Léa Stein; Joyful and Whimsical Jewelry

Lea Stein collectable broochesRenowned French costume jewelry designer Léa Stein was born in France in the 1930’s and started making her wildly popular whimsical jewellery in the 1960’s. Her husband Fernand Steinberger came up with a secret method of combining fabrics and lace with laminated cellulose acetate to form a “multi-coloured sandwich of plastic”. Each ‘sandwich’ was baked for a long time, then cooled and cut into shapes. The process could take as long as six months. Léa Stein is one of the most popular collectable plastic jewellery designers of all time. She was also known for her buttons that are still voraciously collected by clothing designers to this day.

Lea Stein collectable buttons


Art Deco Style

Léa Stein was strongly influenced by Art Deco design. This is evident by her use of deco images including flappers, vintage cars, and the very recognizable ladies in cloche hats. This was also seen in more abstract architectural and geometric pieces. She was heavily influenced by “plastic” jewellery made in the 1920’s and 1930’s often of flowers, fruit and adorable little animals. Each brooch has a name, sometimes as simple as ‘Fox’ or more descriptive like ‘Quarrelsome’ the cat. Each design might come in dozens of different colors and patterns.

Lea Stein collectable brooches
Photo: Harlequin Market

Timeless Classic

Lea Stein’s work in the humble medium of plastic has proven to be something that is revered and adored by collectors around the world. It just goes to show you that it’s the subject matter, attention to detail and perfect execution that make her pieces so loved and collectable. Her work is still available and can fetch prices in the range of $100 – $250 and up for rare pieces. When you wear Léa Stein you are wearing a piece of innovative craftsmanship that has stood the test of time.

Lea Stein collectable brooches

Lea Stein collectable brooches

Now What?

It’s important to look towards the innovators in this world. The ones who took a chance on a vision and spend countless hours to make it work. The people who worked so hard to make their ideas come to life. Léa Stein and her husband Fernand Steinberger were pioneers in this particular artform but that doesn’t mean that others haven’t used their work as a source of inspiration.

Check out our Erstwilder brooch collection available on our website; it’s an homage to the groundbreaking artists that started it all. We are in love with this quirky Australian company their innovative work and wonderful packaging. Maybe it’s time to start a collection?

Love Diane

Introducing Quirky Brooch Art: Erstwilder

Quirky Erstwilder Brooches make lovely gifts to share or to keepA few years ago while traveling in the United Kingdom I discovered a fun giftware shop in Manchester with the most adorable red poodle brooch. It reminded me of vintage bakelite and so I’ve been looking for more ever since. Now I’m excited to tell you that we are selling these very same Erstwilder brooches in our showroom and online.

Limited Edition Erstwilder Brooches

Erstwilder designs and produces collectable, limited edition brooches made of layered resin. The detail is truly amazing! They obviously draw a lot of inspiration from all things nature, vintage, rockabilly, retro and have a love of animals of all kinds too. Each brooch comes its own gift box complete with a little story paying homage to history, myth, pop-culture and classic storytelling. They’re the perfect gift for anyone who loves to accessorise.

Quirky Erstwilder Brooches make lovely gifts to share or to keep

Wear What you Love!

Are you a dog lover? Maybe Shi-Ping The Shar Pei Dog or Spiffy the Sausage Dog will light you up. More of a cat person? How about Curling Cassandra Cat or Janettie The Patient Cat? Are birds your thing? We have Ruby The Red Cardinal, or Waldo The Wacky Wise Owl to name a few.

The fun doesn’t stop there. There’s Ula The Unicorn & Saskia Squirrel from their new Fan Favourite collection. Or how about an adorable Boot Scootin’ Cowboy Boot. Every one a piece of adorable art with the most amazing detail and a great conversation piece too.

Quirky Erstwilder Brooches make lovely gifts to share or to keep



Holiday Themes

Get that festive feeling with the super quirky (and kitschy) Christmas collection.) Festive  Season’s Greetings Snow Globe and Sprinkled with Love Candy Cane broaches let you wear your Holiday spirit right on your lapel.

Quirky Erstwilder Brooches make lovely gifts to share or to keep

Pinning on one of these little pieces of art is bound to fill you with joy! These brooches can sell out quickly so if you love one, don’t miss out!

Love Diane

Barb’s Fall Diane Kennedy Wardrobe

It’s that time of year!

My wardrobe needed a bit of sprucing up so I chose some new Diane Kennedy pieces to call my own. I took my time to pick what I would get the most wear out of, fit into my existing wardrobe and match my personal hat collection.

Justify Jacket

Barb chooses the Justify jacket in Heather Lake for her Fall wardrobe

I love this Justify jacket! I love the weight of it, the cut and especially the colour. Heather Lake Twill is the perfect shade of blue for me. This jacket can easily be worn for a dressier occasion or alternatively with jeans. It’s so soft and comfortable yet has a great shape that doesn’t make me look boxy. I’ve teamed it up here with the Midnight Cowl in the same shade of blue. This super flattering neckline works so well with the matching jacket. I’m 5’4″ so I chose the Petite Serene Pant in black. The wide legged pants give an interesting silhouette to this outfit that I love. Fluevog Boots.

Barb chooses the Justify jacket in Heather Lake for her Fall wardrobe

I couldn’t help but add this super cute Erstwilder brooch to the jacket to give it a little holiday feel. This one is called Season’s Greetings and depicts the perfect winter scene in a mini snowglobe. So festive!

Love how this cute Snow Globe brooch completes the outfit

Strength Tunic

Barb chooses the Strength Tunic in Black and Steel stripes for her Fall wardrobe

Barb chooses the Strength Tunic in Black and Steel stripes for her Fall wardrobe

Steel and Black stripes enhance this tunics flattering lines. It’s nice to get away from too much black at this time of year so I went with the Strength, Steel and Black striped tunic. I paired it up with a pair of Steel grey Balance Pants. I like a skinny pant and the zippers at the ankles on these trousers look so cool unzipped and worn with interesting boots or shoes. These will be going into heavy rotation this winter. The perfect addition to my wardrobe. Fluevog Boots.

Verve Zip

Barb chooses the Verve Zip Jacket in Black for her Fall wardrobe

Barb chooses the Verve Zip Jacket in Black for her Fall wardrobe

This Verve jacket is amazing! It’s the perfect weight for layering and has so many interesting details from it’s asymmetric design, shawl collar and antique silver tone zipper hardware. The fit is sublime and the length is brilliant. I can wear this as a jacket or a tunic with a pair of leggings when it’s zipped up. I’ve paired this jacket with the Strength Tunic again but this time I went for the Black and Cream Stripe. I just adore the graphic look of these bold stripes. I’m also wearing the Balance Pant in Black and I’ve left the ankle zippers closed to create a skinny legging look. Erstwilder Brooch. Fluevog Shoes.

All in all I’m really happy with the choices I made. Being dressed in head to toe luxurious Bamboo is like a warm, soft hug. Who doesn’t need one of those??

Love Barb XO