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Interview

Majestic Accessories Lucia Echavarría of Magnetic Midnight

Traditionally crafted minaudieres, multi-colored diadems, ornate flowers, and celestial jewels– Lucia Echavarría’s Magnetic Midnight line has been creating a magical buzz since 2015.

Traditionally crafted minaudieres, multi-colored diadems, ornate flowers, and celestial jewels– Lucia Echavarría’s Magnetic Midnight line has beencreating amagicalbuzzsince it launched in 2015.

Born in Paris and currently living in New York, this youthful Colombian designer embarked upon her mystical road to success with a degree in Comparative Literature and Art History at Brown University. Lucia soon broke into the realms of art and design through experience at Christie’s, the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, the Guggenheim, and Ranjana Khan’s studio. Lucia imbues each design with this wealth of cultural history, passion, and carefully cultivated experience.

The Magnetic Midnight line offers divine bijoux de tête (headpieces) that create a true statement and add a few extra inches! The line also boasts beautiful, bejeweled evening bags dipped in gold to enhance their classical charm. Lucia emphasizes that each piece is delicately handcrafted in Colombia: “Every part is thoughtfully designed and lovingly handmade, requiring a long fabrication process from a variety of craftsmen around the country.” The Magnetic Midnight line is built upon the foundation of homegrown beauty and skillful craftsmanship.

BWB had the pleasure to meet with her to talk about Magnetic Midnight, life in New York, and future projects.

What brought you to fashion?

I’ve always been fascinated by ethnic dress, adornment, beautiful textiles, wedding and religious processions, celebratory dances, carnival, and dressing up. Growing up, I loved finding or creating an occasion to make my own costumes – in particular, my own accessories.

After graduating from Brown University with a degree in art history and comparative literature, I did a couple of internships in the art world at Christies and the Guggenheim; however, I was not convinced that these were the paths I wanted to pursue. I considered studying costume design, but my creative ideas for headpieces artfully combined all my passions: art, history, culture, and fashion. Thus, the idea for Magnetic Midnight was born.

A fashion memory from a distant past?

An old photograph of my grandmother at Maxims in a velvet and silk moiré Dior dress that she then gave me when I turned 18. She is now 103 and still the most beautiful and elegant person I know – always impeccably dressed!

Personalities who inspired you to embrace this career?

Marie Beltrami, who is a French stylist and an amazing costume designer. I remember going to the studio when I was 8 and playing around with her creations. I distinctly remember these bird cage platforms and a wedding dress made entirely out of ping pong balls!

Your source of inspiration?

I find inspiration from lots of different sources, and I love doing research; it’s still one of my favorite parts of the creative process. It can be the composition or colors in a painting, the texture or quality of a particular material, the structure or history of a building, the geometry and beauty in nature, literature, popular culture, everyday objects… But I am probably most inspired by my travels and new places, and as a result, so are my collections. My last collection, Arabesque, was inspired by my recent trip to Uzbekistan.

Your daily look?

I generally am quite casual: Trousers, a turtleneck, velvet slippers and a Colombian mochila.

A good look is…

One that works dressed up or dressed down; the key is in the accessories.

Last purchase?

I went to Mumbai recently for a wedding and bought a beautiful, fully-embroidered lehenga (the traditional outfit), which is made up of a skirt, top and scarf. The workmanship is so incredibly intricate and the color combinations are amazing.

What is the most extravagant piece you ever made?

I think one of the most extravagant pieces I ever made was an entirely beaded, gold, sun headpiece for my Egyptomania collection that I made in collaboration with Shrimpton Couture. It was inspired by the extravagance of the costumes in the 1963 film, Cleopatra.

The most iconic piece in your wardrobe?

My Infinity square evening bag. It is entirely handmade out of woven Iraca palm leaf and hand dipped in gold. It’s the perfect evening bag.

The perfect incarnation of style?

Knowing what suits you best.

The piece of jewelry you always wear?

My gold Monolito square and sphere pendant (which is actually a perfume vial) and my Noor Fares quartz divina pendant. I also always have a pair of Casa Chiqui earrings in my bag, as they dress up any outfit.

This summer where can we find you?

A lot of my friends are getting married this summer, so I’ll be moving around quite a bit.

What are your travel essentials?

A pashmina (or two!) to double up as a blanket, Jane de Busset Crème Cellulaire face cream, and Hu Kitchen chocolate.

Your next adventure?

After seeing Mario Testino’s recent books on regional ethnic Peruvian dress, I hope to revisit Peru soon.

Photo Credits: @taea_thale

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