Showing posts with label Tom Binns. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tom Binns. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Fit For a First Lady

Michelle Obama has chosen to shine the spotlight on some hitherto under the radar designers by showcasing their clothes on inauguration day and on the campaign trail. Jason Wu, Thakoon Pachigul, Isabel Toledo  - all names plucked from New Names to Watch articles in fashion magazines. Now rumour has it that US Vogue's Andre Leon Talley wants to get his hands on the new first lady. Anyone who remembers Jennifer Hudson's panned appearance at the Oscars styled by Talley in a bolero jacket that looked like it was made of tin foil would advise Obama to proceed with caution. Now that the whole world is watching, she should trust her judgement and follow her own instincts that have served her well so far. 

One of her most feted pre-inauguration appearances was at a bash thrown by Vogue and Calvin Klein in her honour. That would be enough to make the most seasoned fashion pro feel a tad intimidated but Mrs O took it in her stride - teaming a black tunic by Isabel Toledo with a statement necklace by jewellery genius Tom Binns. This endorsement has propelled the Belfast- born designer into the spotlight. 

I first noticed his work years ago in an old copy of American Vogue  - beautiful ornate necklaces and cuffs, dripping with clusters of pearls - like buried treasure discovered years later. Totally versatile and utterly irreverent, he treats both precious stones and fake gems equally. Binns loves to turn a cliche on his head: diamonds are not his best friend and less is definitely not more. I especially love his take on pearls - twisting their association with being ladylike and mixing them up in a haphazard, punk-rock way. 2009 looks like it will be an exciting year for the designer - as well as his gems making it into the jewellery box of a First Lady, his first store - a year long pop-up shop in New York's West Village  - is scheduled to open this spring.