The New Fantasy Garden Collection

I am so excited to finally announce our collaboration with 125 year old jewelry company CINER and the Spring collection we have designed together, The Fantasy Garden.

Because CINER has been around for so long (over a century!) I became used to seeing their name and mark on one-of-a-kind vintage pieces I collected, like these fabulous giraffe earrings. The quality of their pieces is always unparalleled. Through a friend visiting Charleston, I came to find out that CINER was still manufacturing and producing their beautiful line out of their New York City showroom and factory. So, I flew up from Charleston, SC for a meeting with CINER V.P. Kris Ciulla and owner Pat Ciner to learn more. Needless to say, we all had a lot in common and it was absolutely magical to see their showroom and production facility where so many of my favorite vintage pieces had been born. We decided to come together to produce our own capsule collection with me pulling designs from their archives and refashioning them into a modern, whimsical collection with a candy colored color palate. And so our collaborative collection, The Fantasy Garden was born:

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The Fantasy Garden Collection is available exclusively through our website, our store and cinerny.com.

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On my two visits up there I say down with Pat and Kris and curated this collection of pieces which is a combination of Southern, botanical themes, one of their classic Ciner bees and an element of fantasy – the unicorn (based on a vintage brooch they once produced):

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Ciner has remained in the same family for all 125 their business as been operating. Pat Ciner, left, the third generation of the Ciner family, remains at the helm of the business which is celebrating its 125th year in 2017. It was such a pleasure working with Pat and her team:

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Their showroom is filled with beautiful pieces, new and old – a virtual treasure trove of costume jewelry complete with vintage advertisements dating back to the 40’s and 50’s.

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Behind their showroom is a full manufacturing facility with jewelry artisans who paint enamel, cast, and set stones by hand.

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Below, a member of the Ciner team dedicated to polishing pieces during production works on a design.

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We are thrilled with how the collection turned out! You can see it and shop it here. The wonderful combination of southern botanical influences and elements of fanciful creatures. All behind-the-scenes photography by Lydia Hudgens.

Vintage At The Restoration Hotel

Last Thursday marked the launch of a collaboration I did along with Seeline Vintage with the The Restoration Hotel and their boutique, The Port Mercantile at 75 Wentworth Street in Downtown Charleston. The Port is located adjacent to the lobby of their beautiful hotel, but far from a typical hotel gift shop, it is a well curated trove of unique designer items including many Southern brands. They approached my friend MK Quinlan of Seeline to do a month-long pop-up shop but wanted to accent her great vintage clothing collection with some jewels and accessories – so that is where I came in. Not to mention, it is always fun to get to work with friends.

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MK is pregnant, and chicly managed to camouflage her growing bump in one of her gorgeous vintage gowns while I opted for one of her vintage cocktail dresses – a floral, Emanual Ungaro wrap dress I purchased from her while we were setting up our shop. Shopping while you are trying to make money is always one of the pitfalls of pop-up shops! We had a small launch party last Thursday but the curated vintage collection of clothing and jewelry will be up until the end of the month if you can get there fast enough! Even the first night, our one-of-a-kind pieces were flying out the door…

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We both tried to select vintage pieces that complimented the earthy, rich tones of the store as well as spoke to the season… think spring garden cocktails, summer evening dinner parties and weekend jaunts…

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A crown jewel of my collection for the port was the chunky, gold Egyptian Revival cuff pictured below. Designed by Elizabeth Taylor for AVON in the early 1990’s it looked like it had never been worn and was in it’s original packaging when it came into my possession. It lasted a mere 24 hours, but at least I have this photo to remember it by… (sniff, sniff…)

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I also worked with century old jewelry house CINER in New York to re-manufacture some one-of-a-kind vintage designs from their archives for this curated collection. All of their manufacturing is still done in house in the center of Manhattan and they were able to quickly turn around some incredible pieces pulled from their archives that emulate the season – from under-the-sea fantasy pieces like this dolphin cuff to the elegant rhinestone butterfly choker. If you are in Charleston are able to make it by The Port Mercantile at The Restoration Hotel this month, do not miss out on this special collection!

