FA2L is for anyone who cares about beautiful things–clothing, shoes, accessories, home furnishings–and the interconnected tribes of those who make, sell, market and desire them. If something speaks to you, buy it now or hold your peace: there are links in each story, so the item you want is just a click away. I'd like to hear from you, too: please view my profile, use the email button and send me your comments.MG

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

HOORSENBUHS Makes Me Feel... (Mighty Real)

The clothing and accessories we wear should feel as good as they look–that's half the pleasure of owning beautiful things. It's also a quality that can't be copied by average manufacturers, because most mass-produced goods are tethered to the lowest common denominator.

Designer Robert Keith shares Oscar Wilde's simple tastes: he's always content with the best. His unisex jewelry collection, HOORSENBUHS (named for a 17th-century Dutch trading ship), uses noble materials like 18k-gold, diamonds (both black and colorless) and soft, but rugged, leather. Everything's sculpted, shaped and assembled in Los Angeles, and the pieces are so finely finished they look newborn, not made: they have an air of inevitability that hallmarks good design. And when Keith drops a ring in the palm of your hand, you're a goner–its weight stirs an awareness of gravity and reconnects you to the earth.

The item we truly covet, however, is a leather strap with gold O rings. Keith makes several versions (the one above has a sprinkling of diamonds), but our favorite is the simplest. Wrapped and tightened around our wrist, it looked vaguely tribal and terribly chic. Best of all, it felt protective, like a contemporary talisman. Or, more accurately, like armor for a 21st-century fashion warrior.