Art Deco Dreams


When we last spoke with Toronto wunderkind Emily Woudenberg, she told us she was hunkering down to develop her jewellery collection. Now we finally get a chance to see the fruit of her labours. Her new collection debuted on October 15th at Queen St. West’s swanky Nyood Bar, to a small invite-only audience. It was a strong reception. 

The Paragon collection is art deco inspired, mixing white with copper accents, set against shimmering opalite. It’s a haunting, inspired collection, more like the memories of the art deco movement made physical, rather than a simple homage.

In terms of men’s jewellery, two neck-chains stuck out the most: the Vertex Necklace and the Ivory Necklace.

No elephants were harmed in the making of the striking, Egyptian-inspired, two-pronged Ivory Necklace. Instead, the hand-sculpted horns are coated with interference acrylic, a paint that alters the colour of the paint’s reflective surface depending on how the light hits. When in direct sunlight, Woudenberg described the effect as if, “light was shining through it”.

In the warmer colours of the light in Nyood Bar, the paint reflected blue light from one angle, red from another, making for an extremely interesting effect.

The horns are set against copper accents, and white rope, fitted with a bead necklace. Perfect for contrasting against darker colours.

However, if you’re into accessories and the art deco look, but find the horns a little too large, the Vertex Necklace is ready to pick up the slack.

An intriguingly simple, austere look, the Vertex Necklace contains a single pendulum of opalite connected to a snake chain. Minimalist and powerful.

The Vertex Bracelet is in the same vein. A single opalite pendulum against white rope and gold and copper findings. Eye-catching without being gaudy, beautiful and masculine.

Meanwhile, skirting the edges of good taste and finding surprisingly interesting ideas out there, Woudenberg also gives us the Streamline Cuff, a spiked white patent leather wristlet with industrial clasp. This is one of those pieces that shouldn’t work, but does. You can do a lot of things with this cuff—perfect for setting off an otherwise boring ensemble.

Not all the pieces will work for the luxury-minded man, of course, and Woudenberg did not skimp on women’s pieces. The gorgeous Chrysler Choaker, with its tightly corded white rope, and rose gold & copper accents, is the kind of neckpiece that you think of when you think of art deco design.

The opalite catches the light beautifully, like little pieces of crystalline water. It pairs gorgeously with a white gown. 

Ditto this hand-sculpted Scarab Necklace, which brings Woudenberg’s Egyptian influence to its logical conclusion. Coated with white interference paint, the scarab catches the light beautifully, shining in two tones, giving off blue and red reflections.

Meanwhile, Woudenberg’s expert use of opalites reaches its peak with the Deco Necklace, a frill of opalite pieces done in the style of an Egyptian collar. The way the opalite catches the light made this piece one of the most striking of the collection.

These pieces are more will, of course, be available for purchase from Woudenberg’s site on November 12th.



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