Monday, May 18, 2009

Astali by Shannon De Jong

Rebels may come in all shapes and sizes, but generally there are a few commonalities...a passion for hard liquor consumption, an appreciation for music that’s both loud and aggressive, and a live-by-your-own rules mentality forged straight from the Old West. Designer Shannon De Jong straddles all of these areas with her Astali line, presenting the maverick personality in distinct collections.

Inspired by Jack Daniels, the Jack Astali grouping flaunts snake vertebrae sourced from rural Africa and memorably mingles it with brass and snake-glass beads. The rocker-influenced set (Rock Astali) pairs weapon charms with repurposed guitar strings in brass, copper and silver, and the Tex Astali pieces incorporates apropos elements such as Fool's Gold nuggets, wheat pennies, and bullet casings (even an antique faucet handle makes an appearance).

We love the stack of snake vertebrae bracelets interspersed with Afghani silver beads strung on brown leather (above right).

To view styles and purchase, visit the designer’s Web store.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Store Spotlight:

Despite best intentions, there truly is no substitute for a well-curated boutique. Because vision is a gift, and being able to translate that laser focus to a merchandise selection is never as easy as it looks.

Which is why hits the perfect sweet spot, serving up the collective viewpoint of Europe’s best boutiques. Farfetch isn’t the first online store to offer collections from multiple retailers, but where it succeeds is in its ability to play the role of an able matchmaker…everything just kind of fits together and makes sense.

The site (based in London) features many of our favorite jewelry designers -- Maria Francesca Pepe, Noemi Klein, Pamela Love, J. Dauphin, Aris Geldis, Mawi, and Daydream Nation – as well as a host of less publicized talents such Daniel Nagels, Boris Bidjan Saberi , and My Little Drama. Of course, not everyone is enamored with edgy, avant-garde pieces, but if you are (as we are), is a visual treat.