Vintage beauty comes in the form of stones, pearls and a hint of sophisticated elegance. When a woman prepares to make an entrance on a special evening out, nothing makes her stand out more than jewelry that has been made to accentuate her natural beauty. Even more amazing is jewelry that is like a work of art brought to life drawing attention to the curves of a woman’s body, the unique bone structure in her face, the nape of her neck and the splendour in her eyes.
Nicole Francine Morris is the Buffalo based designer behind Franci Jewelry. Growing up with a mother who was a stylist and manager of high-end fashion boutiques, Morris has always been surrounded by fashion. Even her brother ended up in the design business. She admits to always wanting to be in the fashion industry, but instead studied social work in college. It was only a matter of time that she would gravitate towards her natural instinct of creativity and design. So two years ago Morris made the decision to dive into the industry launching her first jewelry collection of handmade pieces for women called Franci.
The line includes a variety of items like headpieces, necklaces, earrings and anklets. Each creation has its own unique beauty and becomes a statement to anything a woman wears. Some may liken the headpieces to something you would see on an ancient princess in Egypt or somewhere in the Far East. Some of her work appears to have a South East Asian inspiration or like something we would see a beautiful woman in a Bollywood film wearing. Despite the cultural references she said her designs are for every woman.
Morris is most passionate about her latest couture collection that she debuted at Buffalo Fashion Week. With the desire to take the jewelry to another level she showed a series of pieces that were all custom-made by hand. She refers to the collection as something that “takes you on a high fashion visual journey”; her goal was to exceed expectations with this latest collection. Morris said she still has her hand on every single piece of jewelry and they can take several hours to complete.
As models came down the runway there wasn’t a single piece that didn’t captivate the audience’s attention. The designer combines many materials including brass, crystals and fresh water pearls. She even enjoys reconstructing vintage jewelry to create something new. The jewels are pieced together to create pieces of art any woman can wear.
Weddings, special occasions or just for an evening out. You can pretty much guarantee that the moment you put on one of her pieces you will feel like a princess. When asked what inspires her she said, “Women inspire me when I create. I love that I can completely transform an outfit or the way a woman feels about herself with just one piece.” She is already making an impact in the industry with requests for her work from stylists after doing a show in Los Angeles.
With such creative and interesting pieces some women might shy away from the items because of their extravagance. She talked about how women can incorporate it into their wardrobes, “I challenge women to take a small risk in fashion and pair something with a simple black dress or even jeans and a tank. One piece will completely transform an outfit and they will be shocked by the attention they will receive.” This would especially be true with her Couture collection she launched at Buffalo Fashion Week. The headpieces and body jewelry were stunning show-stopping pieces everyone admired. At present items are not yet available in stores but can be ordered online at www.francijewelry.com.
(Originally published in Shades of Style Magazine; www.shadesofstyle.ca)