Welcome to our second installment of our new blog feature, My Jewelry Box, where we chat with some of our favorite (and most stylish!) customers about their personal collections, their relationship to their jewelry, and their thoughts on adornment and the act of collecting.
Danica has an amazing personal collection, heavy on the ESQUELETO artists (Danica used to be the manager of our Oakland shop!), including her Sarah Swell wedding band, everyday gold studs by Adeline, and lots of big + bold silver stingray pieces by Lauren Wolf. Danica’s jewelry box (or jewelry roll rather – easier to keep away from prying toddler hands!) mixes these statement contemporary designs with family heirlooms and choice vintage finds.
Danica is budding vintage jewelry dealer as well, having launched her collection, dubbed Micki + Gloria, in October when she and her husband and their young daughter relocated to Los Angeles.
Alexis: What is your background in jewelry?
Danica: My aunt was a jewelry designer, so I grew up around all that, playing with her designs, which were crafted from repurposed antique beads and things. She used to collect vintage as well, mostly big gold pieces. Also my dad was an antique dealer, so I grew up with a deep appreciation of the history of objects and artifacts.[Working as the manager of ESQUELETO] was my first real exposure to contemporary jewelry however. It was awesome to meet all these makers and craftsmen, and then to have them become my friends as well.
A: How would you describe your personal jewelry style?
D: There’s a quote from Les Liaisons dangereuses, that’s always stuck with me. To paraphrase: in any body, any clothes you’re wearing, your jewelry is like your armor. It gives you confidence. I have sort of my “mom uniform” that I wear, of vintage jeans and simple blouses. Not laziness exactly, but I don’t do it up as much as I used to now that I have a toddler. What makes an outfit for me is the jewelry, which is probably why I’m attracted to more statement, sculptural pieces.
A: What was the impetus for creating your vintage collection, Micki + Gloria?
D: It was really prompted by my friend Julie, who has a vintage boutique here, Charlie Roquette. She asked me to put together a little collection for the shop. I said yes, absolutely, because that’s like a dream task for me, and that’s how it was born. I now have a collection in her shop, and also online – just an Etsy page for now, but I’m hoping to build that out further.
A: So who are Micki and Gloria exactly?
D: Nana Micki is my grandmother on my dad’s side, and Gloria is my mom’s mother (and my namesake actually – my middle name is Gloria). This collection is not their actual pieces - I’m not selling off family heirlooms - but rather the aesthetic is inspired by the classy and beautiful women in my life. That painting there is one that my grandfather painted of my Nana Micki – she’s still a smokin’ hottie to this day. Both of my grandmothers are quite fabulous ladies.
A: How did you find your focus, aesthetically? I feel like it’s a pretty curated collection with a strong vision.
D: I think a couple of things – my interests have always been art, architecture, design, and so I’m seeing jewelry through that lens. I like really sculptural pieces and as a result I’ve gravitated towards a more mid-century modernist collection (though I do have older Victorian and Georgian items that are more pared down than is typical of those periods). I’m interested in the materials and the shapes, how the jewelry interacts with the body – how this silver collar hangs on the clavicle, for example. Thinking of the body as sculpture, and how that makes you feel as the wearer of these pieces.
A: Do you find a piece, and then go research it? Or are you shopping by searching for specific things?
D: It’s about 50/50 – years of being around antiques and assisting Lauren with the vintage buying for ESQUELETO has given me a good working knowledge of periods and styles, and materials and values. But some of the best finds have been more unique. Like that vintage 1920s signet ring I found engraved with “GR”– upon more research I discovered it was from the Girl Reserves and learned what a cool organization that was. Those are the most interesting pieces to me!