Marianna Harutunian's handcrafted jewelry designs have been worn by some pretty famous faces including Lady Gaga, Cher and Nicki Minaj. Harutunian creates bold, eye-catching, unique jewelry pieces ranging from earrings and necklaces, to hair clips and buckles.
Her sensational, look at me now designs have even made it on to the small screen including Lady Gaga's "Judas" video and stylish shows like Gossip Girl, Pretty Little Liars and True Blood. Her statement making pieces are crafted with love and passion, whether it's a collection or a custom piece, Harutunian strives for the best and client satisfaction. Marianna recently spoke to Fashion Wrap Up about her design inspirations and latest work to be featured in season 5 of True Blood, which premieres this Sunday, June 10th on HBO.
Fashion Wrap Up: Firstly, thank you, Marianna, for taking the time to tell us a little about your jewelry designs and your stunning pieces that will be featured on True Blood this season.
Marianna Harutunian: Thank you to Fashion Wrap Up, & everyone who is reading and supporting my work! You help to continue to make my dreams come true!
How did you know jewelry was your passion?
I knew jewelry was my purpose in life, when I first saw my mom's embellished beaded slippers. The beading caught my eye more than the footwear itself. Which then led to myself finding my way to a bead store close to my high school graduation. The lady inside was making the most beautiful beaded necklace. Seeing all of that, lit the spark of creativity inside, the calling to design and create jewelry pieces. I've been inspired and passionate about making jewelry ever since.
Tell us a little bit about your creations and how your designs came to be featured on True Blood (and any other shows).
My creations stem from my conscious and subconscious mind. I usually get a vision of an idea for a piece that pops up from my subconscious to my conscious mind first, and then I proceed to bring it to life. I bring it to life with my favorite medium to work with, which is Swarovski Crystals. There is something intrinsically magical about them.
My pieces came to be featured on True Blood, through the costume designer Audrey Fisher. She is a loyal customer of mine, and has been since I opened my store in 1999. When she got the position as the costume designer on True Blood, she came to me to start purchasing pieces for the show. Every season she comes back to purchase more pieces. I might add that Audrey is fundamentally one of the kindest people that I have ever had the pleasure of working with.
My work has come to be featured on other shows by costume designers I admire, such as Mandi Line whose amazing styling work is seen on ABC Family's Pretty Little Liars, and Eric Damian, whose amazing styling work is seen on The CW's Gossip Girl. I really am humbled and appreciate them for allowing my work to be included in their artistic vision for the outfits their characters wear, for each show respectively.
What was it like seeing your jewelry featured on TV for the first time?
The first time I saw my piece on television, in particularly True Blood, I was humbled and thrilled. I love that show, so it was a dream come true. As an artist you are happy to create and express yourself through your given art form. However to see your work commercially, such as on TV, it is one of the most rewarding things imaginable as an artist. To be a working artist doing what you love, is a blessing.
With your jewelry being featured on True Blood, were you asked to create special pieces for any characters?
At first, Audrey would come in to purchase items I already had. Then she would come in to ask for special pieces to be created for the True Blood Verse. I have been asked to create special pieces for the character of Pam, played by Kristin Bauer, the fairies, and the priest in the flashback scenes for Antonia in Season 4. I love to create pieces for the character of "Pam" especially, she is my favorite on the show!
Whose jewelry style do you most admire and why?
Lately I really admire Lady Gaga's jewelry style. I admire her jewelry style, because she wears jewelry and accessories without a care of what fashion deems as trendy. She is fearless, so her jewelry, clothing, and other accessories can create a mood, a statement, a feeling. I love that, and always have tried to include that approach within my work since I started my store back in 1999.
Describe the first piece of jewelry you bought?
I honestly can't remember the first piece of jewelry I bought. I can tell you though, that my first experience in making a beaded necklace was when I found myself in the bead store as a teenager. I put everything I needed and more into my basket to create a piece. I was so entranced that I forgot that those things cost money, of which I didn't have enough for, thankfully the owner let me slide. I went home as quickly as I could to create my first piece in under eight minutes. The urgency to create then is the same that I have now.
You can purchase items from Marianna's True Blood collection and more at her Etsy shop. You can find her on all social media sites including Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest and Facebook.
~Christy Pastore @christypastore
Image Source: Marianna Harutunian Facebook