An eco-fashion pioneer, Jenny Hwa of Loyale has truly made a name for herself. So when a little birdie told Ecouterre that she was joining forces with jewelry-designer-to-the-stars Gemma Redux—a favorite of celebs like Blake Lively, Jessica Alba, and Cameron Diaz—to whip up two exclusive reclaimed, bejeweled masterpieces, we knew we had to get a glimpse. Last week, huffing and puffing, I ran the seemingly endless New York City avenues down 26th Street to the Designers & Agents trade show with one mission in mind: to behold a top-secret Loyale and Gemma Redux creation with my own eyes—and boy was it worth it!
Actress Blake Lively wearing Gemma Redux on the set of Gossip Girl
In case you’ve never heard of Gemma Redux before (girl, where have you been?), it’s a line of mixed-metal jewelry conceived and designed by Rachel Dooley during a break from studying for the New York Bar Exam.
Gemma Redux pieces are tough and complex designs made for the tough and complex girl.
Before she knew it, Dooley’s industrial-chic designs began showing up on the pages of Harper’s Bazaar and Glamour and on the wrists and necks of the Hollywood glitterrati. “Gemma Redux pieces are never precious,” Dooley has said. “The metals are generally not delicate but rather industrial, and the stones are rough and intense. Intentionally tough and complex designs made for the tough and complex girl—the Gemma Redux girl.”
Actress Jessica Alba wearing Gemma Redux
FOR EMILY AND NATALIE
In keeping with Loyale’s mission of sustainability, Dooley will be hand-crafting the two special-edition necklaces from reclaimed gold chains. Although Hwa swore me to secrecy—hence the lack of photos—I will tell you this much: They are to die for!
The “Emily,” named for Bones star Emily Deschanel, is an artfully tangled web of mixed herringbone and rope chains with a touch of sparkle in the form of a watery-clear vintage chandelier crystal. The “Natalie,” in honor of actress and eco-fashionista Natalie Portman, is a ladylike twist of rope chains accented by a trio of emerald green droplets.
Gisele Bundchen wearing Loyale’s Barstow Bikini in Vogue
LOYALE’S SECRET TO SUCCESS
Alas, I am a woman of my word (darn my morals), so I will not be releasing pics of the two secret pieces until they official launch in February 2010, but I will leave you with a special tip for anyone trying to make it in the green fashion biz. “One of the things I’ve found seems to really work for [Loyale] is finding a void and filling it,” Hwa told me as I ogled her collection. “When we had trouble finding sustainably made bathing suits, we said ‘okay, let’s make bikinis!'”
“When we had trouble finding sustainably made bathing suits, we said ‘okay, let’s make bikinis!’”
Makes sense, right? And the proof is in the pudding: After producing the minty Barstow bikini, Vogue’s own Anna Wintour asked Loyale to resurrect it for another season, and Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bundchen herself modeled it on the magazine’s glossy pages. So if you’re interested in starting up a green clothing line, heed Hwa’s words and stay away from organic T-shirts, unless you want to be competing with the gazillion other organic T-shirt companies out there. Another piece of wisdom that she wanted to impart: “Work your ass off—that’s what I do.”
And yes, she said I could quote her on that.