As we made our way into last night's Langoliers jewelry presentation at Good Units, the Hudson Hotel's underground installation venue, our eyes instantly gravitated not toward the wearable works on display, but towards one of the cooler chandeliers we've ever seen. Created entirely by hand by the line's duo of designers, Pamela Liou and Zon Chu, the webby chiffon-and-chain fixture took five straight days to finish, "although I think it took a couple years off my life," Liou joked.
A possible future in home decor notwithstanding, Langoliers' fall collection involved Liou and Chu's applying their experience in knitwear to metals and chain.
"It's about bringing in asymmetry and a feeling of entropy," said Liou. "I think jewelry should change and become unique to its wearer. And with each piece, we like to work with it in a way that honors the materials." The team's designs were displayed along the walls, sandwiched between layers of glass so as to highlight their workmanship. A pair of cascading chain earrings integrated tiny pearls into their tangled weave, and the lattice-like necklaces worked into an intarsia cable motif were a definite standout. Each piece, the designers divulged, is created using the very same knitting and knotting techniques traditionally applied to wool or thread. "The challenge," said Liou, "is that chain doesn't have the elasticity of yarn. If you drop a stitch, the whole piece is finished." Added Chu, "the raw materials are the focus here--it's about breaking them down and building them back up. We want to create pieces that are dynamic and different." He explained that as the necklaces are worn, the weight of the twisted, knitted silver and brass chains will cause them to warp somewhat, conforming to the owner's body and resulting in a one-of-a-kind statement piece.
"There's an old Chinese proverb that goes, 'An inch of brocade is more valuable than a pound of gold,'" said Liou, pointing out that while precious metals and stones are beautiful in and of themselves, they're even more special once human handiwork enters the equation, transforming the materials into something entirely new.
And a fun fact for all you bookworms: Langoliers is named after a Stephen King story in which sharp-toothed creatures devour remnants of the past to make way for the future. We're guessing accessories lovers will snap up these unique gems just as quickly--if (hopefully) a bit less violently.