Carrera y Carrera’s new Seda Imperial (Imperial Silk) collection recalls a centuries-old Chinese legend about a silk shawl dubbed the Manila shawl and its ancient creation.
According to lore, Chinese princess Liu-Tsu is forced to marry against her will. As an act of revenge, she stitches the closely guarded secret of Imperial Silk embroidery on the shawl and tosses it in the ocean. Years later, the fabric is found by a Spanish sea captain who mysteriously vanishes in a storm. When the ship returns to Seville, sans passengers, the shawl is given to a local embroiderer (the captain’s lover), who carries the secret forward in her own handiwork.
Carrera y Carrera’s rendition of the story plays out in gold flowers, fringe, and colored gemstones designed to mimic the vibrant hues of traditional silk embroidery. Motifs include flowers (emperatriz), herons (garzas), and orchids (orquídeas) as well as Sierpes, which refers to a sinuous street in Seville that mimics the movement of fringe.
As head of international communications Cristina Moya told JCK on a visit to the firm’s Madrid headquarters: “The collections are deep in our cultural roots.”
Medium petal pendant in 18k gold; $550; Sandy Leong, NYC; 646-725-3336; sandyleongjewelry.com
New York City designer Sandy Leong has resurrected some of her fondest childhood memories in the latest iteration of her Bloom collection of floral pieces: a secondary line of “He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not” styles featuring daisy motifs.
“I was thinking back to when I was younger, plucking daisies or any flowers,” she says. “It was such a sweet, innocent time. I remember plucking each petal and saying, ‘He loves me, he loves me not.’?”
The line, which debuted at Couture in Las Vegas, contains 21 SKUs (10 more are in the works) priced $450–$4,000 retail. Nearly all are in 18k gold and diamonds.
Sandy Leong headband in sterling silver and 18k gold with 0.2 ct. t.w. diamonds; $4,000
“I really wanted to inspire that butterflies-in-your-stomach feeling when you had your first crush,” she says. “Mine was David Cassidy. The idea of a crush still brings a smile to my face. This collection…should evoke love, innocence, and a sense of possibility.”