules of Attraction, I have been so fascinated by the suicide scene in this movie! It was so beautiful! From there, I started to research about death and funeral custom and discovered the Victorian mourning jewelry which I fell immediately in love with!”

Divorce Collection

Inspiration aside Gisele puts a beautifully morbid twist on these celebratory pieces to make them her own. In her previous collection Ganne focused on traditional mourning jewelry, but as opposed to fondly remembering a loved one she focused more on burying past relationships.

“In France, we had this old custom which was to give to the bride a glass globe for her wedding, she will put her crown and bouquet inside where there is a lot of decoration and symbols to give luck to the marriage. Those symbols included a dove and some roses. As half of weddings end up in divorce, killing those symbols, I decided to make a divorce ring to celebrate this dead wedding! With a bird skull and dead roses!”

What better way to say goodbye to a doomed relationship than an effigy of your ex encased in gold and bones? Did we forget to mention that some of Gisele’s pieces have real animal skulls inside of them? Through a process called “electroforming”, wherein the skull and roses are recovered and encased in fine metals.

Mag 3 Fingered Ring from the Divorce Jewelry Collection

There is no harm done to any living animals, and most of her pieces include magpies and raven skulls that she finds and recycles. What better way to put a green spin on high fashion jewelry than incorporating mother natures ultimate form of recycling? Gisele’s work has a strong and erie presence, but the viewer can not help but be entranced by the intricate beauty of every piece.

For those who are not lucky enough to be adjacent to stores such as Wolf & Badger, Kabiri, and the more close to home (for us) Opening Ceremony. Gisele’s work has been so highly celebrated that she has influenced and entire generation to see death and departure in a different light, and that beauty can emerge from something macabre.

The new Amazon Collection

For her awe inspiring work and pioneering personality we at Kouturtion are entranced with Gisele Ganne’s work and progression in the industry. If you want to explore her deepest and darkest innovations follow her blog or if you are a little more dedicated purchase her work here. We at team Kouturtion have spent a good amount of time and money rooting through her newest collection titled “The New Amazon”. We might not have money for food, but who knows with any luck perhaps we will make it into her next collection.

 

Rick Owens’ 10 Rules of Style

 

A short, but very to the point list of 10 things one must keep in mind before they step out the door with one of our favorite fashion legends, Rick Owens.

1. I’m not good at subtlety. If you’re not going to be discreet and quiet, then just go all the way and have the balls to shave off your eyebrows, bleach your hair, and put on some big bracelets.

2. Working out is modern couture. No outfit is going to make you look or feel as good as having a fit body. Buy less clothing and go to the gym instead.

3. I’ve lived in Paris for six years, and I’m sorry to say that the Ugly American syndrome still exists. Sometimes you just want to say “Stop destroying the landscape with your outfit.” Still, from a design standpoint, I’m tempted to redo the fanny pack. I look at it as a challenge—it’s something to react against.

4. When a suit gets middle-of-the-road it kind of loses me—it has to be sharp and classic and almost forties.

5. Hair and shoes say it all. Everything in between is forgivable as long as you keep it simple. Trying to talk with your clothes is passive-aggressive.

6. There’s something a little too chatterboxy about color. Right now I want black, for its sharpness and punctuation.

7. Jean-Michel Frank, the thirties interior and furniture designer, supposedly had 40 identical double-breasted gray flannel suits. He knew himself and is a wonderful example of restraint and extravagance.

8. I hate rings and bracelets on men. I’m not a fan of man bags, or girl bags either—or even sunglasses. I don’t like fussy accessories. Isn’t it more chic to be free? Every jacket I make has interior pockets big enough to store a book and a sandwich and a passport.

9. With layering, sometimes the more the better. When you layer a lot of black you’re like a walking Louise Nevelson sculpture, and that’s pretty attractive. Allowing yourself to be vulnerable is also one of the most attractive things you can do.

10. It’s funny—whenever someone talks about rules, I just want to break them. I recoil from the whole idea of rules.

Techno Fabric

The age of self reconstructing fabrics is upon us. We all remember scenes from movies growing up where the antagonist is struck down and regenerates unfazed. If you are anything like us the first thing that popped into your head was, “Why can’t we invent something like that for our embarrassing article mishaps.”

Admit it no one on this earth has escaped the terrifying pants split or torn our favorite over-worn Tshirt at some point. Unfortunately the inventors of this miracle fabric have not worked up to that point just yet, but they have found a way to keep you a little bit dryer in the harshest conditions.

What conditions are those you ask? Try the vicious wear and tear of a professional fisherman. We are not talking about the trips your father took as a child where he returned with less fish than beer in his cooler, but the kind you see on TV where they get swept away from the ocean and are never heard of again.

Unfortunately the fabric does not do much for keeping you from falling overboard, but fisherman all over the world will be grateful for the quick repair and the lack of hypothermia that follows.

