Very few jewelry designers can go from working on a quirky side project to having the one-and-only Tilda Swinton sporting their wares. But Vera Balyura managed just that when she launched VeraMeat back in 2007. The label started when Catbird owner Rony Vardi asked Balyura to make some jewelry after seeing her artwork (a mixed bag of photography, sculpture, and drawing). And now the line has taken off to indie acclaim (she's been in Bust, Nylon, and is also a featured designer on FadMashion.com). And the indie celebs are clamoring for her goods: Amy Sedaris, Michel Gondry, Zach Galifianakis. The shapes and collections go far beyond the overdone trends we've seen in hipster stores — anchors, owls, skulls — and instead offer up actual figurines: pirates, zombie queens, ponies, alligators. Looking for an astronaut on a gold chain? Check. Or perhaps a Godzilla robot pendant? The more subdued pieces include the Thick Fun ring that fits around two fingers. Her favorite pieces right now include the Dino Eating Fried Chicken ring, and "for necklaces, I'm most into the Hip Shark because it's eating a zombie Tina Turner, who is one of my heroes. And while headless, she's hitting it over the head with a bone!" In case you're wondering, Tilda bought the Ship Wheel Ring and wears it on her left ring finger. VeraMeat is carried at Catbird, Plum, Operations, and more. For a list of stores, go to VeraMeat.com. Meanwhile, check out our favorite pieces.
The Thick Fun Ring, $130 to $160, depending on materials (copper, brass, or silver).
Left: Killer Dive, $160 to $210. Right: Paint the Town Red, $100 to $130.
Left: Dino Love Bone, $170 to $280. Right: Sumo Love, $170 to $190.
Left: Pirate Walks the Plank, $100 to $160. Right: Doe, $110 to $140.
Left: Pony, $70. Right: Butterfly Flail, $70.
The designer, Vera Balyura, wearing one of her designs.
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