Welcome to the latest installment of our History Lesson blog series, where we tell the tale of one of our jewels from conception to completion, giving the scoop on the adventures that brought the materials to the studio and the thought process behind the design. (If you've ever wondered what exactly we were thinking...good/bad/questionable/awesome/crazy...here you are!)
This beauty begins nearly two years ago in Elva history, when we took a trip to our favorite city in the world with a beautiful best friend and discovered the most amazing flea market finds on a rainy afternoon that will not soon leave our minds and hearts. It was magical, really...but isn't everything in Paris? This shop on the outskirts of the city was filled with the most amazing fashions from years gone by--from flapper frocks to disco duds, 19th-century shoes in pristine condition, sequins sparkling like nothing we'd ever seen lining hems of garments gorgeously glittering. But the jewels...the buckles and buttons and sew-on ornaments...they went on forever, and we were up to our elbows in stashes of all the incredible pieces of the past.
Much of the vintage goodness found that day went into the Holiday Collection we were designing at the time, but a few pieces lingered in the studio, including this incredibly, insanely jaw-dropping awesomeness unearthed in the hunt: a collection of Art Deco buttons, still attached to their original card as if sitting for sale in a sundry store. I think the main reason I left the buttons out of the immediate series of designs upon my return from Paris that summer was because I simply couldn't bear the thought of removing them from their happy home, all together like stylish siblings since the 1930s. I'd just gaze at them longingly and smitteningly (I know that's not a word, but it seems perfectly fitting right there, so just go with it) and then move along with my day. This happened for nearly a year and a half.
Then...I used a few of the buttons on a necklace for the aforementioned best friend, since she had been my partner-in-crime that day in the shop...and because I knew she'd love having a souvenir of such a fun week together. (Not to worry, there will be plenty more, MA!)
And then...a few weeks ago...the handful of buttons that remained just seemed ready for their next adventure, but certainly one in keeping with their Deco past. Somehow, the striped Kenyan bone beads sitting nearby recalled the geometric border of the card onto which the buttons were sewn, and I loved the black-and-white setting for this colorful crew. When I found the tiny orange beads, I knew they were the perfect pop of color to bring it all together...
Et, voilà...it is my pleasure to introduce...direct from Paris, Kenya, and Taylorsville, Kentucky....our latest History Lesson...Memory Still Lingers. Enjoy!