Eryn Lefkowitz, More
My Armor of Jewelry Keeps Me Safe

"My jewelry definitely started with my mom," explained Second Skin surivor and Chelsea visual artist Eryn Lefkowitz. "When I was in high school, I kept receiving silver and sterling bracelets for gifts, and I would just keep piling them on. This Cartier lock bracelet was my dad’s first gift to my mom. She had my initials engraved on the inside and then gave it to me as a gift."

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"I keep adding pieces, because they tell a story that continues to evolve. I can take away a few and feel OK, but a cuff always has to be on my right hand or else it feels like there's too little. Once I had to go without my watch because the link broke. It was the strangest feeling -- it was a weight off my arm that I wasn't used to. During sleep, I usually take off the stud bangles and the big rings on my pointer fingers. But other than that, it all stays on… unless a gentleman requests me to take them off. A lot of people ask, 'What, do you wear you your whole jewelry box?' It either inspires people or they're like, 'Oh god, you're sick.' "

Scarves by M. Cohen, Alexander Wang tank, leather leggings from The Cast, Horace Vest, Vivienne Westwood shoes. Scarves by M. Cohen, Alexander Wang tank, leather leggings from The Cast, Horace Vest, Vivienne Westwood shoes.

"I felt lost and insecure. I kept trying to play with a ring that wasn’t on my finger," says Eryn, when she was forced to trade clothes with  Greenwich Village flower child Heather Boo for Second Skin. "I was walking around feeling like something was wrong -- like something was missing. My confidence was gone and I couldn't conduct my day normally. As cathartic as it was, and as much of as lesson as it was, it made me realize how much my jewelry and the way that I dress helps me  feels safe."

Elena Iachi shoes, OAK hoodie, Bess flannel, Enza Costa tank. Elena Iachi shoes, OAK hoodie, Bess flannel, Enza Costa tank.

"People perceive you as tough, dark, and creative if you wear all black. I walk tough, I dress tough, but, if you know me, I’m not that tough. I’m actually much more guarded. The creative part is obviously true. But my clothes have nothing to do with being a dark person or a dark soul. If you look at my work, it’s very much the opposite."

Skull by Eryn. Skull by Eryn.

Eryn's keeps her shoes in her kitchen. Eryn's keeps her shoes in her kitchen.

"I build sculptures, and I come out with these photographs that are seven feet tall and four feet wide. They're all glitter -- I call it 'glittering the grotesque.' It’s a way to bring light to the dark. When I glittered a swastika, it caused a controversy.  People associate them with the Holocaust, but originally, it was a Buddhist symbol for peace."

Eryn's artowrk. Eryn's artowrk.

Ann Demeulemeester boots, pants by Harijuku Mini for Target, Bess jackets.

If Eryn's story inspires your style, then add her things to your closet!

 

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  • Arline Jernigan

    I am the same way about my jewelry. It made me uncomfortable for Eryn, when she had to take hers off.

  • Talibah

    lol, I also cringed when Eryn had to take her jewelry off! I really dislike being asked to remove my jewelry, it is a part of of my personal alchemy, it is my protection, my adornment and the sounds generated by the layers of bracelets, rings, waist beads, earrings and chains with crystals, sensors, sacred geometry and charms, is my music. Years ago I had surgery and I was wearing bracelets that could not be removed at the time so the doctors in the operating room simply covered them with surgical tape.

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