Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Jené Despain Event at Velouria

Brooklyn based jewelry designer Jené Despain is coming to Seattle and you are invited to the party!! She contacted me recently to give me some details on the two events she will be hosting at Velouria's Capital Hill and Ballard locations to launch her Fall 2010 jewelry line named Black Honey. This new collection blends dark gunmetal pieces with 14k gold and black leather.

Now for the important event details. The first party is on Thursday, July 8th at the Capitol Hill Velouria boutique from 5-8pm and the second party is at the Ballard Velouria on Saturday, July 10th also from 3-8pm. Whether you have checked out Velouria already or not I highly recommend stopping by. In addition to getting the chance to meet Jené and see the debut of her new line you can also check out the new collection from It's My Darlin' favorite Michael Cepress at the Capitol Hill event!

I had an opportunity to ask Jené a few questions about her inspirations, her apartment in NY and even her favorite dessert...

What is the one item of jewelry that you would hope you were already wearing if your bags were lost by the airline on your way to Paris?

This is such a wonderful question! It made me really think about my entire jewelry collection and which piece I couldn't live without. As much as I adore my vintage rings, numerous beautiful bracelets, and all of the wonderful pieces of jewelry that I wear everyday from my
Roaring 10's collection and the new Black Honey collection, there is definitely one piece that I settled on as my favorite. A few years ago, I created a ring I hand cut from a sheet of silver. The design on the top of the ring is a lil bird sitting on a branch that wraps around the finger. When you turn your hand over to see the other side of the ring, there is a blue stone set into the silver that is the color of a robin's egg. It's the first ring I made as a jeweler, and I will be sure to wear it the next time I travel to Paris.

What inspired your style while you were growing up and is there anyone that you would consider a style inspiration today?

I grew up in an artistic environment as a child, and luckily, my parents were very understanding of my rampant obsession with fashion. It seemed like I was always gaga over the new swatch watch, espirit bag, or colors of benetton scarf. Music was actually a huge part of what influenced my style. When I was very young, I idolized the band Heart. I wanted to be Ann Wilson. So I wore lots of lace, fingerless gloves, patterned tights, and adult sweaters worn as dresses, with the sleeves and collars cut off. As a pre-teen, the Cure and Mazzy Star inspired me to wear black & white striped socks with baby doll shoes and lots of black. Black. Black. Black.
Now as an adult, I think my style is actually most strongly influenced by the city of NY. I recognize that it sounds odd to have a city as your style icon, but it's true. The geometric lines, sleek shapes, and diverse architectural designs are constantly inspiring me. I adore this city. She is so striking, how can I help but want to try on her style?

When you get a case of "jeweler's block" while working what do you do to motivate yourself and find your creativity?

It's rare that I get "jeweler's block" as I am constantly designing way too many pieces than I know what to do with, but when I do wonder what to do next, I often ask myself, "What am I missing in my jewelry box? What piece of jewelry am I aching to have at my fingertips?" This usually helps me to conjure up one fantastically bold piece of jewelry and from that idea stems an entire collection.

What room in your home do you think exemplifies your style the best and what are your favorite items in that room?

When I am not making jewelry, I am designing interior spaces. It's a huge passion of mine. I am strongly affected by my physical environment and find I am most happy when I am in gorgeous, well-designed spaces. As well as maintaining an incredible outdoor landscape complete with a variety of floral and edible gardens, my mother always kept our home immaculate and changed lil touches in our house with every season . She strongly influenced my love for interiors and fostered my joy for little details. Although I enjoy each room in my apartment, I would have to say my bedroom exemplifies my personal style the most accurately. It's a classic, predominantly white room with touches of charcoal and black. I wallpapered the entire room in a hand-painted silvery grey on white damask design that emotes sensuality. My bed is dressed in all white linens with a soft charcoal grey velvet headboard, and my vanity and armoire are a dark black stained set. Above my bed hangs the most beautiful Victorian chandelier with swarovski crystals that belonged to my grandmother. This antique chandelier has as much romantic, southern charm as my grandmother did herself, and it's my favorite item in my home.

You grew up on the west coast, what do you miss about it?

I miss so many beautiful things about the west coast, the list could go on for pages. My family. The ocean. Fresh blackberries in the summer. Moody weather. The view of Mt. Rainer in the distance. Affordable rent. Access to nature. The pace, I miss the pace of the Pacific Northwest. Someday soon, I hope to return to find myself a big, old house with a wide porch out front and a yard in the back just waiting for a garden.

In New York City what is your favorite place to splurge on:
A new pair of shoes?


An item for your apartment?

Anything from 27th street between 6th & 7th avenues at 6am on any given morning. This block is the center of NYC's flower district.


Blue Bottle just opened a new location right down the block from my apartment in Brooklyn. They have the most amazing iced coffee that they prepare by slow dripping cold water over course grounds for over 24 hours. This makes the most chocolately rich, delicous coffee. They also have yummy lil baked treats to indulge in while enjoying their coffee. I adore Blue Bottle.

Readers, I hope to see you at Velouria! I will be there with camera in hand...

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