BY KRISTIN ALLEN | PHOTOS COURTESY OF MIGNONNE GAVIGON
IS IT A SCARF? Or is it a necklace?
If only I had a nickel for every time I’ve been stopped and asked this question. My answer is always—both actually. The “scarf necklace” is the creation of Mignonne Gavigan Smith, a New York-based designer with Southern roots who has redefined “statement jewelry” with her eponymous accessories collection Mignonne Gavigan New York.
Mignonne Gavigan Smith began her career as a designer studying at Parsons Paris and Parsons New York, after attending the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her career as a designer included work at Marc Jacobs, Khirma Eliazov, Rachel Roy and Loeffler Randall until she created her signature beaded chiffon scarf necklace in early 2009. The idea was born when she draped a ripped piece of an embellished vintage gown around her neck and realized the impact the ornate beauty of couture gowns could have on an everyday outfit in the form of accessories.
The scarf necklace remains the foundation of the Mignonne Gavigan New York collection and has been seen on celebrities like Jessica Biel-Timberlake, Kate Mara and Ivanka Trump. The collection has expanded to a full line of statement-making earrings, bracelets, chokers, necklaces, cuffs and brooches.
Mignonne Gavigan pieces are one-of-a-kind, incorporating couture elements into everyday silhouettes, allowing for the dress-it-up or dress-it-down option without being limited to metals and gemstones. Each piece is hand-beaded on the highest quality silk chiffon by the same expert artisans used by Oscar de la Renta, Marchesa and Carolina Hererra to name a few.
The more iconic piece of the collection is the Le Charlot Pearl Scarf Necklace which incorporates couture details and apparel-inspired elements into a wearable, beautiful statement piece, appropriate for day and night. More recent additions to the collection, the Mini Madeline and Madeline earrings are quickly becoming a favorite due to their distinct, eye-catching and edgy design in bold colors.
For spring and summer 2017, Mignonne Gavigan offers a whole new line of fun, colorful yet approachable designs with new introductions to some of the collection’s classic pieces such as the Le Charlot Pearl Necklace in a bright coral or azure blue. The Spring-Summer 2017 collection was inspired by a wide array colors and textures that all evoked a need to touch and play for Mignonne. She initially started the collection with a muted grey, black and white color story and immediately jumped into versatile uses of denims whether they be encased in a metal cuff or choker. She quickly moved the collection into soft greens and burnt oranges, and lastly a range of pinks and oranges. For Spring, Mignonne wants “as many stacked bracelets on as possible and is easily taken with tassels, and the lightness they bring.”
Mignonne Gavigan pieces are fashion-forward yet wearable, show-stoppers that can transform any outfit. While they always make a statement, I’ve found they continue to create questions, mainly—where did you get that?!
Shop locally for Mignonne Gavigan New York at CoatTails in Ridgeland, MS.