Cameron St. Clair Archer’s designs for her namesake jewelry line are a study in perfectly chic contrasts: Blend one part industrial (she works with reclaimed metals) with a dash of tough (hello, spikes and chains), and mix in a bit of earthy, organic beauty (thanks to the raw stones and delicate gems). Finish with a healthy dose of asymmetry and some lush color, and the result is that sweet spot between sculptural cool and endless wearability. Archer launched the line in 2010 after teaching herself to rework her own jewelry, and now it’s a full-time job.
We stopped by her Bloomingdale workspace recently to see where the magic happens, and chatted with her about why she likes working in DC, and how abstract concepts like spontaneity and adventure inspire her designs. Read on for the scoop—and peep her seriously gorgeous creations.
Tell us a little about your background. How did you end up designing jewelry?
I’ve always been pretty crafty, and I love using my hands—the dirtier the better, be it painting, sanding, drilling, refinishing, gluing, you name it. I suppose the jewelry came about from a real lack of creative expression at a previous job. I was hungry for it, and started to take apart/recreate jewelry I already owned just to see if it was something I enjoyed doing. I did some research and started buying simple starter materials. I would stay up very late designing, and I’d wear my creations the next day. I started getting compliments, and women would ask me who the designer was and where they could buy pieces. Thus, Saint Clair Jewelry. There’s something equally meditative and invigorating about designer jewelry—the combinations truly are endless.
How would you describe the Saint Clair customer?
The Saint Clair woman is not afraid to take risks. She stands out in a crowd; she is a leader, a thinker, an empowered woman who knows what she wants. She appreciates and practices openness and inclusiveness. She is a risk-taker, she’s goofy—unapologetically so—and, more important, she is confident, which is the most beautiful piece of jewelry anyone can own.
How has your work evolved since you started designing?
I definitely take more risks. I lean more toward asymmetrical designs, and I don’t stick to one genre. I also am not so obsessed with following the latest and greatest trends, which I’ve learned can really inhibit creative freedom. I make things I like—things that feel right—and I put myself out there. Like I said, design possibilities are truly endless, and if you limit yourself to one genre, it becomes a bit sticky.
Kitiya King boasts a long list of titles. She’s a chemist. A cosmetologist. An aesthetician. A beauty blogger. And now she’s an entrepreneur. The local beauty wiz’s new “5-free” (which means the formula doesn’t contain formaldehyde, DBP, toluene, formaldehyde resin, or camphor) nail polish line launches on Friday with a collection of seven hues inspired by the glitz of Fashion Week and ranging from bold, glittery gold and bright red to more understated colors such as midnight blue and khaki. We chatted with King about Mischo Beauty and her must-have beauty products.
How did Mischo Beauty come to be?
I’m a chemist and cosmetologist, and have always wanted to blend both worlds. When I was pregnant with my son, I was really careful with the products I was using and what I was eating, and actually didn’t polish my nails for the first six months of my pregnancy because of all the harmful toxins found in nail polish. I eventually started using polishes that were 5-free but found the formula didn’t go on smoothly, or they weren’t durable. After giving birth to my son, I decided it was time to mix my science and beauty backgrounds to create a 5-free nail polish that was durable while still being nontoxic.
What makes Mischo Beauty different from other lines?
Mischo Beauty is different from other lines because not only is it healthy, but it’s also functional. There aren’t many 5-free nail polish brands on the market, and the ones that are aren’t long-lasting. Mischo luxury nail lacquers are chip-resistant and won’t affect your health.
Tell us about the process and development of the line.
I created the formulas to make sure they were indeed 5-free, which was the most difficult part, and worked hard to make sure every single color in the collection was flawless. I tested the product for a year to make sure the nail polish was something I would be in love with and would use myself—and I absolutely love the result.
What’s next for Mischo Beauty?
After the launch of the Fashion Week collection for fall 2013, we will launch our Icons collection of the Mischo luxury nail lacquer in spring 2013, followed by our line of color cosmetics—lipstick, lip gloss, blush—in fall 2014.
