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New Lia Sophia Red Carpet “Zingara” Collection Has Zing

In between shuttling from one runway show to the next during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Fall 2012 in New York City, we had a moment to dip into the Empire Hotel across from Lincoln Center and stop by the Lia Sophia lounge, where the latest jewelry collections were on display.  We immediately gravitated toward the main table, which was brimming with pieces from the Fall 2012 Red Carpet collection, designed once again alongside NYLON Style Editor-at-Large, in-demand stylist, and soon-to-be TV personality Dani Stahl.

As usual, Stahl went for bold, statement-making pieces, but her color palette was markedly brighter than those of her previous collections, with pops of turquoise, lime green, tangerine orange, and plum purple. And, for the first time, antique-y, slightly tarnished-looking silver and gold were incorporated into the mix — a perfect touch given the inspiration behind the collection.

Which, of course, brings us to the visual and cultural references behind the new Zingara collection. In Italian, the term “zingara” refers to a gypsy, and this was precisely the vibe Stahl wanted to channel through her designs. But rather than incorporating cliché motifs (think clusters of coins and massive fringe details), thereby using a caricature of a fortune teller or psychic with a crystal ball, a deck of Tarot cards, and a divining rod as a touch stone, Stahl seemed to visualize more of a modern Bohemian sort, a free spirit with an incurable wanderlust and an appreciation for different cultures and aesthetic norms.

Indian, Sri Lankan, Persian, and Nepalese cultures seemed to play a vital role in informing the collection’s overall look — in fact, some of the more colorful pieces were the Sari Stretch Bracelets (pictured first and third from top), antique gold pieces with clear-cut crystals and resin cabs in lime, plum, teal, or tangerine, all arranged to resemble the intricate embroidery on these draped fabrics.

These same punchy colors surfaced in the Electra Necklaces (pictured first, second, and fourth from top), all fabricated with medallion-like spheres fashioned out of matte silver or matte gold, with smooth and highly polished resin stones in a domed shape at the center of each unit. Like the top half of a sphere, each resin stone juts out of its domed circular unit, its base adorned with a studded rim and clear-cut crystals adorning an etched,  sunburst-like shape radiating along the sides of the medallion’s intricate metal base.

Similarly, the Mirela Rings (pictured next to last above) married the Middle Eastern colors of the Sari Bracelets and Electra Necklaces via the resin stones at their center and along their upper and lower edges, but their size alone (they span from the knuckle to the middle joint) made them feel urban and edgy.

The Alexia Earrings (pictured fourth from top), meanwhile, channel Meknes and Rabat thanks to their bulbous shapes, reminiscent of the Moroccan grillwork seen in doorways and window frames. The scale-like shapes created via the cut-outs along the interior of these earrings intensify the effect, while the clear-cut crystals at the posts add a bit of dazzle. This Moroccan energy is again channeled via the Vita Hinged Cuff Bracelets, available in antique gold or antique silver, and featuring scale-like etching all over their surface.

One of the more Bohemian-flavored pieces (in a traditional sense), the Fortuna Earrings, features crystal-studded, down-turned arches crafted out of matte silver, with hollow cone shapes dangling from the center of these arches and chain strands floating down from the bottom of these cones, creating a fringe effect.

For more photos of the collection, visit Lia Sophia’s Facebook page at Facebook.com/LiaSophia

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