Creatures of the Wind“For us it’s always about emotion and sensation—about the fragility and delicateness of something before it hits its breaking point,” says Chris Peters, who, with partner Shane Gabier, is Creatures of the Wind, a Chicago-based fashion house that projects femininity and intellect in its ready-to-wear designs for women.

Creatures of the Wind’s spring collection pairs the boxy, ladylike shapes of the 1950s and 1960s with pleasantly strange details—such as a simple crocheted jumper with gaping seams held together by threads. The designers were guided by parallel inspirations: the physical trauma of being struck by lightning, which Peters himself survived in 2006, and the emotional—nearly universal—shock experienced during heartbreak.

They recruited Erickson Beamon, a New York– based jewelry studio, to translate the same ideas into brooches and necklaces—tangles of sterling silver vermeil, smashed Swarovski crystal, and burnt Japanese glass pearls—that would heighten the drama.

“We visualized classic jewelry and then imagined how each piece would look when completely deconstructed and torn apart by a striking force like lightning,” says Karen Erickson of Erickson Beamon. “A touch of neon on each piece represents the point of impact—the first strike.”


Photography: Dan Lecca