Wednesday

MOMMA $HAM$ JEWELRY

My mom always liked to make an entrance. I remember women screaming in terror as she walked in sporting a family of lifelike tarantula broaches on her shoulder. Her love of insect jewelry is trumped only by her love of leopard.

Here's a portion of mom's leopard bag collection discovered on a recent storage scavenger hunt. The pièce de résistance is a leopard print bag in the shape of a leopard.


Also of note: the tiger stuffed animal is wearing a tiny leopard backpack

Abstract just isn't in her nature. The soap holders in my mom's house are porcelain hands sticking off the wall. Every lamp is held up by a lady or gent. She has an extremely disturbing coffee table whose glass top is supported by a life sized sculpture of a child on his back. My mom once took a jewelry class and the instructor, frustrated with all her life like creations, demanded she make something nonrepresentational. So she designed a roundish pendant filled with little beads. It was obviously a pomegranate. 

When we were little she would let my brother and I wander the mall freely as she scoured the shops for something unusual. Once she found us at the large central fountain, we were maybe 5 and 6 years old. My brother was wading through the water collecting coins and I was standing at the edge holding a big bag of change, waiting for the next deposit. The security guards were unamused. My mom, on the other hand, still laughs about it.

My mom and brother 

Her shopaholic nature caused a lot of friction with my dad but I realize now it was her creative outlet. I am just like my mom and the thought of being a housewife makes me suicidal. Shopping got her out of the house, let her be creative, and infuriated the enemy.

She was also amazing at school art projects, staying up with me to create such blockbuster pieces as 6th grade's wildly elaborate mini horse-drawn carriage, 8th grade's cool at the time punk rock Halloween pumpkin and 10th grade's controversial life sized "Self Portrait on Cross". When I was at DKNY Jeans she made several styles that went on to be best sellers and once I started my own line she would stay with me for weeks fixing my majorly fucked up samples from India. I would have never completed a collection without her.

Self Portrait on Cross still on display at chez Shams

When I was younger I thought I lost the genetic lottery. I inherited my dad's flightiness, my mom's rebelliousness, and I somehow managed to be shorter than both of them. While most first generation Persian kids become doctors and lawyers my brother and I were late blooming weirdos. But now I'm thankful that I got my dad's sense of humor and my mom's creativity, as well as her magical ability to wear huge heels everyday (despite also inheriting my dad's comically flat feet).

My mom continued making jewelry after the pomegranate episode. She and her bff Sandy have collected hundreds (millions?) of vintage pieces which they combine to make one of a kind necklaces. I'm gonna start selling some on my site - here's a shneak peak

Turquoise Buddha necklace
Black metal mesh necklace with copper snake head
Lizard choker

19 comments:

  1. Beautiful designs. I loved the last picture the most. Its super natural.

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  2. OMG, the "Self Portrait on A Cross" is really fucking creepy! Put it on a T-shirt!!

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  3. ob. sessed. with the gecko necklace. You come from a super creative family!

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  4. Love that photo of Mama Shams and Bij! Love the jewelry!

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  5. Your mom's jewelry is great. I need that Buddha head.

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  6. Oh my goodness. Your Mum sounds so much like mine. My family is Persian too. This post made me smile and cry too because it brings up good memories of my childhood. Love your work*

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  7. I love the mall story hahah! jewelry is fabtastique! xo

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  8. I love this post- your mom's style is awesome and your 10th grade self portrait is priceless!!!

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  9. Yes, your mom is cool, cool in the way that she can wear beetle, asp, hornet, dragon fly, and other bug jewelry and put Cleopatra to shame. I am lucky enough to own two of her pieces, which my 18 month old son loves to pet. OH, and since your appearance with Joe ZEEEE aired, I no longer say fuck in front of her. Here's to hoping you make a size 14 sample....

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  10. I love this post- your mom's style is awesome and your 10th grade self portrait is priceless!!!

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  11. Saniya GhalehdarJune 22, 2011 at 6:26 PM

    Oh my goodness. Your Mum sounds so much like mine. My family is Persian too. This post made me smile and cry too because it brings up good memories of my childhood. Love your work*

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  12. OMG, the "Self Portrait on A Cross" is really fucking creepy! Put it on a T-shirt!!

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  13. awww so glad to hear that

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  14. i got scolded today for saying fuck

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  15. thanks! whatever happened to that t-shirt project?

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  16. perhaps i will! maybe a caftan

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  17. I am so envious of the animal jewelry especially. Now how about that rum cake recipe??

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  18. Your Mom and you are both amazing! You both have your own eclectic style that speaks volumes... And you won't change it for anyone... That is what makes someone fashionable.... In my opinion. I have a huge collection of vintage jewelry that I gave to friends because I couldn't tear it apart for parts... I can't tear apart amazing things just for the sole part of making new ones...as a designer I buy things alone... And individual. Even though I am Eco and buy vintage parts! I swear I am not stalking you lol... I just laugh at how much we are alike and how much you are just uncensored... Because I have had to censor myself and would love to stop! Hahaha... All the best~ Tracie

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  19. Too much wine... And on iPad... Didn't mean to post as info... Oops... I am Tracie! Haha

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