Toronto ON, January 14 – On an unseasonably warm January night in Toronto, unconventional jewelry designer and androgynous model Myles Sexton held a runway show at local hotspot, The Spoke Club. In spite of a partial subway shutdown and flood warning in parts of the city, the place was packed with friends, colleagues, and fans of the charismatic Sexton. The draw was an outstanding jewelry collection, two years in the making that promised drama, and a wealth of covetable pieces. Sexton delivered, with twelve edgy looks, each piece containing 50 to 2,000 Elytra beetle wings. According to the designer, the pieces took anywhere from 6 to 80 hours to complete. Male and female models glided down the runway, each look seamlessly blending in to the next. From his covetable designs down to the models and choice of lighting, there was a sense of understated drama and exoticism. When Sexton addressed the crowd at the end of the show, he shared that his designs were not simply about “pretty jewelry”, but breaking down beauty norms and pushing towards self-realization as the truest form of beauty. We caught up with the designer after the show for a little Q&A.
Why did you choose to work exclusively with Elytra Beetle wings for this collection?
I chose to work with the wings because I felt I have not seen them used before in embroidery used in the form of jewelry. They were such a unique material that I also felt they really worked well with my design style. They inspired me so much throughout the whole design process! I could not wait to see what I would come up with next!
How would you describe your aesthetic to someone who has never seen a Myles Sexton piece?
I would describe my aesthetic as a genderless statement piece of jewelry.
What would you say has been your defining moment as a designer to date?
Well I think the biggest moment to date was designing a piece for Grace Jones. She wore one of my eye patches during an event in Paris and I nearly died!
What inspires you to design? What subcultures would you say serve as inspiration to your design aesthetic?
I think personally that I live in a fantasy world where I wish I was an elven god. I have always been obsessed with ancient cultures and the way men and women would dress themselves in the most extravagant and intricate pieces of jewelry and clothing. When I design I imagine that the men and women who would wear my pieces would be modern day versions of the people from these ancient cultures! That we are almost our own crusaders upon a personal journey to promote diversity within in culture, gender, and society at large.
Is there muse you keep in mind when you design? Who would you say is the man or woman you design for?
I think my muse is the man or women that you see walking down the street a mile away. We are lucky to live in the New Era where men and women are taking another large step into expressing individuality. I design for people who love fashion, who express themselves through fashion, and who know that being unique is real beauty.
Where can people go to buy your designs?
You can order all my pieces custom through myself. Also, you can check out stores in Toronto such as TSOQ, Launch Toronto ,and Bridge and Bardot who also carry a selection of pieces from my collections.
Any styling advice for those who want to wear your pieces?
The pieces make their greatest impact on neutrals and solids.
What will we see from you next?
I feel my next collection will be moving into a very Native Canadian inspired direction, with the use of deer antlers. I have only designed a few pieces so far but I am quite excited to see what I create next!
– Reem Jazar
photos : Jonathan Hooper