Natalie Mauro and Cole Morrall Get Bookish
These are the literary characters the Bones and Feathers Collective girls are flipping for now.
Though moving to Los Angeles from NYC has made both Natalie Mauro and Cole Morrall really embrace nature as inspiration in a way that Runyon Canyon regulars could get behind, the creative duo behind the killer jewelry line Bones and Feathers Collective still can’t resist the allure of holing up with a good book—and using the characters they unearth there to drive their work. “A lot of the literary women we’re both drawn to are smart, savvy, and clever with their sexuality—but almost in a masculine way,” Cole explains. Here are the six that fit the BFC mold. —lauren caruso
After working out of their homes for so long—their office is at Natalie’s, but the down-and-dirty craftsmanship takes place at Cole’s, too—it’s hard to tell whose stuff is whose.
Cole: “I’m very obsessed with F. Scott Fitzgerald—his short stories, his wife, and the kind of women that he writes about, like Ardita Farnam from The Offshore Pirate and Marjorie Harvey from Bernice Bobs Her Hair. Both characters, like most of Fitzgerald’s heroines, ooze confidence. They’re savvy and strong forces of femininity. Most of Fitzgerald’s female characters are supposedly molded after his wife Zelda—she’s such a spitfire. The idea of being a girl and standing your ground is just so attractive to both of us. Lolita, too, is a character who owned it. She’s a woman who’s really strong but still feminine, and women who are fearless in a crazy way are so awesome and admirable to me. I hope we can all be a little more like that.”
Zelda Fitzgerald: a non-fiction female icon for these two.
Natalie: “Brett Ashley in The Sun Also Rises is a great example. Same with Dominique Francon from The Fountainhead and Esther Greenwood from The Bell Jar. With some books, we actually imagine designing for the heroine herself, and others, we just take inspiration from the overall vibe of the book. The way that Hemingway, or Fitzgerald, or even Ayn Rand creates very character-driven literature—that’s where a lot of inspiration comes from. I’m inspired by their journey and struggle they have with their intelligence, creativity, and independence. They’re trying to burst out in the constraints of the society and time in which they live, and though Esther’s struggle is a bit more mental—even suicidal—both come out in the end doing things their own way.”
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Five Books Kaelen Thinks You Should Read This Summer
These page-turners come designer-approved.
According to Kaelen Haworth—whose namesake line includes the sort of cuts and colors that might be described as intellectual—a night isn’t complete without cracking open and falling into a good book (with or without a dirty vodka martini in hand). If you’re searching for your next great read, dive into Kaelen’s current faves. —jackie varriano
Kaelen’s designs are as smart as the contents of her bookshelf. Wrap yourself up in the stunning gray silk kimono she made for us now.
East of Eden by John Steinbeck: “This is my absolute favorite book. I read it again this winter for my third time, and it never gets old. It’s such a beautiful narrative, and the characters are so engrossing. Cathy! That bitch cray!”
An Object of Beauty by Steve Martin: “Yes, that Steve Martin. It’s a very interesting book if you are like me—you appreciate art but know nothing of the business of it. It’s educational, but it’s also about an ambitious woman trying to climb the ladder in New York. So, you know, relatable. Downside (or upside?): I find that Steve Martin pops into my head whenever there is a sex scene.”
The Sea Is My Brother by Jack Kerouac: “This is the first book Jack Kerouac wrote, and he draws from his time in the Merchant Marines to inform the characters and experiences. I love the romance of his writing. It makes me want to blow this popsicle stand and live on a beach in Caracas for a year.”
The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro: “Ishiguro also wrote Never Let Me Go, and, while they are of wildly different subject matter, they both feel melancholy but also beautiful and life-affirming. This one I especially recommend for Downton Abbey fans, as the plot is about an aging butler coming to terms with changing times in a great English house. (Carson-esque!)”
IQ84 by Haruki Murakami: “So, so strange—this book is out of my comfort zone as far as genres go. I usually lose patience with sci-fi, but if you can get through, oh, 200 pages, you’ll be engrossed in the story. It’s so different and genuinely weird that you have to finish it because you want to know what in the world is happening.”