30 Days of Artists: An Empress Made of Metal

Lauren Vinette may be only 23 years old, but she’s already taking the world by storm! After graduating from The University of Texas at Austin with a B.F.A. in Fine Arts, Lauren began learning the art of metalsmithing. She has been practicing the skill professionally for over two years, and as of a year ago, decided to start her own business, Bijoux Jewelry. Lauren primarily works with sterling silver and 14-karat gold-fill. She describes her style as simple and geometric; her designs are meant to highlight the body of its wearer rather than the body showing off the design. Lauren is grateful to her first metals professor, Thelma Coles, who inspired her to learn as much as she could and perfect the skills she gained along the way.

Lauren’s 2015 Art Bra, “Warrior,” was a huge success on the runway, selling for over $750! The art bra was worn by BCRC client, Ashley Woody. Ashley and Lauren had formed a close bond while working on the costume together – so much so, we asked Lauren and Ashley to be paired together again and create the signature look for this year’s show! And they both said yes!

“Empress” worn by Art Bra Model & BCRC Client, Ashley Woody

When Lauren first started out to create this art bra, she knew she wanted to design a piece that was fit for an empress – being both glamorous and fierce. “I am inspired by the courage I have seen in Ashley and the other wonderful women I have met through Art Bra Austin,” says Lauren, adding, “It is easy to create with such a powerful cause in mind.” She was heavily inspired by the geometry that occurs naturally in plants and decided to use elements of sterling silver, copper, brass, and leather cord to mimic these naturally occurring shapes.

Made out of forged wire and forged metal sheet, “Empress” was custom designed by Lauren to fit around Ashley’s body. The piece is primarily held together by over 100 hand-forged sterling silver rivets. Its clean geometric lines and clever layering of shapes evoke a strong sense of both strength and beauty.  The overall look is show-stopping and we couldn’t be happier to use her design as this year’s signature piece!

You can check out more of Lauren’s jewelry line, Bijoux Jewelry,  on Instagram!


All art bras will be auctioned off at BCRC’s signature charity event to raise funds to support local women affected by breast cancer. To learn more about Art Bra Austin, visit www.artbraaustin.org

Art Bra photography generously provided by Flashbax23.

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