Even though we New Yorkers like to think we've got the last word on good design, every once in awhile a crafter will pop up and surprise us, someone who's got the look, spirit and vision we've been waiting for, and might have seen earlier if we hadn't been so busy gazing into our navels (aka the stretch of Mulberry between Houston and Canal).
Luckily for me, my prayers to discover someone with talent outside of the Triborough Bridge environs were answered by the likes of Eutectic, the singularly incredible jewelry line from Houston native Stevie Ballow, who is also one of the minds behind Rara Avis.
Eutectic draws not only on the oft-referenced triumvirate of "art, architecture, and other people" for inspiration, but also gets a boost from Stevie's background in biomedical engineering, a trait which pops up mostly in the spare, quieter pieces of the collection.
What's even more surprising than a penchant for science is the way Stevie uses gems and metals like paint, mixing syma curves (also known to architecture buffs as "the line of beauty"), riotous colors, and tiny semiprecious gems jagged as paving stones into her designs to create a kind of wearable masterpiece.
Though Eutectic has enough mouthwatering goodies to keep any fashionista happy, the "Day + Night" collection is by far my favorite, boasting intricately Earthy shapes that make me think of Talitha Getty on a Morrocan rooftop, or long summers in Ibiza wearing nothing but bikinis and long, flowing skirts. Among other reasons why I'm glad my cat is peacefully sleeping on my wallet are these Chandelier Earrings with quartz and labradorite, priced at an unbelievably low $116.
By mixing gold and silver elements with stones, chains, and found objects, Stevie has managed to find the perfect balance between art and design or, as she puts it on the Eutectic website, between "balance and uniformity".
Luckily for us, Stevie has developed something of a magpie's approach to creating her pieces, hunting and gathering to find the perfect mix, and then injecting a healthy dose of humor into the elevated art of her creations,
such as the Rosary-style necklace with onyx and white turquoise, which would be equally perfect on Kate Hudson in Vogue, or on me as I continue my far-flung journey for the perfect pointy black flat. I think this necklace would be divine with jeans and a simple but well-fitted tee, or for adding an edge to a flowy dress and boots. Like all of the other pieces in the Eutectic collection, it is witty and charming without trying too hard, and it is interesting without being self-conscious. Kind of like you, perhaps?
Visit Stevie here and see for yourself.