I love it when designers use vintage elements to inspire their collections; I love it even more when they don’t just reinterpret their vintage finds, but actually rise to the challenge and incorporate these found treasures into their designs. The creative forces beyond the barely year old line DanniJo — Danielle and Jodie Snyder — are such visionaries. They founded their brand on the principle that women use jewelry as a form of escapism … a way to create a new persona. They also design with the purist of intentions; they simply want to help women take pride in themselves and to ultimately embrace their personal style sensibility.
The Snyders’ love of vintage started years ago and they began collecting as young girls traveling through Europe. They were compelled to use their favorite pieces as the backbone of some of the newest designs — by their desire to infuse other cultures and remnants of history into their work. They also draw a tremendous amount of inspiration from Old Hollywood and scour the world for pieces reminiscent of the characters portrayed in Casablanca and Breakfast at Tiffany’s. They are intrigued with the timelessness, effortless sophistication, and most importantly the sheer confidence of the women of the era and create with an aspiration to transport chic, modern women to this time. Now for my favorite part: Their mother, who they call Laury U, is their muse. They describe her as a great icon of femininity and grace and always seek to honor her in their recycled vintage designs. Their newest vintage-incorporated pieces are part indie-chic raw downtown girl and part cosmopolitan Upper East Side denizen. The DanniJo girls pride themselves in the mixing of metals and textures to create juxtaposed hand-made masterpieces, and they have found a unique way of recycling and then integrating vintage brooches and dress and shoe clips into their modern, edgy designs. They showed me some of the most fabulous pieces I have seen in a long time. The first is their Fitzgerald Necklace — a silver, multi-chained (one of their signatures), slightly rocker-feeling necklace with a vintage brooch attached. The brooch or dress clip concept is so genius, as it is removable, so can be worn on its own as well. The brooch also can be used as way to maneuver the necklace into new shapes by attaching in to different parts of whatever top you are wearing (sort of a sexy watch fob concept for women) … versatile and smart.
The next example piece is the Aphrodite Cuff, pictured at top. This is one hell of a statement; at about three inches long, with three of the most beautiful vintage crystal brooches clustered lengthwise, this powerful bracelet will get you noticed. They also create these to-die-for no-nonsense pendants (at left) that scream “look at me” — amulet-like perhaps, with one vintage brooch-laden medallion hanging effortlessly on a simple chain. No two brooches, dress clips, or shoe clips are the same, so each piece is one of a kind; pretty amazing for a well distributed line. You can find DannniJo at Bergdorf Goodman, Curve, and Henri Bendel among others, not to mention their own website.