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Little did Liz Goldwyn know that designing a jewelry collection would be dangerous to her health. But the filmmaker and author (she spent the last few years toiling over a burlesque documentary, “Pretty Things,” and a book of the same name) is currently nursing a migraine.
“It’s from squinting and bending over, looking at minute things,” she says. “I guess it’s a job hazard.”
The real cause of her affliction, however, is Goldwyn’s self-described perfectionism, which drives her to craft much of the one-of-a-kind pieces by hand herself. “I’m a control freak. I’m really obsessed with pieces being right,” she says, explaining that when she does outsource any of the work, “I will send something back again and again.”
Many of the pieces feature agate stone pieces Goldwyn sources from Israel, as well as vintage chain links scoured from all corners of the globe. “By nature, I’m a collector,” says Goldwyn, explaining how she finds the original chains. “I’m always hitting up every single flea market.” She then deconstructs the pieces and keeps all the parts, looking for the perfect thing to pair them with. “I have boxes and boxes [of parts]. It’s like an obsessive-compulsive’s dream,” she says of her studio.
Even her own jewelry is not safe: “I’ll hack into my own collection if I need a clasp that I can’t find,” says Goldwyn, who is known in social circles for her adventurous taste and vast vintage collection.
Starting Wednesday, the fruits of her labor — her first stand-alone collection — will be exhibited at Opening Ceremony, for customers and potential retailers alike.
“These are statement pieces,” she says. “I’m not interested in making delicate, trendy pieces,” though she would like to do a lower-priced line targeted at teenagers. (The ones at Opening Ceremony run from $500 to $6,500.)
In the meantime, perhaps Goldwyn should turn to her own jewelry to get better: The copper nuggets she uses for some earrings, bracelets and necklaces are said to have healing properties. “I personally have a lot of back pain,” she says. “It really helps to wear copper.”