Jelena Behrend is a jeweler, working artist, and crucial lower east side destination. Her studio, which she opened in 1998 on Chrystie Street, is open by appointment and frequented by gallerists, notable celebrities, and individuals seeking hand made custom jewelry with a soul. Jelena uses inventive materials like green gold. Her work is a unique combination of aggressive and subtle, both classic and current. Jelena's pieces have been featured in Interview magazine, worn in films, on the red carpet, and she has even designed a perfume bottle for a conceptual art/fragrance project in collaboration with Lisa Kirk. Jelena is a woman who wears many hats. We were glad to ask her a few questions about her style opinions.
Sarah: When you are creating your pieces, do you have a specific type of person in mind? What characteristics seem to be consistent in your clients or muses?
Jelena: As with any artist, I make things that I want to see in the world, objects that I want to exist. I also make custom pieces, and then that person is included to join me.
S: Are there any cinematic icons or films that have effected your personal style, and thus effected your designs?
J: Akasha: Queen of the Damned. I made a series of face masks inspired by her. Rock stars, vampires, powerful women traversing time and history--all these things take part in what i do.
S: If you had to design a uniform for yourself, to wear everyday for the rest of your life, what would it be?
J: Cashmere body suit with platinum chain mail over it.
S: Is there such a thing as too much jewelry?
J: Even one piece can be too much if it's not the right piece.
S: Is there a dream item that you've always wanted, either to design or possess?
J: The Ring of Nibelung. And a metal opanak, the Serbian folk shoe that I made.
S: Who is your style soul mate?
J: The woman in the mirror, she tells me what to do.