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Lea Stein’s jewelry resembles Bakelite pieces from the thirties, but this French bijou-maker had her very own technique. She layered celluloid and fabric, coated them with a secret component, and then slowly baked the “sandwich.” Stein and her Paris atelier turned out thousands of brooches and bracelets during the fifties, sixties, and early seventies, but the most sought-after were her 3-D foxes. She did them in red or unfoxy colors like peach, purple, and blue, but all had attitude and shiny sly eyes. A skulk of these jaunty critters have now surfaced at Marcia Messiqua, adding a touch of whimsy to the otherwise serious French antique furniture ($75).
MARCIA MESSIQUA/1184 Madison Avenue, near 86th Street/212-410-2400
It’s a Wrap
Once, wrap-around sunglasses were the domain of bikers and skiers – and elderly Floridians. Recently, however, they’ve become the darlings of the serial accessorizers’ crowd. These French Hippar goggles by Histoire de Voir were quickly scooped up in Paris, but now New Yorkers can skip a trip and just head straight to Bergdorf Goodman. Cerise leather frames teamed with pink-tinted UV-protection glass lenses are only one possibility; there’s honey leather with pink lenses, black with yellow, natural with blue, and panther with green ($230).
BERGDORF GOODMAN/New Level of Beauty
On and Off a Roll
Just a year ago, the big news was in-line sneaker-skates with detachable wheels. Now it’s high-tops that morph into skates. Like the landing gear on planes, the wheels on these Street Flyers are retractable, which means kids can zip around to the candy store, quickly retract the wheels by hand or with the wrench key, and slip inside – no need to pay attention to the no skates allowed sign. Street Flyers are not designed for railing or stunting, but they sure beat lugging around an extra pair of shoes ($135; ages 5 to adult).
FAO SCHWARZ/767 Fifth Avenue, at 58th Street/212-644-9400
Stefan Beckman is a set designer and prop stylist for Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Versace ads, and TV films. Sabrina Schilcher is a painter with ties to the fashion and interior-design worlds (she’s worked with Thierry Mugler and owns Salon Moderne on Lafayette Street, filled with modern though not stark furniture). But Beckman says he and Schilcher “enjoy being a little crazy,” so in addition to everything else they do this energetic pair opened Property, a stadium-size furniture store. Adjectives like edgy, streamlined, sexy, and a tad retro apply to their assortment of dining tables, chairs, sofas, and beds. And they’ve snared the perfect TV stand: a long bench outfitted with a drawer (for videos) that swivels and is wide enough and deep enough to hold a 20-inch-deep TV. Beckman and Schilcher lean toward the colorful and playful (bright bean-bag chairs from Australia, space-age fiberglass modules from Italy) and they like to mix modern and vintage, so they’ve assembled, in addition to their new stuff, a fine collection of vintage glassware and Swedish ceramics. (From $25 for a Marc Boase ceramic ashtray to $180 for a plastic stacking chair to $1,000 for Emmemobili’s updated Eames coffee table to $4,400 for a David Chipperfield sofa.)
PROPERTY/14 Wooster Street/917-237-0123
While it seems everyone is touting futuristic designs in keeping with our arrival in the twenty-first century, Sherry Jo Williams of Sonrisa (home of vintage steel furniture) has a yen for telephones from an earlier age of telecommunications, the forties. Indulging her Luddite leanings, Williams has rounded up a cache of these rotary beauties that have been rewired so they’re compatible with our modern phone systems. Unlike their new flightier cousins, these stolid phones just sit there and never get lost in the bedclothes, and since they’re rotary, you don’t even have the option of pressing 1 for sportswear or 2 for dinnerware – you’ll actually have to talk to an operator ($310).
SONRISA/22 West 21st Street/212-627-7474
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