We've been fans of Lizzie Fortunato Jewels for some time now—the line's crafty, hand-woven pieces are just the right mix of downtown style and granny chic. That's why we're excited that for Elizabeth and Kathryn Fortunato's spring/summer 09 collection, the sister duo behind have stayed true to their roots while mixing in a new techniques for a summery, arts-and-crafts camp look.
Elizabeth Fortunato says the the "adventures and reveries" of her camp days were the inspiration for the collection titled "Live Long Summer." Using found and recycled objects like belt buckles and vintage charms, the ladies draw from the past to make their sweet summer memories and create a line bursting with braided, knotted, and sun-faded fabric chokers and bracelets. "I grew up going out west, so there was a lot of looking at native beading and designs," Lizzie says of the influence of tribal crafts in her work. Reminiscing, Lizzie says, "There was a lot of nostalgia that came with the end of camp. You're in this world for the whole summer."
The sisters deft use of fabric sculpturing and their grandmother's needlepoint skills create beautifully detailed pieces that make the line extra-special. Drawing inspiration from the Summer of Love as well as summer camp adventures, the friendship bracelets and rosette necklaces that make up the collection are adorned with peace symbol charms and constructed from groovy floral fabric. With baubles this charming, it's no wonder that the Fortunato sisters have more than a few admirers, including Victoria Bartlett who has commissioned them to create jewelry her VPL spring collection. But their grandmother, who created needlework for the collection's horoscope bags, has even more influence on their work. "She's been making all my samples. She does crewel art—it's extraordinary and her handiwork is beautiful," Lizzie says, adding, "She wants to change my color combos sometimes, but I always have the final say."