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From a young age, Rachel Dooley, designer of GEMMA REDUX, was drawn to all types of creative expression: she was the girl selling lanyard necklaces at the community pool and breaking glass in the garage to make stained glass mosaics. But she was drawn toward math and physics in her studies and eventually ended up focusing on mechanical engineering in college. After college, Rachel’s desire for analytical development lead her to law school, but her college design classes had established both a fondness for industrial metals (like stainless steel) and a continuing desire to create. Then while taking a break from studying for the New York Bar Exam, Rachel made her first mixed metal necklace from vintage and industrial materials and GEMMA REDUX (which roughly translates to “reconstructed gems” in Latin) was born. Within months, GEMMA REDUX designs were showing up in publications such as Instyle, Cosmopolitan and Zink Magazines among others and featured on the hit show Gossip Girl. GEMMA REDUX has since become a personal favorite of Gossip Girl’s star, Blake Lively, who has said she’s “pretty hung up on Gemma Redux. It is just fabulous and wildly unique. You will not see another person with a piece like it. Her pieces are very hip and urban. They can add edge to softer looking outfits which I love!” The line is also a favorite of Cameron Diaz, Ginnifer Goodwin and Molly Sims.
“Creative design has always been like meditation to me, keeping me grounded and outward-thinking, while the other technical and intellectual ventures in my life have both contributed to the depth of my designs and made the jewelry design a necessary creative vein in my life,” Rachel explains, “It is this balance and contrast, in my opinion, that makes the collection a success.”
Rachel strives for contrast & excess in GEMMA REDUX pieces: “I like the contrast of industrial metals and high end jewelry, of thick chains and delicate natural stones, and the excess of massive pieces with too many stones, too massive on the neck or too long on the body.” GEMMA REDUX pieces are never precious - the metals are generally not delicate but rather industrial, including stainless steel, raw steel, brass and copper, and the stones are natural but also generally rough and intense. Rachel likens it to glamorous concrete - intentionally tough designs made for tough and glamourous girls.
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