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Librarian by day, creative force by night, Brooklyn based Julie Tran Lê is a Renaissance woman of sorts. Armed with her Master’s degree in information & library science, Lê heads The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute Library, where she helps designers and scholars research fashion history. The job informs her own love of vintage, which is directly expressed in Lê’s preference for dressing in the ladylike silhouettes of the 1950s – a decade that has not only shaped her unique sense of style, but influenced her choice of design projects. In forging a new definition of elegance and domestic goddessness, Lê has created a jewelry line and a mini baking empire.
Lê has been making jewelry since high school and her line has been sold in stores from New York to Japan to Singapore and Dubai. CRUNCHY JEWELS are one-of-a-kind jewelry made from segments of broken vintage chains that have been intricately pieced together and reworked. This craftsmanship is taken a step further in her latest collection, in which she has incorporated brightly colored yarn and string. Lê's limited edition pieces can be found at Stuart & Wright, and custom orders are available upon request.
Lê’s handmade approach to design carries over into her epicurean pursuits. Mirroring her omnipresent cherry red lipstick is the red velvet interior of her cake balls, SWEET JEWELS. Hailed by Daily Candy as the “belle of the balls,” Lê’s confectionery treats are created by crumbling red velvet cake into cream cheese frosting which is then dipped in chocolate and rolled in coconut. The ultimate indulgence in a small, ball-shaped serving, these cake balls have been making a regular appearance at private events at Susan Sarandon's ping-pong club, SPIN NY. Sweet Jewels were also the exclusive culinary treat for the opening of Todd Oldham’s exhibition “New Voices, New Works” at the Wolfsonian Museum, which made its debut at Art Basel Miami 2009. Lê’s latest project – a collaboration with Lipstick Queen Poppy King – is perhaps her most personal. Both women have built businesses based on products they wholly developed and love. A mutual obsession with creativity is the foundation for a partnership that will see Lê create new cake balls inspired by the latest that Lipstick Queen will have to offer.
For cake ball inquires: info at sweetjewelsnyc dot com
For jewelry inquiries: info at crunchyjewels dot com
Copyright Julie Tran Lê 2010