Magazine publishers just can’t get enough black ink to print the images of designer apparel so in vogue this year. Whether it’s a demure little black dress, a black leather jacket or a voluminous black velvet cape, black is back and black is big. Fascination with the darker side of the spectrum is based in mystical symbols, gothic themes, ethereal icons, rock stars and movie pirates. It is a totally different angle for mainstream fashion, allowing a unique form of personal expression.
Juxtaposed silver and gunmetal elements include hearts, daggers, crosses, cats, crowns and keys—all the fantastic signature sculptures of Sweet Romance. Loaded with silver dreams and dark imaginings, this collection melds amulets of romance and fortune with symbols of mystery and faith. Crystal prisms and circa 1960s chain styles further articulate Night Light’s edgy, sophisticated look. Layer all your pieces together, black against silver, cross against dragon, swords over hearts.
In manufacturing this collection, I chose a variety of vintage chains from the 1960s. There are heavy gauge etched triple ropes, delicate oval twists, sheared curbs and textured cables. Much of this stock was depleted for Night Light. Vintage glass beads from the 1940s and unusual faceted hematite stones from the 1950s are other elements that add a particular retro authenticity to the collection.
Having lived my life in California, my art is influenced by intriguing local cultural images. Among my favorites are the tarot-like pictures used on the tickets of the Loteria Nacional. It was a French entrepreneur who was the principal promoter of this game of chance, a pastime in 1887 that became the Mexican national lottery. The origin of the 300 year old depictions is shrouded in mystery, but most allude to life, love, hope and fortune: el Corazon, la Estrella, la Calavera, la Corona – the Heart, the Star, the Skull and the Crown. These are the primary symbols of my Night Light collection. I hope it inspires and delights you!
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Love from Shelley