we’d heard tales of drawers overflowing with vintage jewels and flea-market
finds in J.Crew collaborator Lulu Frost’s Flatiron studio, where designer
Lisa Salzer makes all of her jewelry by hand. so it’s no surprise we jumped
at the chance to take a look for ourselves.
Lisa’s love of antique jewelry began with her grandmother, Elizabeth
Rock Frost, who had her own estate-jewelry business. “I can’t remember a time in my life
when I haven’t collected jewelry,” says Lisa, who started designing her own
pieces for friends when she was an undergrad at Dartmouth.
For the past five seasons, Lisa has worked closely with J.Crew’s design team to
create a special collection
exclusively for us. Lisa has a team of 11 girls—many of whom
have been with her since the beginning—produce her designs. Here, even our classic
Everly pump in tan suede gets the Lulu Frost update with a pair of antique clips.
Lisa finds inspiration in the everyday as well as in the past. Her spring
2013 collection takes inspiration from Belle Epoque heiress Marchesa Luisa Casati,
jazz age activist Nancy Cunard and surrealist designer Elsa Schiaparelli.
Each nook and cranny in Lisa’s studio is filled with heaps of vintage pieces
and parts she’s sourced from various estate sales, antique dealers and eBay sellers that
she and her family have been working with for years. “Many of the dealers set
aside their most special pieces for me so I can have first dibs,” says Lisa.
“It’s very much like putting together a puzzle,” says Lisa of the jewelry-
design process. “When I make a piece out of vintage and antique components, I lay
everything out and move them around to create the shape of the piece. I spend
hours swapping pieces, like one from the 1950s and another from 1860, until they
form the perfect silhouette.”
“I’m Instagram obsessed,” Lisa says. She has more than 4,500 followers
on the cult photo-sharing app and is constantly posting sneak peeks and sketches of
pieces her team is working on, heaps of jewels she’s picked up at an estate sale
and photos of fashionable friends and buyers who stop by the office to say hi.
to explore all of Lulu Frost’s designs for J.Crew.