The most wonderful thing about a collaboration is the mixing and mingling of styles--especially when they hint at respective tastes and affinities in a harmonious, yet noticeable, way. Though we at Elva Fields like to think our jewelry represents the every woman, it must be said that we only occasionally dip our toe in the edgier waters of style...which is why it was so exciting to have Meg Biram, of style blog Mimi + Meg join us as our August Leading Lady.
Aside from offering insights to cutting edge style (for wardrobe AND casa), a weekly roundup of random bits from the online world that might catch her reader's eye and heart, or even sharing a profile on someone interesting, Meg is also an artist, creating color-infused abstract compositions that would be just as at home in a gallery or in your favorite reading spot at home.
Meg's penchant for tribal, clean-lined, geometric, and studded style represented a delightful opportunity for us to incorporate some of those interesting elements in a one-of-a-kind design with decidedly Elva overtones. We knew we were in for some fun when she sent along her inspiration board--between the African mud cloth, metal spikes, and fuchsia infusion, we were certainly on board!
So...we started by sending Meg some images of items we had in the studio that we felt were in line with her style--starting with a necklace we had just put together the week before using a set of glass claws we'd had in our bead stash for at least three years...which just goes to show, you never know when inspiration will strike. (That is NOT, however, an endorsement for hoarding.)
We also pulled a few samples of beads that--either because of their shape, color, texture, or material--seemed to speak to Meg's style.
And, finally, a few vintage finds that we thought might be incorporated, too.
After Meg had a chance to look through our selections, she seemed to be drawn more immediately to a few of the beads in particular, and suggested a bib-style design that might incorporate all of them somehow...including the glass claws. (Knew those would come in handy one of these days!)
When designing, It is difficult (at least for us) to know exactly how something might work until we try it...so we layered all of the strands on together, letting the spiked elements anchor the arrangement on the longest strand. There was something about the piled-on look that was appealing, but didn't fit with Meg's more straightforward, clean-lined aesthetic.
So we pared the strands down a bit, letting each strand tell its own story, so to speak. Nearly there, we thought.
But Meg mentioned that, although she couldn't put her finger on it, there seemed to be some element missing. When she mentioned an alternate color as one possibility, we went back to her mood board (see how crucial they are?) to see if we could draw in a second color somewhere. Blue. A cobalt, in fact, would be perfect. So we found a few more beads, swapped out sections of black and water buffalo horn (yes...carved water buffalo horn!) and replaced them with polished and faceted rich blue beads. Bingo. That was just what the design needed for a pop of color, a bit of edge, and to slightly tame the overall tribal vibe. We loved it for her.
And Meg is thrilled with her new necklace, opting to style it with a simple, solid black and olive hues to allow the strands to take center stage. We had such fun working with Meg--a collaborative effort we hope to take along with us in this new season. Enjoy!
And...a few questions with our August Leading Lady, Meg Biram of Mimi + Meg:
Emily/Elva Fields: How fun that we have something in common: we share a love of family names! The "Mimi" in your blog's name is an homage to both your grandmother and your mother...how have they influenced your style?
Meg/Mimi + Meg: My mom used to be a fashion buyer for a department store, but really I think my style is just my own. I go with what I love, what feel right wearing, and am attracted to.
Emily: What do your tastes in interior design and fashion design have in common?
Meg: Even though I am drawn to pattern and color, I use it sparingly in my home and wardrobe. I mostly wear and decorate with neutrals. Black, whites, shades of grey and other neutrals and metallics are my typically what I usually wear, and invest in. I do love colorful art and accessories, but in moderation.
Emily: We know you have a serious love of jewelry...do you have a creative way for storing it all?
Meg: Lots of trays and dishes! I have a white lacquer multi-level box, and hooks for my necklaces in my closet. I also have a hand figurine that is giving the peace sign that has a few of my rings on it. I keep the things I have in heavy rotation where I can see them. I wear jewelry every day.
Emily: We're loving the more tribal/edgy design we created together...where would you wear this around town?
Meg: Most likely to some sort of an event where I know the people I will be with will appreciate it. I love to introduce people to new brands and designers so I keep that in mind when I get dressed.
Emily: Now that you have your own Elva jewel, are there any other styles on the site that catch your eye?
Meg: Navy is huge for fall so these earrings would be a great way to incorporate it in your wardrobe...and I love this big green guy!