If you ask Nate Mell and Wynn Bauer, the best supporting actor in a meal is the plate. They should know: Their Port Richmond-based ceramics line, Felt + Fat, has been the secret of Philly’s top chefs — including Eli Kulp and Nicholas Elmi, both of whom have worked with the duo on custom dishware for their restaurants — since it launched in 2013. Their tonal porcelain, best when rendered in marbleized pastels, is predominantly available by special order, but Mell and Bauer are launching a Kickstarter this month to take the line to retail, so home cooks can serve in style no matter what’s on the menu. From $25 to $64; feltandfat.com.
The best antidote to the dreary stretch of February? A kaleidoscopic burst of greenery, most spectacularly shown in these heels by London designer Sophia Webster. (Think of her as Manolo Blahnik’s irreverent little sister.) The fantasy—a lotus flower snakes around the ankle; pin-thin heels are covered in tiger-striped satin—is grounded with a classic black-patent pointed-toe silhouette. Because sometimes you need to come back to earth, even if you land in a jungle.
This season, Philly’s most au courant shoppers will be abandoning jewelry’s typical splash — glitzy diamonds, spiky crystals, gemstones the size of gumballs — for a far more modern look. The game-changer: Bela Shehu’s “Emily” necklace, the standout piece of the designer’s just-launched accessory collection. The brushed-brass plate, hand-forged by a local artist, is a study in both stark minimalism (it’s strung on a thick utilitarian cord with an unfussy magnetic closure) and over-the-top maximalism (it’s about the size of a small saucer). Consider it the new look of luxury.
Long ago, the pedestrian stud pierced its way into fashion vernacular, dotting everything from leather jackets to heels with a steely gleam. Now the hardware gets the understated treatment thanks to Canadian brand Ela. The studs on this oversize clutch are actually reverse-embossed (and filled with silicone!), for a heavy-metal feel without any of the hard edges — or punk pretenses. Large M.I.L.C.K. clutch, $498 by special order at Saks Fifth Avenue, Bala Cynwyd, or Elabyela.com.
If most oversize baubles are statement pieces, then the colossal collars by Dylanlex are shouted-from-the-rooftop proclamations.
Drew Ginsburg, a 2009 Drexel University grad, first nabbed attention for her handmade jewelry on Instagram. She began creating hefty made-to-orders featuring heaping drapings of Swarovski crystals that have garnered national attention (Rihanna and Rachel Zoe are fans) and now adorn the necks of fashion’s most vocal flock.
For those weary of the watch world’s flashy excess — diamond faces, chunky high-shine links — there’s Analog Watch Co., the Philly-based line from industrial designer Lorenzo Buffa. His watches usher in a more modern luxury, via paper-thin, flexible slices of wood handcrafted into sturdy unisex pieces that also happen to be almost entirely biodegradable.
Drew Ginsburg is something of a social media star, thanks to her glam-meets-grunge style (think: spangled jackets and ripped tees). But the standout in every single one of her Instagram selfies—obsessively stalked by over 80,000 followers—is her jewelry, specifically those necklaces.
How to dress for the office this spring and still be ready for post-work cocktails: a blend of loose, airy white pants, a structured denim jacket (a collarless neckline, three-quarter-length sleeves and bolero fit keep it from feeling too casual), a mixed-media necklace, and a pair of strappy sandals (they look sleek beneath a pant cuff, but give just a hint of sexiness when your legs are crossed). Here’s where to get the look: Citizens of Humanity Thalia jacket, $468 at Third Street Habit, Old City. Lizzie Fortunato ‘Fast Lane’ necklace, $495 at Peter Kate, Greenville. 10 Crosby Derek Lam white trousers, $395 at Intermix, Rittenhouse. Stuart Weitzman ‘Ria’ pumps, $498 at Stuart Weitzman, Rittenhouse.
If anyone knows the power of a smart jacket, it’s Walé Oyéjidé, who has worn his fair share while working as an attorney. Outside the courtroom he pursues his Philly-based menswear line, Ikiré Jones, which turns out sharply tailored versions with splashes of West African prints, a nod to his Nigerian heritage. The standout of his spring/summer collection: this unstructured double-breasted linen jacket, with wide peak lapels and a bright wax-canvas interior — also seen on the underside of the collar. It’s proof that you can’t judge a book by its cover. Or, just maybe, that you should always judge a jacket by its lining. $750 at Ikirejones.com.