Montclair, a small(ish) town in Essex County, NJ, is home to several interesting shopping destinations (as long as you ignore stores that offer sweaters with appliquéd cats, mass-produced sweatshop Buddhas and cheaply made clothes). The used bookstore, Montclair Book Center has a basement full of treasures, the antique center on Church Street is huge and offers countless of interesting items from crazy kitsch to fine art. And then there's Gallery Loupe that exhibits contemporary art jewelry.
Gallery Loupe is the kind of place you'd expect to find in the most sophisticated neighborhoods around the world, from Manhattan to Paris. The modern minimalistic space displays the work of established artists as well as emerging talent from all over the world. Some of them use unusual materials, others employ new techniques to create their jewelry. The result is exquisitely made pieces that I can easily see on the most influential runways.
Trying them on is a lot of fun. I played with necklaces, rings and bracelets that transformed my simple black cotton jersey dress (J. Crew, of all things) into a sophisticated fashion statement. The John Iverson bracelets you see above were my absolute favorites. They're fluid and alive, meticulously handmade and absolutely gorgeous. His work used to be available at Takashimaya, NYC. Here are some of the other artists that caught my eye:
Louis Mueller (the ring I tried on was asymmetric and had more facets. I felt like running home and redoing my nails to make them worthy of it)
Barbara Seidenath (I tried a necklace that matches these earrings)
The prices are in the 4 digit range and worth every penny in my opinion. Everything is made by hand and the artistic vision, attention to detail and overall quality make them much more unique than anything else I've seen elsewhere.
Gallery Loupe is located on 50 Church Street, Montcalir, NJ . Closed on Mondays.
Photos of John Iverson bracelets: taylorgilbert.files.wordpress.com
All other images: www.galleryloupe.com