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Jan 2018

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Fashion Meets Art in Erik Halley’s Accessories


Photos of atelier by Nicholas Calcott for Paris By Appointment Only™

Erik Halley’s business card should have weekend and weekday descriptions.
From Mon-Fri, this adorable Frenchie can be found at his Parisian atelier handcrafting statement-making accessories for the best names in fashion such as Lagerfeld, Yohji, Givenchy and Mugler (to name but a few). But come the weekend, he trades his tools for the turntables as resident DJ of Club Sandwich, the most glamorous and decadent dance party in Paris.

The two jobs go hand in hand, however. The club is not only his front-row seat to the most inspired and eccentric sartorialists in the city, it’s also a stage to test drive his fabulous new concepts and designs.


Halley has been pushing accoutrements out of the fringes and into the fore of fashion for the last fifteen years. Not only has his wearable art been featured in exhibitions, he was the first designer to ever stage an accessories runway show during fashion week in Paris (see video at end of post).


Be they triple-tiered shoulder pads covered in Swarovski stones, audio headphones with embedded metal spikes, or Kiss-painted doll head headbands, his mischievous, extravagant designs blur the boundaries between accessories and art.

“I’m a big surrealism fan,” says the designer whose lobster logo is a tribute to the movement’s favorite crustacean. “I love the madness of it and the freedom to do silly things.”

Halley’s big break came in 1996 when Karl Lagerfeld commissioned a collection of runway accessories for Chanel. Using a treasure trove of antique pelican and eagle feathers, he concocted a special heat and steam system to shape them into wispy frames for the face.


Sourcing vintage beads in New York, metal trimmings in India, glass beads in Morocco, and antique feathers from old stock suppliers, Halley first customizes his materials in his kitchen laboratory before working them into one-of-a-kind creations. “Various suppliers have passed along technical tricks from the past that I’ve tweaked and developed myself,” says Halley of his DIY designs.


From feathers and metal to leather and crystals, Halley is a maestro of a variety of mediums and techniques. His signature is to mix together contrasting materials for a modern twist on chic, like turning Swarovski crystals on their backs to look like punk rock studs, or transforming Louboutin heels into hats.


His technical and creative playfulness has made him the go-to guy for outstanding embellishments both on stage and off. Not only has he crafted performance pieces for Madonna (an oxidized metal necklace using Indian-inspired trimmings) David Bowie (orchid-shaped feather earrings) and most recently Beyoncé (a crystal degradé bodice designed by Thierry Mugler), he does custom commissions for regular people with a flair for extravagance too.


Prices: 90E-skies the limit depending on design.
: Contact me to be put in touch with Erik

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6 Responses to “Fashion Meets Art in Erik Halley’s Accessories”

  1. Golconda says:

    Love how he creates what could be overtly camp objects with such a light hand. This sure but subtle touch is incredibly rare and quite wonderful to see. I’m also insanely envious of his atelier with all those boxes and all those drawers all holding such wonders — oh, to have an afternoon to play in there with wild abandon !!

  2. Fabrice Fortin says:

    Great work, I looove the Kiss headband!!!!

  3. Shelli says:

    I want that lobster!!

    Zeva, I’m thrilled to have come across your site. It’s fab and I’m looking through it from beginning to end. I’ll be in touch!

    Shelli (now living in Paris)

  4. Gaila, bet gražios tašės nešildo « Uroboras says:

    […] Bet jeigu norisi kažko labiau neįprasto, galima užsisakyti statement-making “pakabukų” pas Erik Halley. […]

  5. New Designer Knowles Fashion says:

    Howdy I found your post by chance, I was digging around the net for New Designer Fashion when I found your webpage, I must say your site is very cool I truely think the theme, its amazing!. I don’t have the time in this instance to entirely read through your site but I have saved the location of it and also signed up for your RSS feeds. I will be back when I have more time. Bravo for a great site.

  6. Marjorie Bonet says:

    Magnificent working memories(souvenirs) in Erik Halley’s workshop(studio)! Hours of happiness has to realize his creations of madnesses, the reference lobster, its feathered necklaces which dressed so well the feminine necks…
    Erik Halley, a reference, a style, a memory(souvenir), the designer who made for me become by his passion, aujourdhui, creative of jewels. Thank you.
    Marjorie. B

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