A few months ago Martha made a trip to Colombia, where she was introduced to Silvia Tcherassi, a wonderful fashion and accessory designer. Martha returned with a wrist covered in shimmering bracelets and a beautiful sparkling bag. The invite to have her as a guest on the show went out immediately. Last week she finally paid us a visit and shared some of her designs and techniques for creating her fabulous crystal rhinestone–encrusted creations. The segment will be airing this Friday (May 6) on The Martha Stewart Show.
Silvia explains what she uses for her bags:
The name in Spanish for this style of bags is mochila. My mochilas and the bracelets are handwoven by the indigenous Wayuu women in La Guajira, Colombia. La Guajira is located in the north of Colombia. It takes around 20 days for a woman to complete a mochila, then at my atelier in Colombia my team transforms this beautiful handcraft into a masterpiece item using Swarovski Elements and other embellishments. These are woven with my personal color palette and my personal sizes. I work with different colors according to the season. Working with these women is important to me because it’s a way to support the Wayuu community and to keep their traditions alive.
Silvia uses Swarovski Hotfix crystals (they come with glue already on them) and a Hotfix tool to apply the crystals to her bags and bracelets. The crystals come in a wide range of colors, which allows Silvia's unique eye and color palette the opportunity to shine through. It's a time-consuming process, but the results she has created are worth it.
If the idea of doing an entire bag seems a little overwhelming, her bracelets, smaller but just as sparkly, are an approachable project to get familiar with using Swarovski Hotfix. Make a few and wear them in groups—you'll certainly catch people's eye.
Stay up to date with Silvia and her new designs over here.