Collection Inspiration: Carolyn Rafaelian on Carnivals and Caravans

It may still be very much winter, but we’re dreaming of warm, sunny days ahead! On February 26, 2014, we’re launching our Spring/Summer 2014 Collection, Carnivals and Caravans, an homage to early American amusement shows. Read on to find out what inspired Carolyn Rafaelian, Founder and Creative Director, to design this spirited collection.

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What inspired the collection?

Carnivals and Caravans is reminiscent of the vibrant romance and adventures of life’s ever-changing trails. We looked to the early American traveling carnivals – the swirling colors, the sweet snacks, the thrilling performances. The pieces draw inspiration from the carousel, the trapeze, the tents – even the performers and travelers themselves.

What feelings does this collection evoke?

Enchantment – the intake of breath when watching the stunning spectacle of catapulting acrobats on the high wire, the comfort of snuggling up close to a sweetheart. Children enthralled by the music at the fairgrounds, the warm glow of vendor lights at night – the collection really evokes the carnival’s spirit of delight and wonder.

Why did you choose this color palette?

For the colors, we imagined the event itself. The bright pigments, the glamorous costumes, the food, park rides – colors are everywhere at the carnival. We chose brilliant, rich colors unique to the surreal spectacles of the circus. They evoke not only the excitement of the carnival but also the exhilaration and freedom of the journeying caravans. The hue of Blue Raspberry recalls the sticky-sweet color of icy treats, as well as the rich blue tones before twilight in the open sky. Lemon picks up the delightful bright candy, as well as the dazzling gold trimmings of the caravans.

What do you love about this collection?

I love the candy colors – these pieces shine like circus sparklers. The crystals glitter. The beads glow. The metal shimmers. When worn, the pieces instill a sense of exhilaration and a zest for adventure.

Beyond the thrill and brilliance of the colors, the collection represents the free will of the spirit as it travels on its constant journey. It’s about being present.

I love how we made the collection, with an eye toward the environment. We used naturally-derived materials like the quartz in the Sugar Rush pieces, the mineral and sea-sediment jasper in the Carousel bracelets, and the fire-polished glass beads in the Sparkler bracelets and earrings. For the Traveler bracelets, we used color-resins to penetrate the stones, giving each bead a sheen that gleams. In the spirit of the pioneering caravan travelers who left only memories behind, we leave a minimal mark on the Earth, manufacturing from recycled materials.

What can we expect?

A spirited line of vivid colors, charged with fun and a sense of freedom. The collection strongly symbolizes life’s free-spirited adventures, bursts of fearless color and spectacle evoking everything from journeying caravans to daring acrobats. And as always, each piece was made from recycled metals, and made here in America with love.

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This post was written by Brendon Cunha