I truly love doing custom work. My very favorite part of this business is the design aspect and it is very often the part I spend the least time doing. Administrative tasks like customer emails, ordering materials, accounting, filing taxes, shipping orders, etc. take up way more of my time than I would like. Even though I have an incredible assistant, those things still dominate. So, when someone calls me with a custom design order, I get really excited to let the creative juices flow…
In this case, the design was for someone who has been a client of mine before and is a long-time customer. That’s always extremely fun for me because the person generally loves my design style and trusts me completely. It’s also nice because I know the person and their lifestyle, so I can really design something that is well-suited. In this case, I received a budget and a picture of the dress for which we were designing and I was given carte blanche. That’s really fun for a designer because nothing stands in the way of the creative process (like emails and sketches and “checking in” to be sure the steps are going in the right direction.)
Inspiration struck on Rodeo Drive of all places! The fam and I took a recent trip to LA a few weekends back and there was Great Gatsby evidence everywhere – from billboards to displays in stores. The Brooks Brothers windows and inside displays were both decked out in Gatsby-esque design and as soon as I saw those sequin-covered flapper dresses gathered around a grand piano, the idea was there – a tassel necklace. Perfect! (Sidenote: I am super excited to see Baz Luhrmann’s new interpretation of this classic American novel. The costumes and sets alone should be a stunning!)
Since the dress worn with this will be a simple, midnight-colored long dress with a deep v-neck, I knew the tassel design would go well. Since the dress isn’t one to be worn every day, I knew some versatility would make this a classic piece that can be worn with myriad different looks. The final design was faceted blue sapphire roundels with pave diamond balls and white freshwater pearls interspersed and a 14k yellow gold and white freshwater pearl tassel pendant. To add a little more drama to the look, I did a separate opera-length necklace of the same blue sapphires that can be worn long or doubled for a layered look or even alone with jeans and a t-shirt. Since the necklace design was so substantial, I went with simple earrings with just a hint of an antique look – faceted flat teardrop blue sapphires on scroll detailed gold vermeil posts.
I love the final design! What do you think?