Summer Diary: Jewelry Genius Lizzie Fortunato Salutes the U.S. With A Whirlwind Old-School Roadtrip

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After designing a fall/winter '09 collection around the textures of the American West and the feel of the open road (aptly titled "Long May You Run"), I decided to go live this inspiration first-hand! My twin sister and business partner, Kathryn, and one of our best friends and room-mates (and rad graphic designer!) Kate Dougherty, and I hightailed it out of Chinatown for the mountains of Colorado, the canyons of Utah, the open road of Arizona, and, of course, the New Mexican badlands. We hiked everyday, celebrated with margaritas every night, discovered Route 66, and culminated our Southwestern roadtrip with a visit to Walter deMaria's Lightning Field; a land art installation commissioned by Dia Beacon in 1977 in the New Mexican desert. It was all completely surreal and magical--a far cry from Chinatown!
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Above, left: Kate made a new friend at Pine Creek Cook House; the graphics on these wigwams were so inspiring to me - I'm currently cross-stitching a similar pattern! Lizzie003
Above, clockwise from left: On Rt. 66! A storm is rollin' in; Kate on the Kendrick's Peak Trail outside of Flagstaff, AZ; all the old graphics along Rt. 66 were total fodder for Kate, who developed a new-found appreciation for Western fonts and road-side artistry; on the edge of a massive meteor crater, somewhere outside of Winslow, AZ.
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Above, from left: More old graphics along Rt. 66; the Lightning Field - the picture does it no justice. You must go! (Image copyright The Lightning Field / Dia Beacon)
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Above, from left: Kate and Kathryn looking ridiculously cute in wellies and July 4th red-white-and-blue even in the middle of the New Mexico desert; Two Guns - once a Rt. 66 attraction, now a ghost town!
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Above: Mind blown by the emptiness of the road. We're not in Chinatown anymore.
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Above: Lizzie seeking some Navajo Nation inspiration!
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Above: Old cars, big totem, and bright colors outside of Holbrook, AZ.
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Above: All three of us (Lizzie, Kate, Kathryn) together again and ready to eat in Santa Fe!