Sintef Safe at Sea Rainwear

The Scandinavian scientists who invented the fabric describe the functionality of the material,

“If the coating snags, microcapsules burst to release the sealants that harden in contact with air and water.”

Although the scientists are not entirely sure how the fabric would old up with more drastic tares they are working towards perfecting the next step to getting us some rocket packs and floating cars.

Young and Friendly

We’re psyched for the up and coming “The Young Friends of Acria” event hosted by our favorite entrepreneur and designer Sofia Sanchez Barrenechea! The event will be held at one of our favorite and glamorous Mondrain Soho. A perfect facet to meet and greet young professionals while helping further the understanding the progression of HIV and AIDS.

We hold this and many other organizations close to heart. ACRIA benefits women, LGBT, and ethnic groups afflicted by this horrible disease.

Donna Karan picking an artists print she purchased. Photos by JOE SCHILDHORN

ACRIA has dedicated followers and contributors from all walks of life and if you can not make it to the event there are numerous venues to donate to the cause. ACRIA even houses a gallery where you can purchase original artwork by supporters of the cause, and even has a donation link on their website.

Kelly Klein Untitled, 2007 Digital C-print

The Young Friends will be holding an event on Tuesday, November 16, 2010 at the Lehmann Maupin Gallery from 6 to 9PM.  For more information or to purchase tickets please call (212) 924-3934, ext. 101 or email events@acria.org. For a closer look at what ACRIA stands for and a full events listing please visit ACRIA‘s website.

Dark Digitals.

Anton Semenov’s digital paintings are a haunting combination of melancholy and sheer terror. The subject matter varies from loosely formed flesh monsters to the common monster under the bed theme.

Although the subject matter seems to fall under the same premise each piece has its own story to tell, and in some cases reads like a narrative.

We are huge fans of Anton’s work. He channels a clear inspiration from one of our favorite artists/filmmakers, Tim Burton. So do yourself a favor this Halloween and fill your house with his flesh-bound monsters. They would look great in the nursery.

Outside the box.

Being green still seems to be on the top of everyone’s to do list. If it is recycling you are into check out one of our new favorite innovative green thumbs Marc O’Brian.

Smart Shoes

Marc is a young UK based designer who works primarily with cardboard sculptures making stunningly detailed replicas of everyday items out of, well, cardboard. We are mostly impressed with his functional creation dubbed the “Smart Shoes”. Marc has created a well fitting and functional fashion piece he describes as,

“Shoes seem to work really well in cardboard. Because corrugated cardboard won’t flow and bend like leather or canvas it takes a lot of squashing and twisting to get it into shape, which seems to bring out the corrugated structure and chunky look of the material.”

Looking over his portfolio we are amazed at some of his creations and his dedication to detail. O’Brian has designed and made custom pieces for window displays and is an amazing artist for hire. So if you are looking for that little something extra, and excuse our pun, “out of the box” hit up Marc and you will not be disappointed.

NoiseLab Window Display by Marc O'Brian

If you would like to see more of his work (and we know you do) just click here.

Henson’s History

You might remember him as the goofy voices and motivation behind Kermit the Frog, but not many remember him for his influence over fashion and film. If you haven’t guessed already we are talking about Jim Henson and his whimsical ability to carry our imaginations much farther than the screen.

Lingerie Illustration by Neil Greer.

After generating one of our favorite films, The Dark Crystal, Henson brought together his costume and styling team to pull together  a “dramatic haute-couture collection”. The collection consisted of hand-made goods with hand-screened prints on silk, suede, taffeta, and leather and hand-loomed knits. Each of the designs were meant to showcase the specific talents of each individual designer. The participating designers were Shirley Denney, Ellis Flyte, Val Jones, Lesja Lieber, Diana Moseley, and Cas Willing.

The designers and fabricators: (back, l. to r.) Cas Willing, Diana Moseley, Shirley Denney, (front, l. to r.) Ellis Flyte, Val Jones, Lesja Lieber

The color scheme and pieces pulled from the color palette of The Dark Crystal itself and had a dark romantic quality that was consisted throughout each piece. The collection itself was made up of day and evening looks with hats, gloves, and even jewelry. The accessories alone spoke the great attention to detail and influence of film on fashion.

Cheryl Henson in a Garthim Master Outfit.

The pieces were showcased in the window displays of Bendel’s New York with manikins that were specifically placed in environments that channeled the film’s collaboration to the collection.

Skeskis-inspired evening wear.

Jim Henson is gone but far from forgotten. His dedication to creativity and imagination with no limits cannot be ignored. He was the perfect example of someone who understood that people were not meant to fit a single role in life. His work has been with us since early childhood and followed us into our wardrobes.

