Bones and Feathers Collective is the Los Angeles-based jewelry line of Natalie Mauro and Cole Morrall. Inspired by Cole’s upbringing in rural Kauai, Natalie’s in the northern Midwest and the urban sensibility both gained in New York, Bones and Feathers’ distinctive aesthetic infuses indigenous styles with modern day luxury. As seen in our Handpicked section, the line has an alluring, and somewhat perilous, beauty that makes every style a statement piece. We caught up with the ladies behind Bones and Feathers to get some insight into their creative process.
When did the two of you start working together and what inspired you to start Bones and Feathers?
We started three years ago. Natalie was working for a designer who always told her she should have her own accessories line and she called me (Cole) to create the line with her. I told her we should make things out of bones and feathers and that’s kind of where it all began. We then started making flower head pieces, Kate Bosworth wore one to Coachella, and that kind of helped us take off. After that, we decided to move into jewelry. Neither of us are trained designers, so it’s definitely been a learning experience. Looking back, I don’t think we realized how much work a brand takes and that starting jewelry line really means perfecting jewelry.
What inspires your jewelry designs?
We love pieces of jewelry that have movement. This is why we work with bones; we love how they fit together to create their own natural curvature. Although our inspiration changes from season to season, nature and shapes found in nature are our single biggest influence.
Describe your aesthetic in 5 words or less.
Masculine, feminine, edgy, ethereal, macabre.
Your signature designs incorporate pieces molded from animal vertebrae. How did you come up with this concept?
Initially, we had wanted to work with sharks’ teeth. When we went to buy sharks teeth, we saw the rattlesnake vertebrae and fell in love with how they fit together. The first collection was made up of all hand sewn pieces, which are loose cast vertebrae stitched together with gold wire. They were really beautiful because you could actually articulate the pieces and see the movement of the spine.
How does creating and producing in LA affect/inform your process?
Living in LA, particularly since we produce in LA, obviously has an effect on what we’re capable of producing. If we went to China or Bali, we could do a lot more and do it for much less expensive. As long as we can though, it’s really important for us to keep the production in America. We love that we can just drive over to our metal castors/platters and check on the quality. We’re really hands on. Everything that gets shipped out goes through our hands first.
As a young brand, what is your vision for Bones and Feathers Collective? Where do you see yourselves/the brand in 5 years?
We’d love to expand and start designing clothes and handbags. We’re both really minimalists at heart, but we love texture, so simple colors with interesting fabrics. Ideally it would be a nice balance of Celine, Phillip Lim, and Acne. The partnership is nice because Natalie is more prone to wear pants and a jacket or blazer, and I’m more of a dress person, so collectively I think we have a pretty good impression of masculine and feminine.
Check out Bones and Feathers available now online and in-stores.
Written by Kate Koeller & Rachel Maniago
Photos by Brandon Harman