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We loved seeing all our friends join us at the opening for whisky sours and pimento cheese crackers. Lindsay Fleege (pictured below) did a fabulous job with her firm Gray & Co. promoting our event! Lindsay used to do PR for CHANEL in New York and her own jewelry collection is seriously incredible.

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The sweetest grandaughter/grandmother duo in town to celebrate my good friend Cator’s wedding…

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Interior Designer Sidney Wagner peruses the vintage racks

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Lindsay & Ellie of Gray & Co. PR

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Our most stylish customers…

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Helping Anne Elkins of The George Gallery find some statement earrings

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Vintage shopping is the prefect girls night out activity!

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HIGH_FIVE

Thanks to all who came out! It was so much fun. Be sure to visit before we pack up shop on May 31st!

Thank You Southern Living!

Thank you to Southern Living and Stephanie Granada for including me in this feature on the 50 Best Dressed Southerners. It really is an honor, there are some snazzy folks in the South! And as some of you know, Charleston is not my native land. Moving here nearly eight years ago from New York I wondered if I would have to relegate all my black clothes to boxes under the bed. Friends teased me that I would soon have a closet full of Lilly Pullitzer (I have one dress) and the long summer season here threatened to render 2/3 of my wardrobe null and void. But as I’ve eased into life in Charleston, I’ve also eased into my new 2.0 style. Lighter layers, slightly more feminine, but still a love for some edgy details (like my strappy Jerome Rousseau boots from HAMPDEN Clothing).  Read the full piece here.  

Photo by Paige Winn, taken February, 2015 in Charleston, SC

Fashion Flashback in Charleston

Last night I attended the opening of Fashion Flashback, a brand new Exhibit at The Charleston Museum on meeting Street in Downtown Charleston. Full disclosure, I had actually never been to the museum before.  It has been on my cultural checklist for awhile, but while I’ve managed to do all the grand home and plantation tours, I haven’t gotten to this one yet.  So, the opening of this exhibit was the perfect opportunity to check it out, not to mention the dress code : )

I chose late 60’s as my “decade.” Which, aesthetically speaking is probably my favorite. Fashion still had some of the femininity of the 1950’s but the silhouettes became much more bold and streamlined and accessories (in particular jewelry) were bigger, more sculptural and less delicate.  I found my dress at the closing sale of an old costume shop in Charleston last year that used to supply vintage clothes to theater companies, it was a steal.  Late 60’s, silver and floor length, which I paired with a little faux fur jacket and some fun vintage jewelry including a bracelet that belonged to my grandmother and earrings from Lori Wyatt Vintage. (Sorry for the selfies but no one was at home to take a picture for me!)

I bumped into these lovely ladies, Jess and Susannah at the entrance.  Loved Susannah’s sequined 80’s dress had belonged to her mom and Jess’s entire 1930’s ensemble:

Also spotted was this detail on an original poodle skirt!

There were some stunning dresses in the exhibit, and I loved this color combination of these 1950’s party dresses as well as their flared, tulle skirts:

I was mainly taking in the women’s fashion, but this “Repeal 18th Amendment” men’s tie from the Prohibition Era was just too fun (image via @charlestonmuseum):

I was a little dissapointed there was almost no jewelry but the one piece they did have was this fabulous interlocking horseshoe bracelet set with rubies, diamonds and opals.  At first glance I thought it was the CHANEL logo before realizing it was horseshoes, and a gift from a European Royal to a Charleston grand dame in 1926.  I am thinking of redesigning all of my Candy Shop Vintage packaging to look like this : )

The exhibit runs through May 10th  and is really worth a visit.  I have some friends in town for a girl’s weekend next month and it’s the perfect pre-dinner or post brunch activity, easily walkable to or from the heart of downtown Charleston.

 

About Last Night: Trunk Show at HAMPDEN Clothing

Last night I hosted a really great Candy Shop Vintage Trunk Show at HAMPDEN Clothing on King Street in Downtown Charleston. Stacy, the owner of HAMPDEN and I came together to plan the party which included Jane Aldridge of Sea of Shoes as out guest DJ. She did a FABULOUS job – she even brought records! Everyone loved the music and it created the perfect atmosphere for shopping and socializing.

In part the trunk show was to launch my new “Far East Collection” which will be available online starting next week.

