Photos courtesy of Gabriel Machado, from the studio Machado Cicala Morassut in Argentina.
Maybe Candace Bushnell could write a more adventurous femme du monde then Loree Rodkin, designer of her own eponymous line of precious jewelry, eyewear, fragrance, couture and home scents. Her unique journey to her own design luxury empire began with a lucrative chance commission as an interior designer launched by her first client real estate tycoon, Victor Drai, followed by interiors for Brian Wilson, Rod Stewart, Bernie Taupin and Alice Cooper. Her lover, ballet dancer turned actor, Alexsandr Godunov, led her transition into a career as a successful talent manager for superstars to be Brad Pitt, Sarah Jessica Parker, Robert Downey Jr. and Virginia Madsen. In 1988, a hobby evolved into a passion for modern, hip, edgy jewelry design, inspiring her to produce her signature pieces: Goth bondage rings, briolette-studded bracelets, multi hoop earrings, necklaces of Medieval crosses and daggers, and macabre skull signet rings all intricately carved in gold and generously studded with jewels.
"As an artist, I've always been attracted to the ornamental periods in history -- gothic furniture, ornate architecture... nouveua... The romantics. I like the detail in those periods. Nature and architecture are featured heavily in my work."
Her glamorous pieces range from $5,000 to $400,000 and are available at high-end retailers and her own stores internationally. With respect for her business acumen, according to the Los Angeles Times in 2009, Rodkin's company revenues were 12 million a year and climbing. A diversity of Best Dressed List aficionados who covet her designs include: First Lady Michelle Obama, Rihanna, Daphne Guinness (who stacks bondage rings on each hand), Beyoncé, Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen, Madonna and bestie Cher. For Sean Penn's J/P Haitian Relief Organization, Loree designed a beaded charm bracelet to support his life saving outreach work in Haiti.
Celebrity or fashionista, Loree knows her coterie:
"The woman that wears my jewelry embraces jewelry as her unique form of self expression. How she accessorizes sets her apart. From everyone else and becomes her signature."
So what is next for the design diva's empire and Loree's ever free spirit?
Future plans... Funny I've never had a five-year plan, let alone a five minute plan. It all just unfolds. That being said, I've expanded my fragrance and candle line, added couture clothes and bags, and my eyewear. The line is now being sold globally. Home accessories next?
Fabulous. Or as Mae West would say: "Too much of a good thing can be wonderful."