“The hats are probably my favorite part!” says Adrianna Beer on dressing for the races. Exposed to the horse world at a young age while growing up in Middleburg, Va., Adrianna has always had a deep love for the equestrian lifestyle.
“I grew up going to pony club, cubbing, carriage driving and eventually doing long-distance endurance rides as far as 50 miles.” An experienced rider, Adrianna brings that same perseverance and passion to her latest endeavor - founding and designing the jewelry line Hadria in her Brooklyn sutdio.
Currently collaborating with NBC’s Fashion Star, Hunter Bell of Hunter Dixon, Adrianna has an exciting year ahead. Her designs contain a deeply conceptual element as she explores the use of negative space, which she wraps in various colors and textures. Made to be layered and worn in unique and unexpected ways, every piece of her jewelry is exceptionally dynamic. A study of bold shapes, body definition, vintage infusion and statement pieces, Adrianna’s jewelry remains wearable, yet edgy. Her hand-painted silk scarves show an equal level of thought and artistry as she creates beautifully wearable designs that would be just at home at the races as they would be on the streets of New York.
Adrianna kindly took the time to talk to us about everything from her design inspirations to her favorite Thoroughbred events … and her plans for the second weekend of June? She attended the 148th running of the Belmont Stakes, of course!
Mary Dale: What is your main philosophy when it comes to designing your jewelry?
Adrianna Beer: Since jewelry is worn more then clothing, I believe jewelry has a tendency to take on the essence of the person who wears it. How a piece feels when you wear it, and the outward expressive portrayal or memory carried by a piece, is part of the wearing experience. I like pieces that have a weight to them and I want the shapes to be strong, distinctive and reflective of my aesthetic. I take a lot of inspiration from vintage pieces and look to highlight and accentuate the body.
Mary: Are there any rules we should follow when choosing the right jewelry to wear with an outfit?
Adrianna: It is important to step back in the mirror and look at the proportions of what you are putting together. I consider the Buckler Pendants from SS13 [Spring-Summer 2013] an “anchor” for an outfit, as it pulls a simple look into a much stronger outfit by where it hits on the body, the center of the chest. Having, too much or too little jewelry can ruin an outfit, and the right piece can dramatically change a look from hard to soft, casual to dressy, etc. – it’s all about the right balance.
Mary: How and when did you get your start in jewelry making?
Adrianna: I went to Parsons for Women’s Wear design and worked in shoe and accessory design. However, I was always drawn into the jewelry and accessories. After Parsons, I began taking classes at Fitzgerald School of Jewelry in Brooklyn, too, and launched Hadria in SS13.
Mary: What’s your ultimate career goal?
Adrianna: I would like Hadria to eventually become a lifestyle brand. I want people of all ages to wear and enjoy the pieces and style them in different and personal ways. Expansion is definitely in the plan, as I want to continue to grow the stock lists and I dream of opening stores. In the immediate future, I want to continue collaborating with other designers and fuse art and jewelry, as I currently have with the winner of NBC’s Fashion Star, Hunter Bell of Hunter Dixon.
Mary: Tell us about your latest spring/summer collection.
Adrianna: SS13 is all about highlighting the body with negative space and playing with proportion. A giant cocktail ring creates drama next to a dainty pinky ring. The pieces are meant to be layered and stacked to create a unique look for the wearer. Fake tatoos were used as a styling option to go into open cuffs and rings as a new way of styling in place of a jewel.
Mary: On average, how long does it take to create a single piece of jewelry — from concept to completion?
Adrianna: I would say start to finish, the process for a single piece could take anywhere from one to two weeks. There are so many steps to editing and creating a collection; it is a highly time consuming and involved process. For example, 2-D to 3-D renderings can change the aspects of a piece in a way you wouldn’t have fully realized until you see it take form, often calling for additional editing. What method you are using can change the process as well. For wax carving, it can take anywhere from two hours to two days, and all of this is before the casting, platings, stone setting and finishing.
Mary: How would you describe your style?
Adrianna: Quirky, comfortable and full of loud prints and oddities.
Courtesy Stephanie Podasca
Mary: What's a typical day like for you?
Adrianna: Being a young designer one wears many hats, as I am heavily involved in every step of the jewelry process from the initial season inception to store sales and placements. It can consist of a variety of different things depending on how close it is to a new collection. One can often find me running to the jewelry district on 47th street to meet with production, casting and platers or in my downtown workspace handling emails, meeting with PR, carving wax [prototypes] and sketching.
Mary: Have you ever been to any Thoroughbred racing events? If so, what is your favorite event?
Adrianna: Yes, growing up in Middleburg Virginia with two equestrian parents exposed me to the horse world at a very young age. I grew up going to pony club, cubbing, carriage driving and eventually doing long-distance endurance rides as far as 50 miles. My favorite event is Gold Cup, as the enthusiasm of those in attendance is electric and contagious!
Adrianna, sporting a grand hat, at the races
Mary: Will you attending any of the Thoroughbred sporting events happening this month in the New York area, such as the Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic or the 148th running of the Belmont Stakes?
Adrianna: Yes, I will be attending the Belmont!
Mary: What’s your favorite part about dressing for an equestrian event?
Adrianna: Jewelry, of course, but how could I not love the hats! Oh yes, the hats are probably my favorite part! If they are not used to wearing them, hats have a weird tendency to make people feel insecure but I think they should be embraced. There is such a festive, playful spirit when one gets dressed for the races, and the hat often brings the look all together!