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new peeks: bliss lau jewelry

killjoy vest

it's been quite some time since bliss lau was featured so, with the new season of project runway debuting tomorrow night, it seems most appropriate to revisit one of h|h's favorite parsons alums from hawaii. when i last checked in with bliss two years ago, she had just introduced the debut pieces from her provocative jewelry collection, and the handbag line that first launched her eponymous label went on hiatus while she focused on expanding her lineup of edgy links.

while my everyday rarely, if ever, presents moments to rock such fabulous style moxie, i continue to be besotted with the collection's glamorous versatility (many pieces can be styled in various ways) and love how each piece elevates jewelry from a lovely afterthought to artfully elegant armor adding a little mystery to the most humble of outfits.

behind-the-scenes, bliss approaches every design (many unisex) intent on balancing gravity, weight and proportion into a piece made to draw the eye and decorate oft-forgotten body parts like the nape of your neck, shoulders or waistline. nappa leather, vintage swarovski crystals, or black diamonds accent carefully constructed chains to become a fetching take on modern adornment referencing muses as diverse as african tribal design, the medieval chainwork of the knights templar, and the art deco razzle dazzle of jazz age beauties.

art deco cage dress
art deco ziegfield
wright * hugmetight

{design notes}

how has growing up in hawaii influenced your designs?
i think that being from hawaii in general will forever influence my perspective on the world and life, sharing and living. natural materials, when i was young, my mom cathryn lau who is an art teacher at punahou, used to soak the husks of our palm trees and we would make baskets with them. my aunties taught me to make haku leis and feather hat bands. some of these skills come out in my daily work when i make jewelry.

what is your definition of good design?
good design solves a design problem simply, easily and with sophistication. a very hard thing to do.

little moments of bliss that recharge your soul?
i ride my bike everyday. i braid my hair everyday and buy fresh flowers from the market to pin in my hair (okay so maybe the hawaii never left me!) . . . all of those things recharge my soul.

local delights that are a must in your beach picnic basket?
oh wow.... the beach in new york? i'd like you to show me anyone from the islands who would even bother!

pay it forward with a few words of wisdom that were passed on to you:
always be true to yourself!

mahalo bliss!

alas, no hawaii stockists yet so hele over to the online shop to peek and purchase bliss's latest collection. the price tag ranges from $132 to over $600 depending on the complexity of the design, and all jewelry is made-to-order in bliss's nyc atelier with a six week turnaround.

and, happy news for handbag fans! bliss reports that she has a few upcoming collaborations including a limited edition jewelry line debuting in france this fall and a new leather goods collection with dakota collective launching later this year.

p.s. click back tomorrow for a peek of the two designers representing hawaii on project runway!

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