Looking up with Sofia Sanchez Barrenechea

Design: Lucia Sanchez Barrenechea Photography: Urko Suaya Models: Maita Barreneachea, Sofia Sanchez Barrenechea, Catalina Sanchez Barrenechea and Lucia Sanchez Barrenechea

We finally caught up with our favorite fashion entrepreneur, Sofia Sanchez Barrenechea, after she arrived back in NYC from Paris. I have had the honor to intern under her creative mind at one of the top high fashion advertising agencies in the world, and was delighted to hear that while she conquers her hectic work schedule she will be co-managing (with her two equally as talented sisters) our new favorite  online boutique Underoursky.com . We were very gracious and humbled that she had the time for a short interview:

Q: You have been working in the fashion for several years. What inspired you to stay in the industry?
A: The more I worked in the industry, the more I got to know how it worked, and it fascinates me experience it on my own, with my own business, my own achievements, and my own mistakes.
Q: Do you think being signed with a major modeling agency helped or hurt your career?
A: I don’t think it made any difference. In NY, if you work hard and you are passionate, you can achieve any goals. When working as an Art Director I never consider myself a model, I totally separated the two roles.
Q:  You recently started up an online boutique store called “UNDEROURSKY.com”. What was the inspiration behind the precise direction and audience?
A: The inspiration for this Argentinian Designers Store was my love for my country, it’s people and it’s talent. When I moved to NY, I constantly got stopped and asked where I had bought something I was wearing that caught their eyes. These pieces were always Argentinian, and not available here in the US. So after a while I decided to make that gap disappear, by providing my favorite Argentinian Designers a place where they could sell their products to the whole world.
Most of the products we sell are hand made and one of a kind, which attract a very fashionable and strong audience. This niche I feel is growing bigger and bigger every day, and people are looking for unique things that they feel special with, not a big logo, not a repeated trend, just a different and rare piece.
 Q: Who has influenced you the most in your progression from creative to entrepreneur in the industry?
A: My parents are both entrepreneurs, and since I was young I admired their courage to work in new fields and succeed in a not very predictable economy.
Q: You have been featured in numerous publications for your personal style, including Vogue. What is the one fashion piece you cannot go without in your
closet?
A: My black leather jacket and my Perez Sanz Clutch
Q: You recently came back from Paris. Which city are you drawn to creatively or for inspiration?
A: I prefer nature than cities, I get more inspiration in the middle of nowhere than in the center of the world. That’s why I think it’s completely necessary for creative people to go out, to explore, and to see the world.

Kanye West After Party at Silencio Anthony Vaccarello’s sharp dress and Cabinet Oseo Rings Tags: Kanye West Silecio Cabinet Oseo Anthony Vaccarello

We could not agree with her assessment on staying true to your personal style and fashion roots. There is no accessory that ties together an outfit better than the heritage of good design and aesthetics. I myself have often said that what the industry needs a less narrow-minded understanding of what beauty is, and that competitors offer you clearance items while Under Our Sky offers you that unique piece that will catch everyone’s eye.
We look forward to watching Sofia and her company flourish in only ways we can imagine and you can too by following UnderOurSky on twitter and tumblr. With the holiday season coming up do not forget to visit Under Our Sky for everything from dining to handbags. We know we will!!!

Zombie attack

A Zombie Glass Decanter is available just in time for Halloween for only $19.99 USD at thinkgeek. It reminds us of the Crystal Head Vodka bottle design, but apparently there is a large market for people who want to drink out of a zombie head or skull. No judgement. Just design.

Unfortunately it doesn’t hold brains, but it would be the perfect gift for your zombie crazed friend or add an extra something to your annual Halloween party. We ordered ours a few minutes ago and are excited to crack it open in front of unsuspecting house guests. No judgement. Just design.

High Horse.

 

Art for Esquire magazine by Brock Davis

Says Brock: “Piece for Esquire’s Grooming Spectacular: The Ramifications of a bold new haircut – in the October 2011 issue. My good friend Amy Meyer did a fantastic job creating the stallion hairpiece. Model is my friend Gabe. ¡El magnífico semental!”

 

summerdiary: Men-ups! by Rion Sabean The brainchild of Florida based photographer Rion Sabeen, the M

Gallery

This gallery contains 8 photos.

summerdiary: Men-ups! by Rion Sabean The brainchild of Florida based photographer Rion Sabeen, the Men-ups! series makes a play on the sexes…with men cast in the familiar coy poses of stereotypical vintage pin-up art posters. They challenge the norm, and … Continue reading

Cubed in.

New York artist Olek covered the Astor Place Cube last night. She has crocheted the following quote: “I’m still proud to say what I do for a living”. She says it’s a message to support the ongoing Occupy Wall Street protest Downtown. She normally covers bicycles and if you have been in Soho you might have seen her work. Even breaking into Brooklyn and covering random objects on Lorimer and Bedford.