Just In: Venessa Arizaga Spring 2013 Collection

Venessa Arizaga’s Spring/Summer collection is here! These pieces are stunning. Many have a glamorous, almost rock-n-roll feel to them and feature metals and darker threads, whereas others are super playful and bright.

Venessa is a true original in the fashion world. Trained as a fashion designer at Parson’s in New York, she had stints at Carolina Herrera and later at Zac Posen, where she served as Design Director, before breaking out on her own and starting her own line. A favorite of the hyper-fashionable, her line is beautifully executed (plus, all of it is handmade in Brooklyn – we love supporting designers who are committed to making their pieces in the U.S.). She regularly describes herself and her designs as “magpie” like, in that she is a constant collector of all things pretty and shiny and her jewelry reflects that (minimalist she in not). We so appreciate the spirit of her work, its craftsmanship and her creative vision.

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I absolutely love this black and pearl collar. I am such a die hard pearl fan that this combination would fit right into all my layers. It is edgy but demure at the same time. I find I have to edge my pearls up (wear with ripped jeans or black eyeliner) so they don’t look too old.

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Venessa’s spring collection features lavender and pink thread. I love how these feminine colors can lighten up an outfit. She is so skilled at mixing pastels or demure pearl with heavy black chain.  Perfection.

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Who doesn’t need a sterling silver web around their neck? I know I DO.

Come in and check out the rest of the spring collection. We also have corresponding bracelets.

XOXO

Erica


Just In: IOSSELIANI

New shipment in from Italian jewelry line IOSSELIANI!  The talented duo behind this line have designed some seriously fun and dramatic pieces, but many are still very easy to integrate into your wardrobe. The perfect pieces to dress up jeans and a tee shirt – take a look:

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I am completely enamored with this collar necklace below.  I don’t think I have ever seen any jewelry piece in a store that is this fabulous.  It is spectacular!

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IOSSELIANI’s main line and Puro IOSSELIANI both feature vintage silhouettes in exciting and daring ways.  Jewelry should be engaging and interesting!

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We are back from NYC (barely) and gearing up for Valentine’s Day!  Spring merchandise keeps rolling in.  Today Dustin put out Michael Spirito and Pamela Love is being unpacked.  Posts on those lines to come!

XOXO

Erica


Featured: Eric Saeter

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Seattle Magazine featured Hitchcock Madrona artist Eric Saeter in their online article, “Seattle’s Stunning Modern Jewelry Movement”! (The author also listed Hitchcock Madrona as a place to find jewelry made by local designers.)

A Seattle-based artist, Saeter started his line Jewelry by Eric Saeter in 2008. His designs are made entirely out of either refined gold or sterling silver, and all his pieces have an organic feel to them that speaks to Eric’s interest in the surreal and in nature. Instantly recognizable, Eric’s work testifies to his unique point of view and place in the fashion world.

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Obsession: Seventy Eight Percent

We are loving Seventy Eight Percent’s bags!

Everything by Seventy Eight Percent is handmade by craftsmen and women committed to producing products of the highest quality using the best materials. The leather comes from a renowned tannery in Tuscany, the canvas is Egyptian cotton made in Japan. It can take up to fifty hours to complete a single Seventy Eight Percent bag.

Seventy Eight Percent + Barbour + Moscot = Perfection!

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Seventy Eight Percent Schults briefcase, Barbour Heritage International jacket in olive, Moscot Originals glasses

The name “Seventy Eight Percent” was taken from a design manifesto written by the multi-talented Elad Klein, an Israeli designer, artist and musician. He believed that an item should be seventy eight percent perfect, which he determined was the ideal amount of perfection to ensure an object’s quality but that allows the product to still be unique, something that its owner can embrace. Seventy Eight Percent is a company passionate about making bags that are beautiful but also strong, and that regular use will only make better.

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Seventy Eight Percent Frida case, Hitchcock Madrona large druzy ring


Hitchcock Madrona Signature: Druzy Rings

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The Hitchcock Madrona druzy ring captures the essence of the boutique’s aesthetic and spirit.  They are playful yet sophisticated, and whimsical yet timeless.  Here is how the design was born…

Five years ago, after spotting large druzy stones in India, the initial design was produced.  There was something about the stone that was both magical and intriguing, not to mention, the size of the stone was like no other on the market!  Clients were consistently enchanted by the colors and shimmering quality of the quartz crystals.  After quickly selling out batch after batch – the design had to be perfected!  Originally, the setting was simple and crude, so Dustin and Erica worked for over a year with a jeweler to create a clean and modern band to complement the organic bling of the druzy stone.  Each slope, ridge and angle was carefully scrutinized for maximum comfort and aesthetic appeal.  Today we view the Hitchcock Madrona druzy ring as an iconic piece; one that appeals to a wide range of women.  Do you have one?  Two?  Many?  Too many?

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Druzy is the term used to describe the tiny crystals that form over millions of years within the crevices of a geode.   Each Hitchcock Madrona druzy ring is unique and comes in a variety of colors, as well as two different stone sizes.  You can also choose from either a silver or gold setting.


