At the Accessories Council Excellence (ACE) awards ceremony in New York City last Monday Lady Gaga accepted the “Stylemaker award,” which recognized her commitment to fashion, accessorizing included. Needless to say, she was wearing some sort of costume-like guise. This time it consisted of the usual fashion staples. She wore what looked like a bra/panties ensemble from Marc Jacobs and heels from John Galliano. Both were from the desingers’ spring 2010 collections. What stood out was what she wore on her head. On top of her huge blond poofs of hair was the “Black Chantilly Lace Jett Mantilla.” A quick Spanish lesson: a mantilla (man-TEE-ya) is a lace scarf women wear over the face or shoulders with a large comb placed in the hair to anchor the whole thing.
It wasn’t a Philip Treacy or Stephen Jones creation. So who made it? Accessories design duo Erickson Beamon created this one originally for Anna Sui’s spring/summer 2009 show, but it was never used. But, Gaga picked it up and has helped promote the label with her fashion sexhibitionism.
Karen Erickson and Vicki Beamon, both natives of Detroit, launched their own line of accessories in 1983. They continue to create beautiful chokers, chains and tiered crystal earrings. In fact, online luxury retailer Net-A-Porter.com says they are the duo responsible for “making the word ‘chandelier’ mean more than just a fancy light fixture.” They also made a lower-priced line that was available at Target between February and June 2009. And retailers aren’t the only ones raving about these pieces.
Designers have long been patrons of Erickson Beamon, with design houses like Givenchy, Dior, Chanel and Emanuel Ungaro enlisting its jewellery for their runway shows. Antonio Berardi is quoted as saying, “Collaborating with Erickson Beamon is like finding a gold ticket in one of Willy Wonka’s chocolate bars. A truly magical experience, where delicious, mouth-watering confections of all things precious are literally blown together, forming the most exquisite of trinkets that intoxicate the senses and leave you craving more.”