When I first moved to New York from Ireland almost fifteen years ago, my grandmother took me aside and gravely warned me to protect myself at all times by carrying a can of hairspray in my bag. I remember wondering if I was supposed to defend my life or my image (by tidying up my hair after being mauled) with the hairspray. Fortunately, I never did get to use my deadly weapon, though for a long time, I enjoyed imagining myself as Gotham's newest hero, fighting crime and flyaway hair. Killer hair aside, I have found that it helps to have a little edge in this city. Maybe that's why I'm so drawn to Merle O'Grady's jewelry.
Influenced by symmetric and geometric pattern, Dublin-born (but London-based) twenty-something O'Grady creates high fashion jewelry using her signature punched latex shapes. Rough natural semi-precious stones are mixed with sleek, futuristic perspex shapes to create jewelry that says "Hi there ... I'm cool ... Don't fuck with me ... We're cool"—something I'd need to inhale a can of hairspray to say myself.
I love that her designs are feminine but strong, luxurious but armorlike, pretty but ballsy. They're also quite wearable, though the earrings might be a bit too robots-in-disguise for my boring ears.
I'm especially taken with the punk attitude and glamor of her spiked pieces:
Stalk her on FB
And because Nana knows best:
Living Proof flexible hold hairspray, travel size: $14 at Sephora