Artist Profile: Xenia Mara

Xenia Mara is a Seattle-based jewelry designer who handcrafts all of her pieces using vintage materials and semi-precious stones. Each necklace, bracelet, or pair of earrings she makes is one of a kind, feminine, and glamorous without being over-the-top. Much of her jewelry can be easily layered and all of it is extremely versatile. We are so fortunate to have Xenia’s collection here at Hitchcock Madrona. Thank you, Xenia, for continually inspiring us with your beautiful and creative designs!

How would you describe your line’s aesthetic? 

Short answer: vintage inspired, with a modern yet classic sensibility and of course, one-of-a-kind. Well, and did I mention patina? I like a warm, worn-in, well-loved feel, so a fair amount of my work has patina.

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One of Xenia’s iconic and dramatic “waterfall” necklaces.  AMAZING!

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When you design your jewelry, is there any particular woman whom you design for? 

To be perfectly honest, I design every piece so that I love it first. But at the same time, I’m always thinking of a bright and confident woman who is inspired to look and do her best at whatever she does in life. As I’m designing, I sometimes reference icons like Holly Golightly (Audrey Hepburn’s character in Breakfast at Tiffany’s), Elizabeth Taylor, Chanel, and even the Wilson sisters and Janis Joplin when my mood swings to vintage rock-n-roll …

What is your favorite way to style your pieces? 

Each piece has to stand on it’s own. That’s just a given. But I have a penchant for making things that are convertible: two clasps on a necklace allow multiple lengths, from long and draped to short and chunky when wrapped a few times around the neck; belts convert into necklaces and back; a long layered chain necklace turned sideways on itself transforms into a short looped chain neck piece. Why not have options? I love to engineer [the piece] so that the customer can customize the necklace to fit [her] needs or [her] mood of the moment.

But speaking to the question of styling, I love the way that Hitchcock layers my pieces. Their display work is inspired. But everyone knows that!

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I have doubled up!  Wearing two of Xenia’s chunky necklaces.

Where do you find inspiration for your collections?

My inspiration stems from the materials first and foremost; I design based on what chains and gemstones catch my eye. Sometimes I just play with a chain, draping it into different shapes. Possibly this method of working comes from my background as a clothing designer. To further explain it, my favorite reality TV show is Project Runway: I can totally relate to being given a project with a day or two to source and design and sew before having it reviewed by my instructors in front of my peers. In design school I could never sketch an idea on paper before having picked out the fabric and trims—the materials always inspired the design and I continue to work this same way as I drape the jewels and chains into their final forms.

What do you particularly love about designing jewelry? 

Designing jewelry is like making sculpture. I always wanted to try throwing pottery and sculpting because those disciplines involve working in three dimensions and I love working with my hands. Designing, as well as actually hand-making the jewelry, lets me express myself in this way.

What would you say are three key pieces of jewelry that every woman should own?  

I think this can change over time and certainly may differ from person to person. But elementally, jewelry that makes you smile, feel confident, sexy, womanly, edgy, empowered, beautiful and elegant would be key pieces. From my own collection, I would suggest a multi-chain layering piece as a foundation. On top of that, throw [on] a chunky strand of natural rock crystal or maybe a long pendant with some color. Swinging the other direction to a more delicate approach, what woman doesn’t deserve raw diamonds or sapphires on a fine gold or silver chain?

What aspect of the design process do you find most challenging? 

Committing to one particular idea when a material is in limited supply is the toughest challenge for me. For instance, if I only have a short length of a very fabulous vintage chain [then] I have only one chance to get the design just right … to do justice to that “bit” of the past that is awaiting a rebirth. I can agonize over it. I would also like to note that I do not scavenge intact vintage jewelry. I only use broken or discarded items or vintage chain factory over-runs.

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Speaking of fabulous vintage chain….

What clothing or jewelry designers do you admire? 

This is actually a very tough question to answer. I have a wide range of influences and find inspiration all over the design world. For vintage, of course I could not miss mentioning Miriam Haskell, Tiffany, Fortuny, Erté, Madame Grès, Vionnet, Balenciaga and everything Deco and Art Nouveau … no surprise there! I would have to give Ralph Lauren kudos for creating American classics (and what an empire!). Karl Lagerfeld is brilliant and prolific. Because I find pleating so cool, I have great respect for Issey Miyake and I’ve even gone so far as to hand-pleat silk using the Japanese technique of shibori pole-wrapping. I’ve always loved John Galliano, whether he’s being good or naughty. When I had the money, I could never resist Prada boots and heels. Because I love clever draping, I must now hail Haider Ackermann. And because I could go on forever with this list, I will end by saying that I’m still in mourning for the loss of Alexander McQueen (though his Sarah Burton is doing well holding down the fort somehow). 

What do you consider to be the most rewarding aspect of being a jewelry designer? 

I love what I do. Re-purposing vintage chains and other found items into new forms allows me creative expression, and I wake up excited each day to get to “work”. As Robert Frost describes in “Two Tramps in Mud Time,” “my vocation is my avocation.”  I wouldn’t have it any other way. Life is good!

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Happy New Year’s Eve!

Hello Friends!  Happy New Year!  Just an FYI that Hitchcock Madrona will be open our regular hours this week. Closed Monday (NY Eve) and Tuesday (NY Day). We will be here all day today until 5:00 pm for your New Year’s Eve bling!

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Bling courtesy of Tom Binns.

XOXO

Erica