Once when I interviewed the Los Angeles based designer Daniela Villegas about her delightful bug jewelry she told me that she had at least 1,000 specimens in her growing cabinet of curiosities and a full library of books on insects and other creatures. Over the last 10-years the designer has used the collections as sources of inspiration for her joyful bejeweled bugs as well the birds, fish and, yes, rodents in her collection.
Considering her passion for all parts of the natural world, including many creatures, other designers would never consider immortalizing in a jewel, like porcupines and dinosaurs, it’s easy to understand the designer’s love of the celebrated Paris boutique Deyrolle and why she wanted to have the 10th anniversary celebration there.
The entomology and taxidermy shop established in 1871 has been a beloved destination for all kinds creatives over the years ranging from Salvador Dalí to Wes Anderson and Sophia Coppola. It has also been an educational resource for scholars and a teaching destination for children. (It should be noted: the animals on display come from zoos where they died of old age or natural causes.)
While Deyrolle doesn’t allow visitors to photograph the store during the day, they welcomed Daniela to break the rules and stage her jewels in the display for her 10th anniversary party during Paris Fashion Week. “It was a dream come true,” explained Daniela.
For the event, the designer exhibited a few classic pieces and 13 jewels from her new Curiosity Collection. “It is inspired by the brave botanists, naturalists and explorers that continue to shape our world with their knowledge and their insatiable sense of adventure to discover new things and species,” explains Daniela. “Their sense of individual wonder, is often powered by an unavoidable urge to make known the unknown, to keep expanding the limits of our lives and installing constant hope based on knowledge. The collection celebrates their intense imagination and excitement for scientific work, which contributes greatly to the way we see our cosmos today.”
The designer extended her appreciation for the natural world and the location to the dreamy look of her invitation. “I wanted to merge my aesthetic as well as Deyrolle’s and show a little bit of the inspiration behind the new Curiosity collection, the vintage vibe and the details of the old scientific painting,” explains the Daniela.
A perfect party ensemble was the final finishing touch to Daniela’s 10th anniversary event. She wore a black pantsuit tied up with a huge red bow in the back from Alexander McQueen. “I love to use clothes as a way of expression and the bow was for me a symbol of celebration and gratitude for the “gift” life has been giving me to celebrate 10 years of happiness with people that I love and admire,” explains the gracious designer.