PaperCity Magazine

November 2014 - Houston

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NEW YORK, LOVE BY STEVEN HEMPEL. ART DIRECTION MICHELLE AVIÑA. PHOTOGRAPHY SHAYNA FONTANA. HAIR AND MAKE UP CARMEN WILLIAMSON I first met Pamela Love in 2007, just after the launch of her jewelry collection. She worked out of a closet-sized studio space in New York City's Garment District, which was shared with other aspiring designers. Despite rather humble beginnings, Love's work had already found its way to influential retailer Opening Ceremony and was on the verge of becoming known around the globe. Today, just seven years later, her totemic jewelry is indeed stocked in some of the chicest boutiques around the world. Love — who was runner-up for the prestigious CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Award in 2011 and won the CFDA Swarovski Award for Accessory Design in 2013 — recently traveled to Dallas to visit Forty Five Ten, one of three retailers worldwide to carry Pamela Love Fine, her new collection of precious gemstone- studded gold jewelry, which shares inspiration with her costume pieces (skulls, claws, talons, scorpions, crosses, hearts, astronomy and the American Southwest). We talked about influential moments, people and places. from with IN THE BEGINNING … I followed my boyfriend to New York and used school as an excuse. I enrolled in Tisch School of the Arts at NYU because I was interested in writing, art direction and painting. I felt that getting a degree in film would let me explore everything I loved in one medium. FAVORITE FILMS. I love [director] Terry Gilliam; his movies 12 Monkeys and Brazil are at the top of my list. I also love director Alejandro Jodorowsky and The Holy Mountain. I'm really a sci-fi and scary-movie freak. I love the Batman movies and Christopher Nolan. I guess I'm not your typical girl in that way. FOLLOWING THE PATH OF ART. Working with Francesco Clemente was amazing. We were introduced through mutual friends. At the time we met, I had finished NYU with a minor in painting, so I asked if he needed a painting assistant. He said yes and asked if I could start the next day, so I called the store (where I worked) and quit on the spot. I worked as his assistant for five years, and we continue to work together a few times each year on commissions and portraits. A MENTOR. Francesco is the most inspiring person I've ever worked with. The way he works and sees the world has had such an impact on my life. One of his many interests was jewelry, and he was hugely influential in getting me to take my work with jewelry from a hobby to a more serious place. He's become a great friend and father figure to me; I began working with him shortly after my father's passing. He even presided over my wedding [to husband Matt]. SURINAM SOJOURNS. In the last few years, I've traveled to Surinam twice; it's a tiny speck of a country north of Brazil. I was invited by a friend as part of their project involving ethical mining. Because the country's primary industry is gold mining and almost 90 percent of the country is part of the Amazon rainforest, it's hugely important to teach and promote safe mining techniques for both the people there and the environment. The trip was truly amazing, as most of the land is completely impassable; we spent the entire time hopping from village to village by small plane. It was a crazy adventure and something I wish I could do every month. MEETING MARA. [Fashion designer] Mara Hoffman has become a very close friend of mine; we actually met on the subway platform in Williamsburg. She tapped me on the shoulder, and we struck up a conversation. It's wonderful to have someone in the fashion industry that faces many of the same challenges that I do. We critique each other's work and are able to explore ideas together. HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE. I really love the work of Art Smith [a leading mid-20th-century modernist jeweler]. He's a hero of mine. His work is traveling on exhibition now and finally receiving the respect and attention it deserves. I also love William Spratling from the Silver Renaissance period. And I love work from Taxco, along with work from the Victorian period as well as jewelry from Africa. I tend to be influenced by work from specific periods and places more so than individual artists. CFDA VOGUE FASHION FUND. I was nominated as one of the 10 finalists twice — first in 2010, when I did not win, and then again in 2011, when I was awarded runner-up. Winning the award gave me a huge sense of accomplishment and was a boost for the brand. It's a bit of a milestone — a very special moment. Looking back at it now, the competitive process that you go through was great preparation for what to expect in the life of a designer. A FINE LINE. We recently launched fine jewelry and have been adding pieces. Fine jewelry gives me the opportunity to create a smaller collection of work and focus on creating jewelry that is truly magical. One of the key differences is that the fine collection allows us to create work using precious materials such as gold and gemstones and eliminate some of the constraints that come with our costume line, which is made on a much larger scale in brass and sterling silver. Both share much of the same inspiration, but there is less focus on hitting certain price points or worries about having enough materials to complete a collection. EVOLVING CREATIVELY. The world has changed a lot. There are a lot of new brands. You are swimming in a sea of brands and bombarded by information all the time. The world is just brands, brands, brands, and it's a very different world than when I began. So I've changed because I have to think about how we set ourselves apart from the multitude of others that exist. In the beginning, it was just me making work. I didn't have a team, and I didn't have others to think about. I was young, and it was the beginning of a boom in the jewelry category [2006]. I just did whatever I wanted, was super weird and creative. Now I have to think more strategically and keep in mind what sets us apart from everyone else. We are a laboratory of creativity. We have to be unique, not derivative, not boring. We have to be spectacular. It's hard work but something I will always love. PAMELA LOVE FINE JEWELRY AT FORTY FIVE TEN, DALLAS, AND PAMELALOVENYC.COM; CUSTOM JEWELRY THROUGH SLOAN/ HALL, SAINT CLOUD, HOUSTON. Pamela Love wearing Dolly Python, 1920s vintage dress and Pamela Love Fine jewelry. Pamela wearing Isabel Marant dress at Sloan/ Hall. Pamela Love Fine jewelry.

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