Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Chan Luu Puts The Bracelet In Wraps

Chan Luu jewelry
Vietnam-born Chan Luu and her parents had very different opinions of what she would do when she grew up. Even at a very young age, she showed a strong artistic side and was naturally attracted to form, shape and color. But her parents had other plans.

They were successful business owners in Saigon, and expected their daughter to become a merchant or maybe a doctor. They also wanted to get her out of Vietnam. Although the war didn't always reach them in the coastal city of Nha Trang, they took a rare opportunity to send her out of the country — from Hong Kong to Honolulu to Boston, where Luu eventually enrolled in Boston University.

In 1972, Luu graduated with a degree in business administration from Boston University, but her heart was still tied to art and fashion design. So she moved to Los Angeles in 1975 and studied at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising. Upon graduation, she opened a European clothing boutique in Rolling Hills Estates, but her own designs were put on hold until 1996.

Chan Luu creates some extraordinary and exciting wrap bracelets. 

Although the designs look simple at a glance, the intricacies become apparent on closer inspection. Something happens when Luu matches semi-precious stones, sterling silver, gold vermeil, and custom dyed leathers to make her wraps. They are both contemporary and bohemian, making them striking in casual or formal settings, all depending on the stones and what they accent.

wrap bracelet
The quality of every piece is equally important. The leather is hand dyed. The stones are hand cut. The combinations are carefully planned combinations: gold vermeil and pearls, rose gold nuggets and rose quartz, amazonite and silver nuggets.

Sometimes the stones are all the same color or same size. Other times they become progressively larger and smaller in waves or are laid out in a burst of diversity and contrast. But regardless of the shapes, sizes, there is always something artful and unique about each piece.

Some people tie these qualities to the designer's connection to nature. Many of her designs are inspired by world cultures and the looks they create within semi-precious stones in their direct vicinity. It makes sense, but few people seem to be able to combine them in such a way that Luu does.

A few more graphs about designer Chan Luu. 

Chan Luu
It wasn't always easy for Luu. In fact, there were many years it was hard. She had very little money, and split her time between work and school. And when the time came, she had to decide whether to retain her security (a sandwich shop that supported her at school) or the chance to enter the world of fashion with a tiny boutique measuring no more than 400 square feet. She stuck to her dreams.

Her own designs might have never happened but after being confined to bed because of a freak skiing accident, Luu started putting some beads together and making some fun jewelry. When she put the spontaneous designs into her boutique, they immediately sold. A few years later, a random idea to use hand-painted mother of pearl as a component led to a momentum that hasn't slowed since.

Wrap Bracelets By Chan Luu Tie Up 8.2 On The Liquid Hip Richter Scale.

One of the best aspects of Chan Luu is the story behind the brand. If you ask her the secret to making jewelry stand out among other accessories, she won't hesitate to answer — every piece is fashioned with happiness. When she isn't happy, she stays as far away from designing as possible.

You can find a full collection of Chan Luu jewelry at Creative Contrast, a small team of creative visionaries and trend watchers who have made it their vision to bring the best of the designer world together in one place. In addition to their online store, Creative Contrast is based in Burlington, Vermont, and owns a boutique in San Diego.

As an alternative, Bloomingdales carries some select wrap bracelets from Chan Luu too. While the selection isn't as expansive, sometimes the store carries designs that can't be found elsewhere. In addition to some of the designs above, Chan Luu also makes a line of jewelry better suited for men.
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