By Patricia Wersinger
Young&ng is an haute couture jewelry line launched in 2010 by New Zealand native Michele Ng. Exquisite headpieces and brushed metal cuffs adorned with glass and Swarovski crystal stones evoke an ethereal artistic vision quite unique in today’s world of accessories. This personal vision is simply an extension of Michelle Ng’s own style.
After noticing that a void existed in the market for contemporary statement pieces, Ng started drawing inspiration from historical time periods of opulence and power to create a line of unusual modernity with an edge of antique exoticism. Some of her finely chiseled pieces evoke the prestige and aura of a disintegrating Empire. You may see Pompeii before the volcano through her pieces, Rome before it got ransacked, the Russian Empire before the revolution, images of drama, shock and sublime beauty.
Growing up in Auckland New Zealand with two younger siblings, Ng learned about strength, passion and power from a single parent mother. After attending Auckland’s prestigious Elam school for Fine Arts, Ng received a Bachelors Degree in Fine Arts. She came to New York upon graduating to begin work on her collections.
I asked Michelle Ng what was the inspiration for the pieces in her new collection. “I am always finding inspiration in subjects that are still being discovered or have been around forever and are eternal. For Fall Winter 2011, I was drawn to the Gray’s Anatomy medical book. A beautiful book that holds all the wonders about the human body. It was the drawings and intricate details of the insides of bodies from veins to blood cells to tiny bones that inspired me”. Michelle decided to use the Bodies Exhibit out of a need to touch and feel the bodies she discovered in Gray’s Anatomy. Some of the names of the pieces allude to the body’s anatomy such as the Antique Gold Blood Cell Cuff. Though the metallic embroidery on the pieces imitates the intricacy of veins and vessels, it also brings to mind the refined organic lines of early twentieth Century Art Nouveau design. Some pieces like the Gun Metal Shattered Glass Cuffs are like antique Greek military-wear rethought in an avant-garde sensibility.
I asked Michelle if she felt that a taste of the macabre and terror like that suggested by her Fall Fashion show at the Bodies Exhibit last February was not an undercurrent in today’s trends in fashion but she felt that the macabre and terror have always inspired great artists and designers “though some disguise it more than others” she said.
Her plans for the future include “to collaborate with amazing artists like Karl Lagerfeld, Alber Elbaz, Tom Ford on runway shows and to be able to create the illusion of a different world” she said.
A different world is definitely the sensual vision at the heart of Michelle Ng’s collection. These hard-edged yet delicate pieces seem like the perfect accessories for urban princesses and sci-fi heroines engaged in a battle to defy want, decay and death while remaining cool, radiant, and light. Holding the eternal within an ephemeral vision of beauty is the kind of elusive image that fashion likes to create and this Haute Couture collection drawing its inspiration from the human body evokes a panoply of visions, past and futuristic all of its own. View more of the Young & ng label at http://youngandng.com/. The collection is also available at Henri Bendels.
JEPG Young & Ng Show