I had a great time showing everyone the designs and even talking a little jewelry making with the girls from Croghan’s, a family owned jewelry store up the street from HAMPDEN.

Our cocktail napkins, a collaboration with Lettermade were a huge hit and will also be available online starting next Monday.

It was so fun seeing both new and old friends, familiar and unfamiliar faces and Squeeze On Site did a great job keeping everyone’s drinks topped up.

Thanks to Jane for such great music, to Stacy and HAMPDEN for having me and to Clay Austin, our photographer who captured the evening so nicely.

You can check out the rest of the photos on the Candy Shop Vintage Facebook Page!

 

Trunk Show at HAMPDEN Clothing Thursday

I am thrilled to be hosting my first trunk show with HAMPDEN Clothing in Charleston, this Thursday November 6 from 6-8PM at their flagship 314 King Street store. HAMPDEN is one of my favorite boutiques in Charleston and has been carrying pieces from my Candy Shop Collection of original designs since the beginning. We even have special guest Jane Aldridge of Sea of Shoes coming all the way from Dallas to DJ the event.

There will be one-of-a-kind vintage pieces available as well as our Candy Shop Collection, including pieces from our brand new Far East Collection which I am just thrilled with. Here’s a little peek at those new styles:

and a glimpse at some of the vintage gems I will be bringing along:

So grateful to Jane for agreeing to be our girl behind the turntables for the evening – we need more female DJ’s in Charleston!  Last year, she was photographed for the Coveteur wearing our Elephants On Parade Necklace – just gorgeous! i just love her style and her appreciation of vintage.

If you noticed these chocolate bar save-the-dates on our instagram but did not receieve one, don’t worry – this event is open to the public!  We just sent out a few to get the sugar buzz going but everyone is welcome so come join me and HAMPDEN clothing for a great party Thursday evening in Charleston!

Southern Style Is…

My husband and I were included in a fun shoot for southernliving.com this week where we talked about what we thought Southern Style is… Now I’m not a native Southerner but I’ve found style in the Southeast to be whimsical, fun and always unique.  I think my own style has evolved to reflect this, hence the great flared cat skirt I found at Hampden Clothing on King Street worn with a sheer, pearl detailed top, a vintage bag, Loeffler Randall snakeskin heels from James (Hampden’s sister store) and turquoise Charleston Rice Beads.  RIP to my Zara sunglasses that were sat on shortly after this shoot, at least they got their moment to shine:

Love this photo of John and I. By the way, all these photos are outtakes from Look. Linger. Love. Chassity Evans did a great job curating the Charleston segment with her photographer and friend Gray Benko.  Check out the rest of here!

The So Good Interview

A few months a go the talented Leigh Webber came to shoot me in my office in Charleston for an interview with the SOGOOD.  We are both members of the mobile App network that helps busy women connect with each other and with other businesses.  I was flattered they decided to interview me for their blog.  You can read the full interview here.

Also, in the interview I talk about the story behind this vintage cocktail ring and the woman on the cover of that National Geographic (a relative of mine by marriage!).  Enjoy : )

Vintage Style Icon: Sunny Harnett

I have a running Pinterest board of vintage inspiration I have compiled over the last few years.  I realized there was one vintage face I was pinning again and again – I even have a print of one of her VOGUE shoots framed in my office – it belonged to a model named Sunny Harnett.

Sunny Harnett was THE glamour model of the 1950’s.  She even had a cameo (as a model) in the movie Funny Face starring Audrey Hepburn.  Here she is, front and center in a promotional still for the movie:

Sunny started her career off as an assistant at the Ford agency but quickly transitioned into modeling herself. Born in Brooklyn, she had New York sophistication and Marilyn Monroe level glamour but with model proportions.  Here editorials are stunning and border on art. She was a favorite of Richard Avendon, who photographed her many times over the years.

She is considered one of the top models of all time.  I cannot get enough of her photos – there is something supremely elegant about her that transcends her time.  Many of her photos are graphically interesting, beyond being just beautiful.

Sunny passed away in the 1980’s under a sad series of circumstances.  It is hard to find much on her life in between, other than her modeling career so if anyone does have more  information about her, I would be interested to know more!