Tag Archives: angelena

Norma Ishak: Hand Crafted Luxury

This week I had the opportunity to meet up with a representative from Norma Ishak. This luxury brand based in Lebanon specializes in knitwear accessories that are stitched by hand to perfection from top quality luxury yarns and materials. Norma’s brand is new to the United States but her reputation precedes her. She is known for designing products for royal families and has been in the business of making luxury accessories for the past 30 years. She began designing as a young girl. At 15 Norma had already begun to experiment with pattern making and creating custom pieces. Her passion for knitting started out as a hobby of hers and later grew into a full blown label. The reason Norma decided to concentrate on scarves was because she felt a beautiful piece of neckwear could complete any look.

As a young girl Norma made pieces for friends and family and over time people within her community began to notice her flawless craftsmanship and taste. She crafts all of her pieces from vintage one-of-a-kind- yarns that she has in her personal collection. These yarns that are the life of her designs are acquired from all over the world and are carefully inspected to insure that they are of the utmost quality.

Not only does Norma hand knit and design each individual piece, but she also has good intentions. Women who work under Norma use knitting as a way to gain independence and a sense of self and each woman has her own special piece she works on. This allows them to get out of their normal household environments and express themselves.

A few photos from the meeting:

Jac wearing a few pieces.

Can you believe those beads are actually made of yarn?

One of my favorite pieces. I adore french lace.

More of the collection:

The New Yorker Collection

The Slater Collection

The 54 Collection

The Angora Collection

The One Of A Kind Collection

(All images copywright of Norma Ishak)

After meeting Norma’s daughter Valerie Mouawad, I decided to get a little bit more in depth and figure out more about her mother and her inspirations. Here are a few questions for you the readers:

What inspired your mother to exclusively focus on knitwear?

-Norma likes to focus on knitwear and accessories because she feels it completes a look. Each individual stitch is handcrafted with precision and yarn is a very versatile medium to work in. It can create all kinds of textures and stitches and allows a lot of creativity.

What inspirations did you have in mind while designing your collection?

-There isn’t one general collection. It’s almost like a bunch of mini collections all with their each individual appeal. Norma assigns a woman to a certain stitch and then that woman expands on the stitch and style and does it in several different color schemes. There is no one source of inspiration Norma designs according to what’s inspiring her that moment. This can be any number of things.

Was your mother inspired by any other well known designers as a child?

– She absolutely loves Chanel. That definitely has to be her favorite. Also YSL is another great brand she admires.

Where do you acquire your materials from and what does the process entail?

– A lot of the yarn and materials Norma has are from her personal vintage stock she’s collected over the years. Norma scours many different parts of the world to find the finest materials and just adds them to her personal collection.

How long has the brand been an active label?

– It’s been active for several years. We are more prominent in Lebanon but we are now branching out to the U.S. and have our online store up. We’re looking for a permanent location in New York City as well.

Many thanks to Valerie from Norma Ishak. It was great meeting up and seeing the collection and it defintely made me a fan. If you’d like to shop Norma Ishak simply go to www.normaishak.com.

-Angelena at Hipster Scum

Junk Nails: Anything But Junk

I totally think Intern Angelena has a new career…Nail Technician. Seriously her nails look so good, and this is the first attempt.

So lately I’ve been obsessed with nail art and what we would like to call “junk nails”. Basically it’s over the top nail art that isn’t so much wearable as it is fun to look at. It’s basically a anything goes type of nail art where anything you could possibly think of is put on nails. Lots of little acrylic pieces, gems, etc. I’ve seen some pretty crazy designs and also found an amazing supply store for starters interested in trying it out for themselves. It can get a little pricey, but if your looking for a new creative hobby like I was, you’ll find it incredibly fun as well as time consuming. So without further mention I would like to put some focus on my ignorant attempt to do some nail art of my own. It took me an entire night to do these nails and I will explain very briefly how I did them and what materials I used. So enjoy =]

The camera made it look like the gold nail polish has gaps but in reality it turns out one solid gold color.

