From Reem Acra’s dreamy hand-embroidered dresses parading down the runway with charming tulle parasols to Rita Vinieris‘ sea-inspired beach paradise collection, New York International Bridal Week swept the #beUgals off their feet and into an enchanted storybook highly colored with silk, lace, pearls, tulle and much more. We were mesmerized by Godesses of love, beauty and magic. Join us on our #bridalmagic journey through the next few months as we reveal our latest fashion fascinations from Bridal Week.
“We believe that the crown should be as real as the queen wearing it.” -Heart of Gold
Our first precious gem to share with you is Heart of Gold. The majestic ladies of Heart of Gold specialize in exquisitely curated vintage and precious materials to create heirloom quality headpieces (something old, something new!). These timeless pieces are created from antique materials from all over the world and are crafted to last for generations. Each rare material has it’s own unique history and past life. Some materials have traveled far and been loved by many—all carrying on magic from person to person. As fellow treasure hunters/vintage lovers, it is no wonder the vintage gods spellbound Be U and Heart of Gold together.
Founders/Treasure Hunters/Designers, Heather Wells and Gillian Chadwick sat down with Be U to share insight on their unique process and beautiful world.
Q: How was Heart of Gold born?
Gillian: Heart of Gold was born by a variety of stars lining up at the right place and time and all pointing in one direction! It started with Heather Wells, the owner, creator, and prime force of the brand. She had been running a company called Bright Lights Little City (beautiful handmade lighting) for twelve years after graduating RISD. She was on “The Martha Stewart Show” for it, and appeared in Newsweek, Fab and Uncommon Goods, but she always had her eye open for new directions in which to create. Heather is a champion treasure hunter—I’ve never seen anything like it! She finds gorgeous antique materials from all over the world, and in particular had come into an astonishing collection of gold and silver plated flowers from mid-century. They are from a private collection that is truly mind-blowing, and in combination with scores of other magical materials she had collected, I think that high-end bridal headpieces started to emerge as a clear direction.
I met Heather when I first came to visit New England from my hometown of Philly. Her husband and my boyfriend have been best friends since high school, and I literally walked into their door and right into an excited conversation with her that has continued to this day. I have a background in bridal headpieces (ran a company called Elemental Dream Day in the early aughts) and jewelry production, but my main love is rock and roll, so I wear headpieces fairly regularly…on stage with my band!
Heather: Absolutely! Heart of Gold was born out of a few driving forces! The first is the dynamic mentorship with my friend who has given me an exceptional collection of gold and silver plated flowers from the mid-century, along with the artistic wisdom that comes from creating for the past 93 years! The second star force is the artistic collaboration and very special friendship that Gillian and I have. The last force is the feeling of the universe telling me this is the right time for Heart of Gold to be born!
Q: On your hunt for treasures, what do you look for? Once you find the treasure, how do you use your talents and craftsmanship to incorporate the heirloom treasure into a one-of-a-kind piece?
Gillian: Well, Heather is the treasure hunter, but I can tell you that from our conversations I know she is zeroed in on texture, tactile luxury and craftsmanship. We’re both obsessed with the materials being made with the utmost care before we make them into designs. That’s one main reason so many vintage materials are used. As anyone who wears vintage knows, the craftsmanship was on another level in the past century. Heather also loves materials with a good provenance—the story of the how the items were created, or came to be in our pieces, is important. Since they’re becoming a piece that will be someone’s heirloom, and a part of their personal story, it’s all the better when they traveled from distant lands and were made by hands that cared what they were doing.
Once the materials are collected we both use our multiple decades of experience in craft and jewelry to make them strong, beautiful, quality items. For designing we’ve extensively researched crowns and hair accessories throughout history and art, as well as drawing on the edgier styles of bohemian and rock and roll that we both love. What I think emerges is something both hyper-romantic and cool.
Q: How do you incorporate magic into each piece?
Gillian: We listen to great music and care deeply about the experience someone is going to have wearing one of the Heart of Gold pieces. There is also a priority treatment given to the art of the piece. No expense of time or quality is spared to make each design as gorgeous as we can possibly make it. We know that’s what brides want out of their experience.
Heather: The magic we incorporate into each piece is infused by doing what we love, and making the very best piece we can with our hands.
Q: If Chicago brides were interested in a one-of-a-kind piece, where could they find it?
Gillian: Heart of Gold just debuted last week at the International Bridal Week show, and we were both thrilled and honored by the response. We’re working with a number of stores right now and stockists will be listed soon on the website, as well as a retail arm of the business for brides to buy direct.
Heather: Absolutely! Our Etsy site should be up and running over the next few months. In the meantime, please visit www.HeartofGoldDesigns.com and please sign up for our mailing list on the contact page to hear about coupons, sneak peaks, exciting collaborations and exciting news!
Heather and Gillian had a crown worthy debut at Bridal Week with their beautifully meaningful headpieces. We love that these unique adornments will carry on love for generations and carry stories of the lucky brides who wore them on their special day. Our very own founder/creative director, Sacha Krasney wore her Heart of Gold headpiece this week on WGN News sharing tips on how to host a Gatsby inspired wedding! Our fashion fairytale will continue in the upcoming weeks, so stay tuned for more #bridalmagic.