It goes without saying that the runway show is the ultimate trendsetter—something about a world-renowned designer claiming a look as stylish leads us to run out and snag the first version we can find (hello, harem pants).
The same is true for the makeup looks they have their models sport down the runway. Seasons past have brought such prevalent trends as sleek, center-parted hair, neon lips, and bold brows—and this year is no exception to the bold beauty trend game. We asked local makeup artist Laura Bateman for her insight into fall and winter’s most popular makeup looks—as shown on runways from Alice & Olivia to Burberry—and how to achieve them on your own.
Erika Schrieber’s debut collection is proof that minor upgrades to a piece of clothing can have a transformative impact. The nine-piece line, dominated by midi skirts with ever-so-slightly flared hems, flowy shift dresses with drop waists, and sleek blazers with ultra-wide lapels show us how one can look simultaneously sophisticated and edgy—something that holds particular weight in Washington, where striking the right balance of style and professionalism is a never-ending challenge. Schrieber’s full spring/summer 2014 collection, produced right here in DC, just launched online, and she has even bigger plans for the future. We caught up with the 25-year-old designer to hear about how she got started in the industry, where she finds inspiration, and favorite local shops.
Erwin Gomez has certainly been busy. Following last fall’s opening of his new salon, Karma, in DC’s West End, the famed makeup artist—whose clientele has included such celebrities as Barbra Streisand, Eva Longoria, and Rosario Dawson—put two tumultuous years in the Washington beauty business behind him to focus his full attention on his next big project: creating a makeup line. After months of anticipation, the namesake collection launched this month, boasting 11 foundations, eyeliners, lip colors, and more, in shades he says are designed to flatter every skin tone. (See a first look at the collection here.) Gomez is recognized for his expert brow-shaping skills, and here he offers his tips for achieving perfect arches. Here are his four easy-to-follow pointers.
1) Color selection is everything.
“Make sure you select the right shade to match your hair. Never use black, no matter what your skin tone or hair color is. Here’s a quick guide: If you have dark hair, do not go darker than your hair color—select a slightly lighter brow pencil. If you have blonde hair, use a taupe pencil. For redheads, use a fawn-auburn-colored pencil to ensure as natural of a look as possible.”
In the past month, Leandra Medine—better known as the untamed voice of The Man Repeller—has traveled the world for various fashion weeks: Stockholm, New York, Milan, Paris. Her next stop? Right here.
Next Wednesday, in the only DC appearance on her book tour, Medine will fete the release of Man Repeller: Seeking Love, Finding Overalls at the W Hotel’s rooftop P.O.V. lounge. In honor of her signature trend, the event will also feature an “arm party” courtesy of a C. Wonder accessories bar, where guests can shop and enter to win gift cards to the glitzy store. The event is first come, first served and there’ll undoubtedly be a line to meet the quirky blogger, so be sure to RSVP at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you’ve already seen this year’s Style Setters feature in our September issue (coming online soon!), you know there’s some seriously swoonworthy fashion on display. Like Meg Biram’s red two-piece Katie Ermilio ensemble. And Dionna Dorsey’s embroidered, leather-trimmed Valentina Shah coat. Or how about the dapper pinstriped Suitsupply getup on Nationals pitcher Gio Gonzalez? It’s all pretty fab. But those ten shots weren’t the only looks we snapped at Meridian House back in July. Exclusively here for your style-hungry eyes, scope the rest of the standout styles—from Ian Fay’s bright red tux to Rosa Rai Djalal’s stunning Indonesian-made kaftan—plus a few playful moments, too.
Since Worn Creative and 1776 managed to bring what is essentially Washington’s entire creative community (no joke—they had a thousand people request tickets) together to hang out in one place Wednesday night at their inaugural Creative Capitol networking event, we weren’t entirely surprised to have landed in a total hotbed of personal style. DC turned it out: Alexander Wang heels, mixed florals, fitted Suitsupply suits, all vintage everything? We love it all. Right this way for some major style eye candy ...