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Jewelry designer Nicole Tirona

Jessica Bardosh photo

– by Rachel Fox/photos by Jessica Bardosh

Blim held its first show of the year Feb 21 2010 at its new location in Heritage Hall (3102 Main Street).

One of the vendors will be Blim regular and girl-about-town Nicole Tirona of Itís Your Life handmade vintage accessories.

I first met Nicole about a year ago at The Peopleís Prom, where she casually impressed me with a dress she had made for herself Ö earlier in the day. I say ďimpressive,Ē because it took me weeks to coax and gird myself into navigating the aisles at Dressew Vancouver in order to locate a button to repair my coat. Girl made a dress in an afternoon, then she wore it out in public. Thatís talent, yo.

Jessica Bardosh photo

Jessica Bardosh photo

Nicole is originally from the Philippines and came to Vancouver to study at Emily Carr. She never finished but it doesnít matter because sheís been successfully rocking the independent circuit all over town and the interweb for the past several years.

Nicoleís preferred style has a definite vintage feel, although she says that ďa lot of stuff is made to look like itís vintage, but it isnít.Ē For Nicoleís pieces it could mean that the brass findings she uses are newly minted from old or even antique molds. ďItís not modern, not clean lines or anything Ö very ornate.Ē

Itís Your Lifeís handmade accessories range in price from $15-$60, with most necklaces falling between $35-$45.

Jessica Bardosh photo

Jessica Bardosh photo

Describe your aesthetic.

Each necklace or piece has a theme. I love lightning. A piece may have a hand or a scroll on a locket. It might have a seashell theme, with marine life or a seahorse, or a starfish. Most of my necklaces are charm clusters, pieces that are all associated with each other.

I used to do a lot of gold-plated chains with brass charms, but after the years I noticed that itís not good to use raw brass because it changes so much and I got a gold-plating machine. I was doing a lot of gold-plating myself but itís really toxic Ė cyanide. So I started oxidizing (brass) more. A lot of people really like the oxidized stuff more. Only girls that are really fashionable and dress up more like the gold, but a lot of the people who wear my stuff donít even really wear jewelry really, they just like the theme of the piece, or they like the charm because itís a good colour and thatís what theyíre attracted to.

Jessica Bardosh photo

Jessica Bardosh photo

Do you wear a lot of your jewelry?

ďI do, but I donít tend to sell what I wear. Iíll like a charm and put it on a long chain and then thatís it. The other reason that I donít wear what I make is that I donít have any clothes, to match what Iíd wear. I donít shop for clothes, ever. I just wear, like, one thing. I took a dressmaking class but I donít really make clothes. But I make doll clothes.Ē

You display and sell your pieces on very distinctive cards Ė I can recognize your work from a distance because of them. How did that come about?

ďI needed something to put the jewelry on for the fairs and I started using Mexican Loteria cards and Mexican bingo cards which I found on Etsy. But then I got sick of the colour scheme and they are cheaply printed. I donít know how but I ended up switching to vintage playing cards when I saw that they had a lot of different designs and the printing was better quality.Ē

Jessica Bardosh photo

Jessica Bardosh photo

Do you see any trends happening for spring?

ďI think people are getting over the 80ís edgy look, and theyíre going to towards more flowy feminine stuff. Kinda like that romantic phase, from two years ago? I think people are going to go back to 70ís instead of 80ís, more feminine clothes. Iím not sure really, but thatís what Iím gonna do.Ē

If you canít find your way to Heritage Hall through all the Olympic Madness you should definitely check out next monthís fair. Find Nicoleís distinct jewelry pieces around town at funky shops like:

  • Virgin Mary’s (1136 Commercial Drive)
  • Barefoot Contessa (3715 Main St., ¬†and 1928 Commercial Drive)
  • Dream (311 West Cordova in Gastown and on Granville Island)
  • C’est La Vie (3247 Main St.)
  • The Goods Screening and Apparel (335 East Broadway)
  • Room6 (4389 Gallant Avenue, North Vancouver in Deep Cove)
Jessica Bardosh photo

Jessica Bardosh photo

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