My friend Jessica Biales, who is a Manhattan-based jewelry designer, has just debuted a brand new collection. True to form, these newest pieces are based on art and architecture, a common source of inspiration for Biales. (I typed at least one or two architecture papers for her in college. On my electric typewriter.)
The current collection offers modern rings, bracelets, and pendants in sterling silver and gold. Pieces echo artist Josef Albers’ colorblock square paintings, steel sheet metal sculptures by David Smith, and the inverted architecture of The Whitney Museum by Marcel Breuer, and Rothko’s meditative abstracts.
This isn’t the first time I’ve written about Jessica Biales and it won’t be the last. (Check out Jessica Biales’ signet rings and slice rings, which have been featured in Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue, and the Wall Street Journal and were for a time sold at J.Crew). Jessica is a close friend of mine from college, where she was the most refined, urban girl I had ever met. So many years later and her style hasn’t waned.
Jessica’s latest collection is called “Scissors” and was inspired by the Matisse cut-outs in the exhibit at MoMA that ended earlier this month, Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs. You can see examples of Matisse’s cut-outs that influenced her new jewelry collection below. As for Matisse, here is a description paraphrased from the MoMA site about the advent of the cut-outs:
Starting in the late 1940s, Henri Matisse turned to paper cut with scissors as his primary medium, which resulted in a new form of art that came to be called a cut-out. Matisse would cut painted sheets into forms of varying shapes and sizes—from the vegetal to the abstract—which he then arranged into lively compositions.
The Jessica Biales Scissors Collection, inspired by Matisse cut-outs, includes bracelets, rings, earrings, and necklaces in sterling silver and 18-karat gold.
I’ve long considered my friend Jessica Biales to have impeccable taste. I learned to cultivate the art of minimalism from her, back in college. She had almost nothing in her closet, yet she always had everything she needed. On the walls hung posters of architectural renderings by Frank Gehry and Phillip Johnson, mounted on foam core rather than taped to the walls. And her duvet was plain black.
Hardly the stuff of college dreams. When I need to cull, I channel that dorm room, which only one year before was laden with images of Monet’s Giverny, an inspiration board laden with Calvin Klein’s ponytailed models and Christy and Linda in Chanel, and a double mattress topped with a floral comforter; home to moi. Jessica was the New York City sophisticate incarnate. And now, reigning queen bee of the style world, Jenna Lyons, has confirmed what I always knew—Jessica Biales has style.
J.Crew, which has been experimenting with collaborations with all sorts of cool kids—including CFDA winners and other under-the-radar labels—has picked up two rings by Jessica Biales. It’s the company’s first offerings in fine jewelry. They are carrying a limited run of two solid 18-carat gold signet styles—one yellow gold, and the other rose gold bedecked with pavé emeralds.
I gave the collab a shout-out in Sunday’s Boston Globe, as “The One Thing” in the paper’s new “Enthusiast” section. Jessica’s work has gotten a ton of press over the past six months. Let’s have a look.
It’s supposed to rain all weekend in Boston and on the Cape. Bummer. We had planned to head to Truro for the first time since last fall. We still may go; there’s dead bug vacuuming to be done. However, like on all holiday weekends, there are sales galore. I may just be able to get some summer shopping accomplished online. I pulled together four sets of clothing and accessories I found. Everything shown is on sale. Not sure what to buy first. Oh, well actually I already picked up the stripey tote from Gap this week. What have you guys been buying for summer?
SHOP 1 Sleeveless Hazy Dot Shirt at Madewell ||| 2 Karen Walker Super Duper Strength Sunglasses at Les Nouvelles ||| Sonia by Sonia Rykiel Oxford Shirt Dress at Les Nouvelles ||| 4 Jessica Biales Block Signet Ring at J.Crew ||| 5 Surf Stripe Board Shorts at J.Crew ||| 6 Coach Henley Espadrille Wedge at Coach ||| 7 3.1 Philip Lim 31 Second Snakeskin Pouch at Shopbop ||| 8 Printed Multi-Stripe Canvas Tote at Gap
SHOP 1 Rag & Bone Graphic Tank at Rag & Bone ||| 2 Rag & Bone Easy Stretch Silk Pant at Rag & Bone ||| 3 Armani Collezioni Short Dress at Yoox ||| 4 Joie Jordyn B Blazer in Caviar at Joie ||| 5 Fort Standard Cage Necklace 8 at Need Supply Co. ||| 6 Lucy Folk Watermelon Pip Stud Earrings at Steven Alan ||| 7 Marcy by Marc Jacobs Marc’D & Check’D Small Satchel, Shopbop ||| 8 Joie Grenada Sandals at Joie
SHOP 1 Stripe Rash Guard at J.Crew ||| 2 Monique Péan Mwanza Warthog Tusk Shell Earrings with Diamonds at Barneys New York ||| 3 White Linen V-Neck Tee at Madewell ||| 4 Steven Alan Elliot Pant at Steven Alan ||| 5 Timex Round Mesh Strap Watch at Nordstrom ||| 6 Bag’n’Noun Nylon Muffin Bag #210 at Steven Alan ||| 7 Strawberry Lip Glaze at Stila ||| 8 Tory Burch Catalina Espadrille at Tory Burch
SHOP 1 Whale Of A Tale Intarsia Sweater at C.Wonder ||| 2 Rag & Bone/Jean Mint Mid-Rise Legging at Intermix ||| 3 Shimmer Scarf at Gap ||| 4 Arrowstack Necklace at Madewell ||| 5 Anya Hindmarch Studded Heart Pouch at Shopbop ||| 6 Rag & Bone Dana Dress at Rag & Bone ||| 7 Vince Lara High Sandal at Nordstrom ||| 8 Chevron Cosmetic Bag at Furbish Studio
Good is the best boutique in Boston for jewelry and gifts. It is absolutely the most beautiful and well-curated; owner Paul Niski has impeccable—impeccable—taste. Some of my own favorites come from there (and Barneys, and The Tiny Jewel Box in D.C., and, ok, Tiffany’s too.) When my best college friend, Jessica Biales, showed me her jewelry, I knew it belonged at Good. I stopped in yesterday to see it in situ, and also to check out the new store (they moved across the street, to a larger space this fall). I hope you love Jessica’s work; I suspect you will love most everything here. (And sorry, I didn’t actually take as many photos of other jewelry as I would have liked. Next time!)
J e s s i c a B i a l e s
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j e w e l r y + a c c e s o r i e s + d e c o r