Look as Ravenous and Wicked as Ravenna Herself with Rebekah Lea Designs’ Forbidden Forest Jewelry Collection
Cinematic triumphs like Ryan Murphy’s series American Horror Story and the epic and sinister blockbuster Snow White and the Huntsman have proven that, sometimes, we can be titillated by what we fear, that the scary and the sublime can sometimes coexist. This was certainly reiterated by couture houses — from Gucci to Alexander McQueen — who toyed with gothic elements like head-to-toe black looks, vampiric burgundy pouts, skull imagery, barren tree motifs, rich oxblood and forest green velvet and brocade materials, and more in their Fall/Winter 2012 shows. Now, New York-based jewelry designer Rebekah Lea has unveiled her Forbidden Forest collection, which explores the “dark side of nature” through elegant pieces that are at once eccentric and enchanting, beautiful and bewitching, opulent and occult.
While admiring the collection, you’ll likely recall the many baubles worn by Charlize Theron in her role as Ravenna, the Evil Queen, in Snow White and the Huntsmen. This is particularly true of the Queen’s Crown ($6,500 at RebekahLeaDesigns.com), pictured at top, a frightful but fetching tiara made with sterling silver and black rhodium and molded to resemble a tree branch curved into a slightly shaky circular shape, with smaller stems crafted out of 10k yellow gold and encrusted with rubies and tsavorites wrapped around these bare branches, tiny snakes at times surfacing from these golden vines. At the center of the crown, meanwhile, there’s a deer’s skull, with emerald green tsavorites lining the center of its face (extending from the forehead down to the tip of its nose) and four sets of antlers shooting upward, two in each direction. Two smaller deer skull shapes are positioned on either side of this larger accent, each with a round diamond embedded in its forehead and golden antlers extending upward in a “V” formation. The barren branches, juxtaposed with the golden vines, which could presumably symbolize new life, visually narrate the timeless tale of the circle of life, of death and rebirth, while the deer skulls allude to the unspoken but tacit existence of predatory creatures, of hunters who abide by a survivalist kill-or-be-killed motto.
Similarly, the sterling silver Talon Earrings, shown last above, instantly convey images of a predatory bird by focusing on the sharpened claws we’d affiliate with buzzards (or, for that matter, with the claw-like rings Ravenna wore on her pointer and thumb in order to stab the creatures whose hearts she wanted to feast on). In addition to lethal-looking claws, the earrings feature intricate etchings and grooves meant to resemble the scaly skin along these hunting birds’ feet.
The Forbiden Fruit Cuff ($7,000 at RebekahLeaDesigns.com), shown third from top, taps into the Snow-White’s-poisoned-apple narrative while incorporating overtones of the Biblical fall-from-grace tale revolving around the forbidden fruit within the Garden of Eden. Crafted primarily out of sterling silver and black rhodium, the cuff features hollow, elongated, leaf-like shapes with jagged perimeters, their placement alternating in height to create a fluctuating, almost ladder-like effect as one’s gaze moves along the circumference of the cuff. Branch-like lines crafted out of 18k yellow gold, meanwhile, connect these shapes, criss-crossing along their center and even wrapping around their corners. And, at the center of each leaf-like frame, mounted atop the yellow gold, are prong-set, teardrop-shaped gems: green tourmaline, pink tourmaline, iolite, and rubellite. These scattered gems not only add color to the piece, but they enchant like the tempting, shiny flesh of exotic fruits.
Those who prefer a more merciful, sunnier aesthetic will appreciate the Golden Vine Earrings ($1450 at RebekahLeaDesigns.com), shown second from top, which convey a less dangerous take on nature. Both earrings are crafted out of 18k yellow gold and are designed to create an asymmetrical effect when worn together, with one meant to weave up the side of the lobe, much like an ear cuff, and the other hanging down the ear like more of a drop earring.
Other pieces in the Forbidden Forest collection include bejeweled skull pendants, lizard skull cuffs, brooches resembling pierced hearts, rings adorned with bone motifs, and mouse head necklaces. For more covetable creepy couture jewelry, visit RebekahLeaDesigns.com.