Gwen Meyers of Eden Presley on how she designs and how to wear multi-colored jewelry
When I first met Gwen Myers, the designer behind Eden Presley (named after her two daughters), her collection was making a statement in gold and diamond message bracelets and motto rings. “I launched my jewelry line 11 years ago when my daughter Eden was born,” says Gwen. “I had an idea to design a bracelet with her name on it. Once I started wearing it, friends began asking for them, with their children’s names or different words.” Soon after the collection grew to include everything from inspirational to whimsical phrases and rings that had raised motifs or initials set with diamond on the front that flipped around to reveal engraved sayings on the back.
The next time I saw the collection, Gwen had added bold juicy stones, accented by diamonds and smaller tonal or complementary colors. “When I began working with gemstones, I discovered my true passion,” says the designer whose look has evolved into joyous and unexpected juxtapositions of vibrant hues and exuberant, elegantly irreverent contrasts of rough and fine gem cuts.
Her styles run the gamut from small delicate stackables to large-scale singular one-of-a-kind pieces. The collection has also been inspired by the adaptability of antique and vintage jewelry. For example: day to night earrings are rendered in sizeable studs and pendant drops that are removable. “I love the idea of creating pieces that women can switch around, based on their changing moods and their needs for different occasions.”
Here Gwen and I chat about how she designs with color and how she sees wearing multi-hued, unexpected combinations of gemstones:
Do you follow any rules when you are designing a pendant or a pair of earrings with a variety of different gemstones?
“Rules can stifle you creativity, so I always keep an open mind. For me it’s all about finding a way to keep it orderly in the parameter of the design.”
What are some of your favorite gemstones to work with?
“I gravitate toward stones with an iridescence. Different cuts of opal, moonstone and labradorite tend to show up in many of designs. I also am drawn to the variety of colors you can get with the tourmaline family. It’s a struggle to choose at times because I love all gems for different reasons. I appreciate their different strengths, temperaments, characters, and inherent flaws that often make them more beautiful.”
What are some of the combinations that just ‘happened’ –those that you might not have thought would work together?
“I’m self taught so ignorance has always been bliss for me. I’ve always made what I like and never considered it a problem to mix gems that are precious with those that are, or once were considered semi-precious. My ‘anything goes attitude’ as well as my use of polished rough and exclusive cuts of the natural materials mixed with finer, more perfect shapes open up a much wider color palette and style range for me.”
How do you see women wearing color right now?
“Lately I am seeing a lot of interest in ‘ear games’. Multiple piercings have become fashionable again among all age groups and women who didn’t have them before are getting them done now. I also believe that earrings, which add a glow around the face, are the perfect jewel to start out playing with color, especially when you can wear different variations of styles and hues going up both of your lobes.”
“I also see one multi-color statement pendants with one large stone and then smaller accents gems of a few contrasting colors that look like painting when they are arranged together.”
Do you see women layering or stacking different colors on their fingers or wrists?
“Definitely. I am all for an explosion of color on any part of the body where you can wear jewelry. But it should appear unstudied and thrown together.”
What is the first thing a woman should take off if she fears overdoing it with color?
“If a woman feels she is wearing too much jewelry then maybe it’s best to take off your clothes… Kidding aside, I think a woman needs to look at her entire outfit and decide what piece is tipping the balance.”
What type of fashion do you suggest with multi-color jewelry?
“Women should either allow their jewelry to make their color statement or combine colorful clothes with colorful jewelry. It all depends on your personal style and what you love and feel good wearing. “
How do you personally wear color?
“My go-to pieces are usually one great pair statement earring and a bold cocktail ring. In general, I can’t wear a lot of jewelry when I am designing. But I love putting the colors together. Each piece is a tiny work of art for me.”