Kerri Halpern is mad for quite a lot. She loves modern art — just check out her West Village home, with its Mies Van Der Rohe chairs and Peter Doig and Andy Warhol paintings — not to mention skulls (anything dark and bewitching, actually), Champagne and, especially, jewelry. Halpern celebrates them all with a new fine jewelry collection that’s dubbed — what else? — MadStone.
“I started researching words synonymous with cool and outrageous,” says Halpern, a Colorado native. “I came across mad. I thought, that’s perfect. I always talk about how mad my jewelry is. ‘Madly inspired’ is my tag.”
If it’s not already obvious, Halpern isn’t your classic, conventional sort, and her entrée into jewelry is similarly offbeat. Her CV includes a long stint in public relations at Escada in the Eighties, after which she became a stay-at-home mom for her two kids, now both in college. “I was at the empty nest point in my life,” she notes. “I wanted to get back into the fashion world entrepreneurially. I’ve always been interested in jewelry.”
Halpern’s new line features five collections, all chunky and graphic and mostly made from 18 karat yellow, white, rose gold and black gold. Wholesale prices range from $225 to $7,500; retailers include Diana Heimann Jewelry Salon in White Plains, NY, Roseark in West Hollywood and XIV Karats in Beverly Hills.
The Bubble lineup features bib necklaces and drop earrings, all made of polished quartz hand-etched with tiny polka dots. “I watched bubbles come up in a Champagne glass,” she says of the inspiration. “I wanted to re-create effervescence. I mean, life’s a party, right?” M8 revolves around the octagon, with bangles that sport a different texture or stone on each side, while Random hinges on a skewed geometric motif inspired by the faceted glass penthouse at the top of Diane von Furstenberg’s studio in the Meatpacking District — gemstones are layered, with translucent quartz piled over mother-of-pearl or loose sapphires.
Then there are the decidedly darker offerings — MadAnimals (gem-encrusted spiders, bats and beetles) and MadSkulls. It’s a glam-goth vibe that Halpern has rocked since she was a kid. “It’s just my mad, twisted mind,” she says, before reading off a laundry list of her macabre moments. Her previous apartment faced a cemetery (“beautiful,” she says). Her current place, meanwhile, is home to two Damien Hirst skull prints (including one dusted with black diamonds), skull-patterned cushions, cocktail glasses (from Ralph Lauren, no less) and velvet skull wallpaper in the guest bathroom.
“I love that Mexicans celebrate the Day of the Dead and, instead of making it all sad and creepy, they have a party,” Halpern remarks. “I want to embrace that on a luxury level.”
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast