Friday, July 24, 2009

Jeweler makes old styles chic again

Monica Macha recycles treasures from the past

Express Staff Writer

Monica Macha sells her unique, recycled jewelry at UrbanMinx in Ketchum. Photo by Sabina Dana Plasse

Being green has many meanings for people, especially when it comes to recycling.

Sometimes, the aesthetics of recycling are not all that appealing. But jewelry designer and part-time Sun Valley resident Monica Macha has taken recycling and environmental consciousness to another level, giving her unique designs a glamorous edge and appeal while honoring the past.

"I do believe there is a way to create beauty without buying things wrapped in cellophane or packaging," Macha said.

Macha finds her unique jewels, chains and clasps at estate, garage and antique sales. She said Sun Valley is a very good place to hunt for hidden treasures. Macha's designs feature oversized, stunning gems, which she describes as "eco-chic" and "modern vintage."

"I have pieces from the '50s and the '70s, which are inspired by periods of history," Macha said. "The pieces are all different, comfortable and make a statement."

Macha's designs range in price from $120 to $380. She said women with confidence tend to wear her pieces, which often have special features such as tassels at the back of the neck or ornate clasps. The idea of one dramatic piece of jewelry with jeans and a tee shirt is Macha's motto.

"Everyone should feel beautiful," she said. "I create one-of-a-kind pieces and one piece is all you have to wear."

Macha's palette of ideas comes from past styles of fashion houses such as Givenchy and Chanel, including their Hollywood glamour style of the '40s and '50s. Macha also creates looks similar to the jewelry of Miriam Haskell, a grand dame of costume jewelry.

Macha also features wrist cuffs with found pieces of leather or skins, which she adorns with jeweled designs.

Her jewelry is sold at UrbanMinx on Sun Valley Road in Ketchum. An assortment of her work is available through the end of the month.

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