Q+A: Alexis Bittar On The Beauty Of Lucite And His Brand Of Maximalism

ALEXIS_PORTRAITBrooklyn tastemaker and jewelry designer Alexis Bittar has come a long way since selling his handmade designs on the streets of New York City’s Soho in the ’90s. Today, he’s got more than 200 employees and a seemingly endless supply of imagination, creating a new era of refinement showcased in his coveted Lucite, Elements, and Miss Havisham collections — back on Gilt today at noon ET. Read about his inspirations (antiques! punk rock!), and then shop the most lust-worthy Alexis Bittar pieces for spring.

StyleFile: When you sit down to create a new collection or collaboration, how do you begin? Are you an artist with a method to his creative madness, or is it a different experience every time?

Alexis Bittar: I look at historical references. I love antiques. I try not to look at other jewelry, but I do look at the runways and feel where I want things to go and what was missed. I try to harness that energy and embody it in jewelry.

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“Empire” Exclusive: Naomi Campbell Dishes on Playing Camilla Marks

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Forget getting dolled up for a Saturday on the town: The moment we most look forward to all week is officially Wednesday night on the couch, when FOX’s sizzling hit Empire unfolds in all its stylish, addictive glory. The season finale airs tonight at 8pm ET/PT, and to celebrate, we’re selling a killer Marc Bouwer dress worn by guest star Naomi Campbell, straight from the set—with the proceeds benefitting her charity, Fashion for Relief.

“Camilla works in the fashion industry, so her wardrobe and her look are very important,” Naomi tells us. “The looks that the stylists pull definitely help me get into character and get in touch with Camilla. She has a really fun wardrobe!” They have that in common—but that may be about it. “Camilla’s just so opposite of me,” Naomi says, “so I think we all tend to like things that are opposite of us, and things we can get to play out and say, ‘Oh, it’s just acting!'”

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Say Yes to Kleinfeld Bridal’s First-Ever Online Sample Sale!

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Let’s be fair here: You hardly need a ring on your finger to be super enthused about Kleinfeld’s first-ever online sample sale, launching at noon ET exclusively on Gilt. In fact, a healthy obsession with TLC’s “Say Yes to the Dress” will do just fine—because we’ve tapped the show’s most trusted bridal consultants to dish up advice for choosing the most important dress you’ll ever wear. Study up, then shop the sale to discover your own dream dress at up to 50% off.

StyleFile: What’s your advice for a bride who has no idea what she wants to wear? Should she look at magazines, celeb photos, Pinterest—or just start trying on?
Debbie: My advice for a bride who has no idea at all is to search kleinfeldbridal.com, plus other bridal websites such as theknot.com and to browse through magazines. The bride should bring the pictures to her appointment and let the consultant know how she wants to feel on her wedding day, whether that’s romantic, sexy etc.
Antonella: Photos are the best way to start.  Search our website and Pinterest and bring photos of your favorite gowns to your appointment. It will help give me an idea of your style.

SF: What’s your advice for a bride who thinks she knows exactly what she wants? Should she consider other options?
Debbie: You only buy a wedding gown once (hopefully) so all options should be explored. You need to say no sometimes to confirm the yes!
Antonella: Don’t get your heart set on a gown you have seen in a magazine until you try it on.  Photos can be deceiving.

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Q+A: Alexis Bittar On Inspiration and His Dream Collaboration

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As the statement necklace trend has evolved into the statement everything perma-trend, a few of the boldest modern masters have emerged as true influencers. Alexis Bittar, the Brooklyn-based designer with a seemingly unending imagination, is chief among those that set the trends—and his lust-worthy lucite and intricate gemstone pieces are back on Gilt today at noon ET. We’re celebrating by asking him to weigh in on influences, inspiration, and spotting his own pieces on the first lady. Read on, then shop our favorites.

StyleFile: You’re part of an elite group of jewelry designers who have really reinvigorated the fashion jewelry scene–why do you think the category has become so important again in recent years?
Alexis Bittar: I think the market has been primed for a while for accessories that are bold and push the envelope. As the world becomes more commercialized, people are increasingly looking to accessories and jewelry as personal statements of individuality – the more unique and daring that statement is, the better!

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