Explore the possibilities offered by a clean selection of earring styles.
In a world where we can constantly feel overwhelmed and our closets are often saturated with Things, Grace Wong – founder of Toronto-based jewelry brand Jewels & Aces – finds solace in the creativity that comes from working within borders.
“I’ve always been passionate about jewelry, and I looked at my overflowing jewelry box and thought to myself that I only wear the same pieces all the time,” she says of how she got there. idea for her now two-line one year old. “It planted the seed of what became the capsule of the earring.”
Inspired by the jewelry worn by her mother and grandmother, Wong – whose background is in business accounting – wanted to explore the idea of creating a selection of styles of earrings that could be mixed and matched. , no frills, no frills. From small freshwater pearl studs to understated cuffs, the goal of her designs is to “reinterpret the jewelry around which I grew up”, including the signet rings her mother collected. The emerald-cut silhouette of a ring has been redesigned in the form of emerald-cut studs, for example.
“It started with eight essential shapes,” Wong notes of his brand’s initial offerings – which extended to a variety of studs, huggies, and ear jackets – adding with a laugh that the first limited launch was from “See if anyone else thinks of the idea it’s cool next to me.”
People have indeed decided that Wong’s approach is cool; and it’s even cooler when you consider that the parts are made with recycled metals. “As a self-taught designer, I didn’t really have a basis for ‘This is how you make jewelry’,” she says. “I had to research and work backwards, [and] I had a new set of eyes.
Noting that she wanted to use precious metals to give Jewels & Aces coins longevity, Wong discovered the ability to recycle metals without them losing their quality and she was immediately intrigued. “I wondered how not to use them,” she says, pointing out typical environmental impacts in jewelry design, including those from mining practices.
There is also an inherent recognition of the fashion problem with excess being addressed in the deliberately modest size of the brand’s wares, and Wong impresses with the potential to work within his brand’s defined parameters with his style guides; she emphasizes the element of “pleasure and joy” that comes from creating combinations with her pieces. “[You’re] wear something that is unique to you, ”she says. Wong recalls that when she started Jewels & Aces, she didn’t know “how to explain the concept”. Taking to Instagram to share how her pieces could be worn in different ways, she noticed that her community was asking for more information, and saving and sharing the style tips the brand was offering.
The idea of conveying it goes even deeper than the storytelling that Wong does in his work; it is also at the heart of his inspiration. Noting that her mother “commemorates occasions with jewelry,” she adds that the women in her family have also influenced the way she wears jewelry and heirlooms. “They told and passed on stories through their favorite plays,” she says. “There was never any question of their value – whether they were beautiful or in costume. These are really the stories they hold.