Mixing Old and New, Natural and Not

I'm a big fan of jewelry, but I often feel like I just don't have enough. Isn't that crazy? Necklaces and rings are my weak spot, and like my tattoos, I like when they mean something. They don't necessarily have to, but I enjoy when there's a little something special. When John of Antiquarian Couture reached out to me about his jewelry, I was super excited to see that his work blends old and new with many recycled and reused elements. That means the pieces automatically have a story behind them.

I stepped out for lunch with a few friends recently, and was wearing quite the mix of thrifted and new finds in my outfit. I felt this was the perfect opportunity to sport my new timepiece-inspired necklace from Antiquarian Couture. As I was browsing John's designs, I was struck by this pendant. It blends natural elements such as the Pāua shell piece (commonly known in the Western world as abalone) and industrial elements such as the Victorian pocket watch casing. Encased in resin, the pendant retains a 3D facade. It's simply just too cool. I have a soft spot in my heart for pocket watches because my father used to carry one for a long time until he lost it on a family vacation. If you didn't know, my left arm tattoos are all family-oriented. The next ink addition will feature a pocket watch because of the back story with the one my father lost. 

A lot of John's work is most obviously categorized as "steampunk," but I think it's more accessible than many steampunk accessories that I have seen. His mix of natural aspects, shiny metallics, and quirky colors blend together to keep the focus fresh and not strictly industrial. I can see these being worn by some awfully fancy style mavens! From John: 

"... All of my pieces are real. I don't get cheap, metal stampings. The gears and watch parts are real gears and watch parts. Antique watches have serial numbers in the movements so when I make something with them, I research the serial numbers and try to impart the history of the watch piece to the buyer. I have seen jewelry for sale in many areas and in all of these stores you will not find pieces that are truly unique and one of a kind. Furthermore, the jewelry stores cannot tell you about what you are buying. I include a "romance card" with each of my jewelry. These little cards, have information and history of the materials, printed out. This way the store owner does not have to be an expert on my jewelry and it also means that the buyer has the ability to know about their piece."

Like I mentioned, I love a little history! And pray tell, who doesn't love one-of-a-kind works with a fine attention to detail and true quality? Especially when they are made with love and care locally?

In addition to his work that is available for viewing online at his website, John has work at Cheap TRX, on South Grand, and also at Rabbits and Rags, in Columbia, Illinois. Another blogger in Saint Louis, Cassie of Style Cassentials, also donned a pocket watch pendant from John in a recent post! You're missing out! 

If you're thinking you need to join the club, please visit Antiquarian Couture on Facebook, on the official website, or contact John to request a custom piece.

Outfit Details:

Leopard Crop Top: Thrifted  |  Red Jacket: Leopard Boutique  |  Jeans: Urban Outfitters (similar)
Bracelet: Gift   |   Necklace: c/o Antiquarian Couture  |  Lipstick: Too Faced "Melted Strawberry"