Going for Gold
Vintage meets modern design with Monika Knutsson's Gilded Lace jewelry line
Jewelry designer Monika Knutsson takes vintage to a whole other level with her line Gilded Lace. Preserving the lost textile art of lacemaking, Knutsson uses a gilding process to turn pieces of century-old lace into contemporary wearable art. Sold at Fragments and American Two Shot in SoHo, Knutsson gives The Aesthete her best case for lace.
Both my grandmothers were lace makers. I grew up with an appreciation for handmade lace and embroidery. When I worked for Isabel Marant, I did a lot of research by visiting the Paris flea markets, where I discovered beautiful handmade lace. The lace is often found in small pieces, yellowed and stained, and I wanted to find a way to reuse the lace and convey the history behind it.
When did you start making jewelry?
In 2008. I love vintage clothing, and the lace jewelry is an extension of this passion. By gilding the lace, I take it one step further and turn the lace into modern, wearable pieces that last for a long time.
How long does it take to make each piece?
It takes 3 to 4 weeks from start to finish. I work on several pieces at the same time.
Where do you find the lace you use?
I find it at flea markets and neighborhood sales in Paris, New York and Berlin. Clients will also send me their great grandmother's lace, and I will make heirloom jewelry for them.
What makes your method of making jewelry different from other designers?
I do not make any forms or molds. Each piece is handmade and unique with the original lace inside. The jewelry is signed and numbered. It comes with a piece of the original lace, the story about that particular piece, the name of the lace, what country it came from, how it was used and what year it is from.