The things I used to make these nails:
-One set of 200 Kiss glue on nails. You can choose to do gel but I decided to go with a faster approach because this was only for fun.
-OPI Nail polish in Rumba Romance
-Some Kiss press on jewels
-Very small copper leftover chain from my jewelry line. You can find chain at any craft store just make sure it’s the smallest size you can find.
-Nail glue
-Sally Hansen top maximum growth top coat

And here are the steps:
(1) First find the nails that match your nail size. If the preset nails don’t fit file them down to the appropriate size. Take some acetone nail polish remover to clean your nails and run over them with a cotton ball. After that take a nail and apply a little nail glue to the nail and on your nail as well. Press an hold for 10 seconds. Do this for each nail until all nails are on.

(2) Next take some clippers and a file and shorten them to the length you desire. I kepy mine the size they already were so I would have room to stick the chain and jewels. If you don’t file yours down simply clean the edges up so they’re nice and smooth.

(3) Apply OPI nail color in 3 separate coats until the glitter is built up and doesn’t have any gaps.

(4) After applying the nail color take a length of chain and ready it to be applied. Apply a thin layer of topcoat to the nail and stick the chain on quickly but try to make it a straight diagonal line from one of the top corners of your nail. After it is secured on the nail take a pair of nail clippers and clip any excess chain off. Repeat this for each nail.

(5) After each nail has chain secured on it take a pair of tweezers and pick a jewel and ccarefully place it along the chain in a straight diagonal line. Work your way to the tips of your nails until the space is filled. Repeat for each nail until all of the are bejewled.

(6) Once your nails have all the decor on them take a generous amount of topcoat and paint over the jewels, chain, and nail. Do this for each nail and let them dry… preferably in front of a fan or with a manual nail dryer. And you’re finished!

Here are some other nail art examples that I died over when searching:

The last image was the one I used to inspire my simpler design.

Be sure to follow me on bloglovin if you want to see more nail DIY’s because after this first attempt being so fun I can’t wait to try my complex designs. And I will definitely give junk nails a try.

-Angelena We Are Hipster Scum

Pre-Fall/ Early Fall 2010 Top Trends and Ready To Wear Looks

Every new season I put together a little sketchbook full of the latest casual trends that are ready-to-wear and easy to attain. I usually use UO catalogs because I get 2 sent to my house everytime (so it’s a lot easier to cut them up and feel guilt free because I save EVERYTHING). Cliche as it may be UO has stepped up it’s game over the past few years and it becomes more and more refined as time goes on. (Too bad the prices become more refined as well). So here are a few pages describing some top trends, looks, and key pieces that everyone should look into for the fall season coming up.

Also I strongly recommend to anyone to make this a habit. Buy yourself some nice little sketchbooks and keep your ideas on hand at all times. It keeps you focused on what you really like and avoids those moments where you buy something and never end up wearing it because you weren’t as fond of it as you though you were. Only keep the things that really catch your attention and you fall in love with. And do it every season to keep up with the progression of trends and so you can notice the directions in which things are going. Even if you just write some comments do it. It’s incredibly useful and it’s fun!

-Angelena We Are Hipster Scum

It’s Shark Week!

It’s Shark Week, and I was browsing around looking for a new desktop background for this laptop because it was recently gifted to me by him and I haven’t “personalized it yet”. But as I was doing so I came across a pair of Miu Miu knockoffs on a very small supplier’s store and decided to post them up in dedication to the beginning of shark week. Too bad they’re sold out or I’d totally nab a pair just for funsies. I’ll probably do a DIY on them later… who knows. So without further chit chat here are those beautiful babies. Photo sources are listed below photos.

I later decided to add a few more things to this post. Once again none of these images are mine. Check out these lovely shark inspired pieces as well as novelty items!

I especially love Noir’s shark ring. I definitely want to rock that aggressive piece of ice.

-Angelena Hipster Scum

What Does Fall Mean In Terms Of Jewelry?

This is the first post from one of TFAS’s new interns. Her name is Angelena, and she has a blog called Hipster Scum. She will be writing about jewelry and other fashion related things. I hope you like her posts and the other intern’s posts.
This fall seems to be following a scheme of seven major trends some we were expecting and maybe some that were a little more unexpected. Naturally when we think of fall we think of mother earth and it definitely shows with the current trends rearing their heads for fall. Every time fall comes around I get really excited because majority of my favorite accessories are fall related in origin. Plus I’ve always been a girl to pay homage to mother earth. 

