Jess Leigh Jewels: Live in wonder

When Jess Leigh of Jess Leigh Jewels asked me if I was interested in sharing her “Live in Wonder” photo campaign here I didn’t hesitate to say yes. I met Jess Leigh several years ago when she was just starting to make jewelry and sell it at the boutique she worked at. Since that time I’ve witnessed her wholesale bracelet orders flourish into a full fledged business. Enjoy the pictures and make sure to scroll down to learn about Jess Leigh’s inspiration for the campaign. 
 
For additional photos head to the Slow Southern Style Facebook page. 
 

The concept for this collection and photoshoot was inspired by Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. When I started to imagine the aspects of the story that were most inspiring to me, a few points really stuck out. The tea party is by far one of the most memorable parts of the stories of Alice. I thought about this particular scene for a long time. I wondered if maybe the tea party was more of a turning point in the story and the participants; instead of being mad or crazy, were they just realizing their own strengths and personalities?

Expanding on that, when Alice arrived in Wonderland what if instead of being a scared, naive, and insecure girl, Alice- through her trials and adventures in Wonderland- started to find herself, her security in herself, and her personal confidence? That was my concept for the photoshoot, to capture the transformation of Alice while she found her true identity. 

In order to best communicate this I chose three models with different styles but similar looks. The start of the shoot is stiff and posed with all three models dressed in Alice’s signature colors: blue,cream, and white. As the shoot continues the models separate and layer on jewelry, take off layers of clothing, and then change wardrobe completely. The end of the shoot is the tea party with three completely different girls all laughing and enjoying themselves. They are finally themselves, completely. 

With the line, I was trying to create something I have never done before- something recreate-able. {Note: Jess Leigh’s pieces are usually made from vintage and repurposed jewelry so each piece is one of a kind.}  A body chain, that is a lot like a collar, represents the feeling of Alice’s self-imposed oppression. Several long pendant necklaces with feathers represent the flowers in the garden in Wonderland. A bib necklace with jewels and sparkles represents the Cheshire Cat’s winning grin. A smaller bib necklace with flowing rhinestone chains represents the wings of the Gryphon. A butterfly hand jewel represents the bread and butterflies, and a feather cuff to represent the flamingoes in the croquet game.
Of course, I still have a penchant for all things one of a kind and for repurposing antiques. I collected as many compacts and pill boxes as I could in the months prior to launching the line. I drilled small holes in each with a drill press and fashioned them into necklaces named “Open Me.” I made earrings from chandelier crystals with unique designs on every pair. I also made large cocktail rings from as many vintage buttons, brooches, and stampings as I could find.
It is my hope to inspire others with this collection, shoot, and story. I love the idea of seeing wonder in everything and want to pass this along.
Twitter: slowsouthstyle Facebook: Slow Southern Style

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