Created by Chrissy LoConti, president of Dirty Pretty Things, the jewelry showcases everything from a hefty medallion with the silhouette of Neville in a Charlie’s Angels position, gun cocked, Ray-Ban-style glasses masking a skull. On the other side of the medallion, a hibiscuslike floral design and the Dirty Pretty Things logo offer a feminine face to Neville.
“We want that perfect edge,” LoConti says. Every design has that little bit of dirty, little bit of pretty. “So we play with the hearts and the teddy bears and the flowers. Then we have the guns and knives and the girl with a gun.”
Even innocent little heart charms are emblazoned with the line’s logo: scrolled handwriting interrupted by splatters. The logo is subtle on polished silver pieces, though. Similarly, the icy sparkle of a Swarovski crystal heart earring distracts the eye from the skull it dangles from.
Dirty Pretty Things is all about pushing limits — sweetly.
The fierce streak comes from LoConti’s raw experiences while running Sinergy Nightclub in the Warehouse District. Mean girls, disrespectful boys — she channels her distaste for this scene into her work and hopes the jewelry empowers women to be strong. She collaborates with Sarah Piscazzi, the company’s vice president of design, to come up with these pieces, which might shock customers at first but have become a big hit.
The hip clothing store Metropark stocks Dirty Pretty Things in all of its 63 locations, including Beachwood Place. And you can also find the line at Sanity in Chagrin Falls.
Next up for LoConti and Piscazzi is the 2010 line featuring the fictional character Madea Maple (translation: sweet revenge). Maple is more saccharine than Marie Neville, with a carousel, a teapot and “Boo Boo” teddy bear charms. The weapon of choice: a poison bottle.
But don’t get the wrong idea. Designs are daring but always with good intention. Even LoConti’s 75-year-old grandmother collects compliments on her Marie Neville medallion every time she wears it.
“Anyone you know who has been heartbroken, it makes perfect sense,” LoConti says.
Now there’s a great stocking stuffer for the girl who wants to make a statement.
12:00 AM EST
November 17, 2009