STUDIO VISIT + SHOP THE LOOK: Annie Costello Brown
Artist: Annie Costello Brown
Jeweler Annie Costello Brown has been a part of the Echo Park Craft Fair for many years and we are always delighted to welcome her back. We spent an afternoon in her studio recently and it was inspiring to witness the architecture of her process and surroundings and the (actual) pieces that go into her designs.
Tell us about your current collection?
I’m definitely a process based designer so my current collection is an evolution of past ideas. Most designs are generated by production studio activity, by being around the materials and tools. The designs need to have a fashion element – be related to global trends, an art element – making a unique statement, and an emotional element – appealing to timelessness or a sense of place or sense of physical being.
Most of my influences are perennial and encompass 70s, 80s and 90s street style, 70s and 80s Japanese fashion and wabi sabi values, 90’s deconstructionist fashion, Ancient Greek art and design, Art to Wear jewelry, vintage couture and runway jewelry. I like to make multi-component designs so composing and scale are everything. It’s jewelry and it should be fun – I hope the aesthetic is a global one, not just “LA”.
How long have you been participating in the Echo Park Craft Fair?
The first time was at Beatrice’s house in Echo Park in 2009. At the time it felt to me an appreciation of local designers and artists – friends who related through art and design.
Has EPCF been important to your creative and business growth?
I believe it increased my visibility as a brand – I’ve met wholesale buyers from across the states, Japan, France and other countries. So there is global interest in the designers and ideas coming from L.A., and the EPCF has been a big part of that. The best part is meeting and getting to know the people who love the jewelry – the customers.
The ethics of production in fashion are on our minds a lot recently – questions of sustainability, fair labor, location, and artistic integrity. How do these concepts come in to play in your craft and your business? What choices do you make that take into account these ideas?
All of these issues are very important to ACB! It’s a complex subject – we think about the impact of decisions we make and how these decisions will impact global communities and the planet. Our production is done in LA. All the people who work at ACB live in L.A. and contribute to the local economy. As far as materials, we use recycled metals when we can and also look for and choose the most sustainable materials.
As far as artistic integrity goes, it’s my number one favorite game to play and criteria to work with – making something that looks fresh, has energy and emotion within it and is made with integrity.
Appropriation can be an interesting conceptual strategy for designing collections – you can see it in mainstream fashion. That being said, it’s not very interesting if you’re just a knock-off artist.
Website: Annie Costello Brown