So without further rambling here are the current trends that are topping the charts in the jewelry department according to Savvy Anne. Anne Rush is currently a professional design director in the  fashion jewelry business in NYC. She has directed fashion jewelry lines for Kenneth Cole, Monet, Sigrid Olsen, Liz Claiborne, Ellen Tracey, and Jennifer Lopez, and others. Definitely a jewelry insider and one you can trust to point you in the right direction


Bold Statements and Mixed Media
The ever so popular statement necklace has been super hot for quite some time now and it definitely isn’t slowing down. Although spring focused on pastels and brights and not necessary gargantuan necklaces fall is calling for bigger. Also the more mixed media the better. Whether it’s mixing textures, patterns, types of gems or jewels, or even just mixed metals the more eccentric the mix the better. So use fall as the opportunity to think outside your comfort zone and go big or go home.

Strong Motifs
Any kind of motif you can continually carry on through your outfit in other means like accessories, other jewelry, or prints on your clothing is a strong statement for fall. There are several important motifs for fall but don’t follow trend motifs only pick some of your favorite and work your outfits around the motif. Whether it be snakes, elephants, a fluer de lis, keys, flowers, birds, scarabs, or what have you express yourself through your motif and have fun with it!

Metals (my personal favorite)
Metals are pretty much always popular but we’ve been seeing an outbreak of hardware all year this year. Remember to coordinate the finish of you metals to the mood you want to portray. A plated finish evokes traditional status and any burnished plating gives more of a vintage or antique feel. The one thing in particular I always try to do is mix metals. Whether its copper, silver, and gold or antique finishes with other types of jewelry like pearls take the opportunity to find the combinations you like best. And don’t be afraid to find some eccentric choices.

We’ve seen more than enough play with fringe over the summer due to the hippie boho trends that come peeking through. This is also translating over into fall. Whether its leather, chains, or fabric let it be known that fringe is not leaving anytime soon. I’ve even seen a few fringe necklace made of human hair! Completely amazing. So coordinate your fringe to the feel you want to portray in your outfit. Leather and chains usually read as edgy or rock and roll while nicely finished chains can be paired with an basic or clean cut look. This is also the perfect opportunity for you to try and make a fringe DIY project for yourself becau
se they are incredibly simple. Barely any homework required.

Earrings have been pushing the limits of fashion this year with pretty outlandish designs. They seem to be getting bigger and bigger as time passes. But don’t forget about our little friends the post earrings. They need love too. If you go for bulk this season try for bulk without weight. Filligree stampings and layering of chains help build size and body without adding too much weight to your poor earlobes. And color is also very important. Remember to stick with fall colors trends this season which will be mentioned in the net category. And remember when wearing larger earrings too many accessories seem to make oneself look gaudy so I always use the rule of thumb as explained by Coco Chanel. “Before you leave the house look at yourself and take 1 things off”. And you’ll never commit another accessory faux paus again.

Fall Jewelry Color Palettes
Fall always focuses on taking colors and palettes from the earth. Deep greens and rich purples paired with teal or fuschia are failsafe color palettes. But don’t limit yourself there. I’ve seen a lot of jade greens, deep blues, hot reds, and ochre yellows. So there’s literally a color for everyone. I personally love greens, blues, and purples. And don’t forget to find nice metals to match. Gunmetal plates and worn gold are great settings for these failsafe colors.

Jewelry Sets
American women love matching jewelry sets (personally I don’t know why because I hate to match). So definitely invest in a few for fall. Especially metal sets because if need be they can be mixed at your leisure. And remember to create trios. For every necklace there should be a great bracelet or earring to match. Whether it literally matches or complements another piece when it comes to color or style. I won’t be providing examples for this one only because I want you to take your own path here. So don’t be scared to try new combinations this season. Anything goes this fall and we should take advantage of it!

Photos from:
Jewelry Business Blog
Design Boom
Winifred Grace
Barneys New York