providing decidedly dark items for a not-so-sweet summer ’06.
Though the New York-based Parsons alumnus Geoffrey Young secretly dreams about Maui, his exquisite handmade belts are anything but sunny. "I am frequently
inspired by the frustration I face in not being able to find what I want or need, [so] creating it successfully gives me great
joy in life," says the metalsmith. Young’s indefatigable search for perfection has resulted in textured leather belts with
meticulously sculpted, oxidized, polished, and brushed sterling silver buckles, some of which have embedded black diamonds.
An inky color palette and "reverse hide" leather belts are staples in his collection, but for his new offerings, colors were
spray-painted onto buckles and attached to "precisely" stitched (by a century-old Singer machine) washed linens. For the price
unconscious, there are 18kt gold buckles, which are on the higher end of the $350 to $4000 price range. In order to maintain
a certain level of exclusivity, Geoffrey Young (available at Atelier New York) prefers to keep his work low-key, but after a recent belt purchase by Adam Levine, lead singer of Maroon 5, he just might need to reconsider.
For Laurent Rivaud, the French mastermind behind the "intentionally anonymous" R, a dark spirit seems to permanently hover
over his accessories. Having designed Vivienne Westwood‘s jewelry collection since 1994, with stints at Thierry Mugler, Yves Saint Laurent, and Chloé along the way, Rivaud founded his own line in 2003. He researches "forgotten techniques" to produce antique-looking pieces
with ominous undertones. Informed by his obsession with monkeys, and inspired by Visconti’s The Damned, Rivaud’s spring ’06 collection uses smoked quartz, black sapphires, and marcasites to bring out an eerie decadence from
several "memento mori" icons. One pair of creepy earrings features tiny sculpted black hands tugging at dangling silver chains;
silver necklaces are adorned with pendants of hollow-eyed skulls, shark’s teeth, crosses, anchors, and coins; and insects
perch on gold lobster pincers that grip an amethyst stone. For autumn, Rivaud explores "the rich imagery of the fairy tale,"
and introduces new materials — malachite, cocobolo woods, and labradorite. But the collection is as irreverent and delightfully
moody as ever, with more sinister symbols — owls, bats, birds’ feet, howling wolves, and snakes — littering his finely carved
jewelry. R is available at Destination in New York, Colette in Paris and Browns in London.
Renova, the Portuguese paper products company, believes a sense of style is not just for public display — it should also be an intimate
affair. And we mean very, very intimate. Hold your breath, ladies and gentlemen; behold Renova Black, the chicest bathroom accessory this summer. The noir toilet paper not only looks sharp, but also subscribes to the "form
follows function" design philosophy. It is scented, properly moistened, dermatologically tested, "dye- and
toxin-free," functionally absorbent, and has even "passed all the strict US codes." The hard-to-please stylish set of luxuriant
Parisians decreed the paper a hit when Renova market tested it in Paris last summer. This April, it debuted in the US during
the Tribeca Film Festival in the lavatories of the 60 Thompson Hotel and its Thai restaurant Kittichai, and had the New York culturati and glitterati abuzz. So look out for Renova Black at select high-end retail outposts this
July, or go online at www.renovablack.com. A three-roll package will set you back $15.
1-2 Geoffrey Young Belts
3-5 R s/s ’06