March 5, 2009

This Old Thing?

I recently had to research eco-friendly jewelry for work, and fully expected to be greeted with tacky, homemade jewelry made from recycled trash. Bottlecap necklaces? No, thank you.

It didn’t even occur to me that wearing vintage jewels was eco-conscious as well! To give it a fresh twist, creative designers deconstruct antique pieces to craft edgy, new collectibles that seamlessly blend into our modern-day wardrobes - and are often one of a kind. Here are some of those notable collections, all based in New York City.

One of my favorite necklaces in my bijoux box is by Dirty Librarian Chains, a line based on reworking chain necklaces in an almost haphazard way. Costume pearls, charms, and other trinkets are threaded into gold and silver chains for options that can be dressed up or down.

Erica Weiner blends vintage pieces she finds with natural materials to produce très cool accessories. I like this wood link necklace for its Marni-esque appeal. The medallions in the John and Jackie necklace were actually uncovered in Providence, R.I. – how charming! Best of all, the pieces range from about $30 to $100.

Marquis & Camus is one of the rare jewelry lines where I am absolutely coveting every single piece. I fell head over heels for their Victorian Romance collection, which marries vintage chains with silk flowers. The suspender necklace is sweetly boyish when worn with a tee and rolled up khakis or jeans. Doesn’t it remind you of a WWII uniform or something?

It’s easy to find “vintage-inspired” jewelry but a handmade item with authentic vintage touches holds a story. You can have the old and the new in a completely unique – and sustainable – way. Everyone will be asking “Where’d you get that?”

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