Creative director Beth Bugdaycay couldn’t have picked a better time to expand her line of customizable, storytelling and heirloom-inspired jewelry, Foundrae.
Drawing on collective feelings of vulnerability in the current political climate, Bugdaycay showed her sophomore collection, With Every Breath, offering talisman-inspired symbols of strength, protection and passion in her 18-karat gold jewelry line.
Bugdaycay, a former Rebecca Taylor cofounder and chief executive officer, doesn’t create by happenstance. The designer goes deep with each new motif. Way deep. Diamond pavé flowers on a long gold “thorn” represent both the light side and the dark side of everything, for instance, a flower strong enough to bloom during times of adversity. A wing motif represents that one isn’t earthbound or limited when it comes to following dreams and taking the proverbial leap off a cliff, and provides symbolic protection from a crash landing.
“Feeling passion gives you this [euphoric] sense like you could conquer anything in the world. You feel breathless,” she said, expressing the passion of the With Every Breath motif engraved in pavé diamonds on a bracelet.
The presentation incorporated art at Manhattan’s C24 gallery with a Mike Dargas exhibition called “Transformation,” a painted-portrait series exploring reality and perception. Bugdaycay enlisted several ceramic artists to create the set design: French artist Juliette Clovis expressed her idea of transformation with ceramic sculptures of a female head covered in butterflies. The designer created ceramic wall-hung face profiles that displayed earrings as well as breastplates as necklace stands, while a series of leaf and insect ceramics by artist Kate Macdowell dotted the display.
Allowing guests to express their own points of view and transformation, Bugdaycay enlisted fashion photographer Peter Stanglmayr to shoot visitors adorned in the jewelry in front of a pieces od “shadow” art by Helen Prior that projected a kaleidoscope of butterflies, an expression of letting go and unbridled passion.
“It’s about releasing and surrendering to the emotion, giving in to the exuberance and not trying to control yourself,” said Bugdaycay. “If you try to put it in a box and make it really neat, it doesn’t work out for you.”