The 2nd annual RVA Fashion Week took place this past weekend and kicked off Friday night at Vintage (above Pearl Oyster Bar) in the Fan district with a jewelry and art showcase. And so with a gin and tonic in my hand and RVA Instagram-celeb Carey Wodehouse by my side, I spent the evening checking out the collections of some of Richmond’s best and brightest bauble-makers.
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The 2nd annual RVA Fashion Week kicked off Friday night at Vintage in the Fan district with a jewelry and art showcase. (Photo by Megan Parry)
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Artist, models and guests milled about the party, checking out the latest jewelry designs from local artists. (Photo by Megan Parry)
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(Photo by Megan Parry)
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A jewelry display by Lonely Pine. (Photo by Megan Parry)
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Surface Handmade jewelry is chunky, earthy and bold. (Photo by Megan Parry)
Jewelry designers, artists, models and their fans commingled effortlessly in the retro-inspired, dark n’ flirty bar: the vibe was full-on party and it. was. fun. After happy hour, the crowd was treated to a runway jewelry show at 7:30 with the girls strutting down the catwalk with NYFW-caliber confidence. Redken sponsored the entire weekend’s events, so obviously the models’ hair and make-up was on point. There were seven participating jewelry designers, each with a distinct style that transformed the all-black ensembles the models were wearing into seven incredibly different looks - a testament to the power of a statement necklace, for sure.
I was really digging those slightly boho, subtly sexy belly chains from Jasmine Martinez’s line Kiss My Abs - they so inspired me to crack down on the crunches in preparation for crop top season (yes, it’s only October but trust me, the six pack will take six months).
After the show, I spent some time perusing each designer’s booth and was especially taken with both Lonely Pine and Surface Handmade (two collections with a similar starting point and wildly different end products - an interesting study of contrasts).
Lonely Pine designer and RVA native Melody Milleker has been in the jewelry designing game for two years and sources both flora and fauna from around the region for her pieces. Using resin as her main material, Milleker casts butterflies, flowers, leaves, moss, bone and other natural elements to create prettily dainty and delicate necklaces, rings, earrings and bracelets.
Milleker mentioned that she takes custom orders; she’s currently pressing a flower from a bride’s bouquet for a pendant necklace (future brides take note: genius idea alert!). All her plants and insects are ethically sourced so never fear: no butterflies were harmed in the making of her jewels.
Where Lonely Pine is all delicate, feminine and gold layers, Surface Handmade is chunky, earthy and bold. Still with a solid foundation in the natural, designer Jacqueline Davis uses hand-sculpted clay, real leather and rubber cord to create her pieces. This may be a contradiction, but I find Surface Handmade pieces to be both minimalist and statement pieces. There’s an understated, muted aesthetic that is super refined and unassuming but there’s also no denying the collection’s commanding presence. A tricky balance, but one Davis pulls off flawlessly.
For being so new to the city, I feel pretty lucky to have had the opportunity to attend so many inspiring events filled with such creative folks recently. I’m slowly finding my way around the sartorial landscape of the city and it’s most definitely a stylish one.
Read Megan's weekly blog posts covering Richmond's fashion scene, the latest trends and emerging designers on our fashion blog, The blvd.