VIA THE ELLE BLOG
—Natasha Clark, Associate Fashion Credits Editor
A NIGHT OUT WITH PAMELA LOVE
A couple Thursdays ago I took the L train to Brooklyn (a place I don’t venture to all that often) to attend a trunk show featuring collections from a handful of ELLE favorites: Anna Sheffield, Chris Habanna, Pamela Liou’s Langoliers, and Pamela Love. I’m quite the Brooklyn novice, but I knew HopStop had successfully guided me to Oak’s Williamsburg outpost when I ran into a group of look-alike Alexander Wang catwalkers outside the store. Once inside the sweltering space (I had originally thought that Oak was “going green” and had decided to forgo the AC, but later learned it had just broken down that morning), I caught up with cult-followed jewelry genius Love, where she proclaimed Derrick Cruz (of Black Sheep & Prodigal Sons) her hero, divulged that there is a new lower-priced line in the works (one that we won’t have to give up lattes or lunch for, perhaps?), and confessed (though tight-lipped) that collaborations at September’s Fashion Week are a go! We’ve always had a place for Love in our fashion hearts (check-out pages 202 and 216 of the September issue to see why), and now she’s becoming the go-to-girl for HBO’s True Blood, on which her eagle claw necklace has become a regular. And after seeing the collection for myself that night, I’ve decided I’d like to trade in my pearls for Love’s new arrowhead rings, oh and I’ll take one of her quartz crystal cobra necklaces too!
Where do you get your inspirations?
My inspiration came from the Southwest, Mexico, Native America—a lot of imagery from Indian reservations and stuff I found in Oaxaca, Mexico. Mostly I became obsessed with the ideas of magic, mysticism, mythology, and ritual. I’m particularly interested in the role that jewelry plays in magical practices or ritual roles or things as simple as getting married; the role of jewelry in something more spiritual. Each season kind of moves around though. This past season I was really interested in Africa and this season I’m really interested in native America and Mexico—the tribal jewelry and folk jewelry you find in those regions and the role it plays in their culture and their rituals. And also I’m always obsessed with religion, so there are a lot of crosses and stars in the collection.
Do you have a favorite piece from the collection?
I love this Heishi bead bracelet. It’s African trading beads and it’s my favorite piece. I love it. We did a limited edition of them and we’re not doing anymore.
One piece of jewelry that every woman should own:
Every woman should have a ring that they never take off. A ring that represents something to you, that’s very powerful and you always wear, like your wedding ring to yourself. Almost like a tattoo in that it doesn’t come off, but I guess for a lot of people that would be a wedding band.
Who are your favorite jewelry designers?
I love Anna Sheffield. I love Derrick Cruz from Black Sheep & Prodigal Sons; I’ve been obsessed with him for so long. He’s like my hero. I’m obsessed with jewelry, and love so many jewelry designers right now. Eddie Borgo is awesome and so are Bliss Lau and Giles & Brothers by Philip Crangi.
Did you always know you wanted to be a jewelry designer?
No, I knew I always wanted to be an artist. Whatever that meant, and you know that kept changing and it’s changing still. I still paint. Jewelry sort of became a hobby. It’s a hobby that became a career.
You mentioned you are working on a collection with a lower-price-point, tell me a little about how you plan to differentiate the brands from high and low:
Right now it’s one line. The price range is from about ninety to a couple thousand retail. And I think for a lot of people at this point and time they can’t really afford that. And it’s really hard for me because we don’t make anything overseas. Everything is made in my studio, so it’s kind of expensive because of that. The only way to really produce in-house and make it affordable is to use more affordable materials. So I think we’re going to start using some costume materials to see if we can lower the price point and also at the same time try to make some really crazy extravagant pieces that are just mind-blowing and amazing. I’d like the costume pieces to be great but affordable, because right now I can’t really even necessarily afford my jewelry. But I want to keep making my stuff by hand in New York and no China, not overseas, not in a factory. So we’re just trying to come up with the most creative ways for next season to have lower price-point pieces.
What will the new line be called?
Not sure if it will have a different name.
Will it still be sold at our favorite boutiques (Opening Ceremony, Oak, The Webster, etc.)?
I think every store we sell to would be very happy to buy at a lower price point. They love the line and it does very well, so I think if we had something that was more affordable it would do very well as long as the imagery is similar and represents the same feeling without compromising the fine jewelry. We don’t want to do knock-offs of something in a different material. Different pieces but similar feeling.
We loved your collaborations with Zac Posen, Frank Tell, and Yigal Azrouel. Any new collaborations in the works for September?
I don’t want to get in trouble. Every time I mention collaborations, I get in trouble. Yes, we’re doing a couple things this season and we’re really excited about them.
Where haven’t you been that you’d love to go to get inspiration for your collection?
I’d like to go to India. I’d like to go to Nepal, and there are some parts of Mexico that I still haven’t been to that I’d like to vist. And I’d like to go back to New Mexico for a year.