Where'd you get your brooch?
As we launch the next range of resin brooches from Erstwilder Australia we thought now is a good time to examine some designers of great fun brooches.
Designer Louisa Camille began sketching wonderful little creatures in the Melbourne studio where she worked, little creatures for whom everyone instantly fell in love with. Fast forward to today and Erstwilder now works with a team of local designers whose own personalities and passions influence the collections in the most amazing ways.
Character design is only part of the process; each piece in the Erstwilder collection has its own narrative including a unique name and short story. The people behind the scenes, describe themselves in the same way they describe the designs: decidedly fun, often outrageous, somewhat quirky and always delightfully companionable. Believing that a person’s jewellery speaks volumes of their character and that life is far more fun when it’s taken less seriously.
The highly anticipated release of each new range is an indication of how far this range has come and how so many people are getting such a lot of fun owning and wearing this range, at Mombasa Rose we all adore it and probably own far too much already.
The Grease range is launched today! Shop the collection here
Erstwilder is based in Melbourne Australia.
Lea Stein is a French Accessory designer known for her whimsical plastic brooches and bracelets; she is noted as the most innovative designer of plastic jewellery pieces in the 20th century. She began her career working in textiles in 1957 and soon became interested in using plastic when she married Fernand Steinberger a chemist, together they developed a technique of layering thin layers of cellulose acetate and layering them with interesting fabrics such as lace, taffeta or brocade to form a multi coloured multi layered “sandwich of texture and colour. This material is then cut into the shapes of her designs, from the side it is sometimes possible to see up to 20 layers of colour.
The brooches, for which she is best known, mostly feature animals or stylish women but also include cars, flowers or simple Art Deco influenced shapes. Each brooch has a name, either something simple like Cat or Fox but also possibly something more fun like “Ric the Terrier” which is actually one of her more iconic pieces. The most easily recognisable Lea Stein pin is the fox with its looped tail.
Lea Stein took a break from designing her jewellery in the 1980’s but has since returned to it and is still producing today. The new designs include Buba the Owl, Attila the tortoise and Ric the dog, or newer ones such as a large and colourful parrot called Kokokah.
To help identify the pieces as authentic one can look for the v-shaped metal clip on the back which is inscribed “Lea Stein”
Her jewellery has become highly collectable all over the world, some of the earlier pieces can command very high prices, but it is very important to buy from a reputable dealer as her designs are some of the most copied in the design world, expect to pay around $100.00 to $180.00 for a brooch. Portobello Road antiques market in London is a good place to browse for authentic pieces, just be careful of buying off the internet if the prices are too low it’s probably not an authentic piece.
Many different styles of cats, dogs, bugs, bunnies, birds, ducks and other creatures were introduced, as well as deco-styled women, mod-styled children, flowers, cars, hats, purses, gold-encased and rhinestone encrusted designs
The designs seem endless and to a Lea Stein collector, the ability to collect one of everything is almost impossible, because so many pieces were one of a kind! One particularly elusive piece was called "Joan Crawford" in the US and "Carmen" in France. This piece was made in limited quantity and was always hard to find, but, lo and behold, a new cache has recently hit the market and they are not so difficult to find anymore!
Read more about Lea Stein here
MARIE CHRISTINE PAVONE
Another well renowned designer of quirky jewellery is Marie Christine Pavone (French Born)
She has perfected the art of transforming this early form of material known as Galalith into wearable pieces of art. She is famous for the images she creates through a complex and time-consuming process of cutting, carving, colouring, polishing and decorating (all of which she does entirely herself from start to finish, taking about one week to complete each piece.
Marie Christine Pavone’s brooches have a brighter and more modern look to them, with brightly coloured cats and dogs being the most iconic. Her jewellery can be found on the internet priced around $130 - $250 each piece, but are collectable and will increase in value if you keep them for a few years.
Check out some of Marie Christine Pavone's work here