My OBT

What if you spent every day looking for One Beautiful Thing?

Lucite Dreaming

10 Comments

Alexis Bittar

Even as a high school student, Alexis Bittar knew he wanted a career in fashion. He began by selling vintage clothing and jewelry on the street where I lived in the punk-centric East Village of NYC. (I am fairly sure I bought things from him.) Not satisfied with just selling vintage wares, Bittar new he wanted to be a designer. By the early 1990s, Bittar found his fashion language.

“When I was about 21 I took a technique I learned from selling antiques—it involved hand-carving an early plastic used during the Great Depression called Bakelite—and fused it with what René Lalique had done with glass, painting on the back of crystal and gilding it. I took these two ideas and kind of stumbled upon Lucite®, a material that is typically clear. I realized I could sculpt it into any shape and manipulate the way it reflects color and light. It’s a shape-shifting material—I can make it completely opaque and matte, or glowing and high-shine, or make it look like water, or multicolored, or patterned, or carve it into a face or whatever else I want. My technique comes out of the fusion of these two ideas, Bakelite carving combined with Lalique color work.”

30 years later, Bittar’s process and reputation may have evolved, but he has remained true to his vision. Perhaps best known for his hand-carved lucite bangles in delicious candy colors, Bittar’s pieces are instantly-recognizable and eminently wearable. In fact, they’re collected and worn by some of the great fashionistas of our time, including Michelle Obama, Iris Apfel, Christina Aguilera, and Billy Porter.

The heavily-tattooed artist may still have a punk vibe to him, but his jewelry is all casual class. I don’t think I’ve ever loved lucite more than it’s been elevated by Bittar. I really do need to get my hands on one (or five) of his bangles.

You can see all of Alexis Bittar’s gorgeous jewelry on his website and on Instagram and Facebook.

View this post on Instagram

Making midweek magic with a monochromatic stack 💥

A post shared by Alexis Bittar (@alexisbittar) on

Author: Donna from MyOBT

I have committed to spending part of every day looking for at least one beautiful thing, and sharing what I find with you lovelies!

10 thoughts on “Lucite Dreaming

  1. Good. Elegant -simple designes.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Gorgeous stuff! The crumpled gold…..!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s always extra exciting whenan artist elevates a medium not thought of as precious to a level of high art. This is a far cry from the lucite I knew as a teenager in the 70s.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. His pieces are divine. I am full-on Golluming over all of them, especially the chunky bracelets. I love the glowing lustre to his pieces. My Gran had a lucite clutch that I always loved but it was nothing like the treasures this artist is creating.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I enjoyed looking at all of it. I really enjoyed seeing an older model in one of them. Finally, the only word I can think of is ‘strange’. Hal

    Liked by 1 person

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