August 27, 2010
I have known about Philip Crangi the jewelry designer for quite some time now, but it was only recently that I had been introduced to his diffusion line Giles and Brother, which he designs with his brother Giles Crangi. My friend Lauren was wearing what seemed like a stylized version of a Margiela nail bracelet (the skinny railroad spike cuff in brass) and I just had to learn more about where it was from.
The designer Philip Crangi: quite a stylish man himself! (photo by Tommy Ton)
The line is inspired by everything from classic estate jewelry to the textiles of Africa and beyond. Using mostly brass and sterling silver, Giles and Philip create jewelry pieces that are slightly Margielic (with their “repurposing” of railroad spikes, safety pins, and nuts and bolts as jewelry), but evoke that handsome, rustic Americana that is all their own.
Giles and Brother nut and bolt cuff in brass
In an interview, designer Philip Crangi remarks, “Jewelry can function on all these different levels… Often it functions as a talisman, a memento, an heirloom.” The repurposing of common items is very much up my alley; and the rough, gritty charm would serve as the perfect souvenir of the few months I spent living on the Lower East Side.
In solid sterling silver and brass, the Pied-de-Biche (literally “doe’s feet”) cuff is a splurge, but is quite breathtaking.
Their free custom engraving might just be the thing to seal the deal for me, I’m very tempted to have my lesser-known but appropriately archaic-sounding first name etched on to the cuff I purchase.
With the etching in an almost crude, pastoral style, it isn’t so much reminiscent of the flashy ID bracelets of the nineties as it would be evocative of inscriptions on the hardware on your favorite horse.
Iconic and simple (and the most handsomely priced!), the brass railroad cuff shown below might just be the one for me:
Right now I’m off to the shop to try on my picks. Until then!
photos via Giles and Brother