New York Called Astrid + Victoria, of Metalepsis Projects

AstridI barely depart from my Lulu Frost jewelry but lately I've been throwing my newest Metalepsis Projects "A" Necklace in the mix. It's very math-geek-turned-boho-chic and is made by one of my favorite designers, Astrid Chastka. Perhaps a better word for Astrid is "maker," as she is a woman of many interests and creations. We originally met when I interviewed her for a story about her co-founded clothing brand, Upstate. While Astrid is still very much involved with Upstate, her thirst for knowledge has also found her in an accessories collaboration with friend, Victoria Cho (pictured above: Victoria, left; Astrid, right).AstridAstridMetalepsis Projects is a series of accessories projects in which Victoria (now located in Los Angeles) and Astrid (located in NYC) can experiment with new materials and expand on their architectural backgrounds. From embossed leather goods to bronze cast jewelry, these bi-coastal besties create accessories that are rich with inspiration. For instance, the Alphabet Edition (each pendant reminiscent of a particular letter, A-Z), is inspired by Russian Suprematism and Constructivism. Everything is about geometric composition - circles, lines and direction.AstridThe juxtaposition of something old and new is yet another important consideration in the jewelry. For example, the common mix of rustic materials with modern elements is partly influenced by the existence of degenerating Russian engineering during a time of futurist ideas [the Space Race]. The Alphabet Edition in particular, channels lunar landscape elements with shapes that are unconventional for jewelry and are rooted in architecture rather than adornment. The production process naturally adds even more variety to these pieces with unexpected lines and other tiny markings appearing in the final stages.AstridI was curious how Astrid and Victoria accomplish their workload considering the distance between them. As Astrid said, "We just have so much fun - it's a hobby that keeps us in constant dialogue. It did exactly what it was supposed to do: keep us in touch. For us, it's about a whole new way of thinking. We don't adhere to the fashion schedule so when it's ready, it comes out. We want to keep working with new materials and making new things. Victoria and I would do this if we didn't make a penny off of it."AstridAstridAfter my interview with Astrid and Victoria I followed up with a brief Q+A to get a sense of how NYC has influenced their work. See below for a West Coast (Victoria) vs. East Coast (Astrid) perspective.


If you could wear one brand for the rest of your life... Celine is the first thing that comes to mind.

My favorite nights are... in the summer; we use a movie projector to screen movies on our roof with the Manhattan skyline in the background.

I'm not a tourist but I still... want to do a tour in an open air double decker bus one evening when it's warmer (maybe with some boxed wine tucked away in a paper bag).

You'll usually find me... working overtime all week and then eating bagels, checking out art exhibits, or going on bike rides on the weekends.

If you can afford it... go to the AIRE Ancient Baths in Tribeca- they are amazing. It's a mini splurge that is good for your health!

Don't trust... all of the advice you are given - sometimes what works for others isn't right for you.

Do trust... your gut instincts, even though it can sometimes take a while to figure out why you have them.

When it comes to NYC I hate... the G train, way-too-long of lines at anything that is interesting/free and car exhaust.

When it comes to NYC I love... the endless stream of interesting things to do here that can only be experienced in NYC - museums, art exhibits, concerts, weird moments with strangers.

I'll move out of NYC when... I stop loving it so much and feeling like each year here my life moves further in the direction I want it to go.

It's okay to do this alone... cry knowing your neighbor can probably hear you through a wall because... it's New York.

If I'm going to splurge... clothing = Totokaelo [based in Seattle], food= cheeseburger at Reynards.

My favorite phone apps are... ShopStyle for finding exactly what you want and Instagram for eye candy.

My favorite place to spend time is...my apartment because all my supplies for making things are there and I love making things... also I love walking around on Roosevelt Island. It's such an interesting part of New Yorkthat doesn't even feel like you are in New York at all.

This is how I wind down... go for a run, have an aperol spritz or read a magazine - right now Bazaar or any accessories collection compilation.

It's important to... turn off my phone and computer or get away from them for a little while every day to be more receptive to everything around me. I have more ideas in those times.

If I could live one year over again it would be (?) because... I don't think I'd want to go back and do an entire year all over again. Can I just live through all my travel experiences again? That would be idea.AstridVictoria:

If you could wear one brand for the rest of your life... Acne Studios.

My favorite NYC nights are... hot summer nights.

I'm not a tourist but I still... get excited every time I land in JFK.

If you can afford it... I would have a huge workshop with every imaginable tool that I can build and make stuff with.

In NYC, don't trust... train schedules.

In NYC, do trust... your fashion instincts.

When it comes to NYC I hate... I can't think of anything i hate about NYC ;)

When it comes to NYC I love... the fluidity and spontaneity of the city.

I'll move back to NYC when... I get sick of driving in LA.

It's okay to do this alone... go to the movies.

If I'm going to splurge... I'd get my first "Papa Bear Chair" by Hans Wegner, which will probably never happen.

My favorite phone apps are... Dropbox. I think the app just made it all that easier to access all those files I share with Astrid anywhere, anytime.

My favorite place to spend time in NYC is... Greenpoint, only because I used to live there and it brings back all the good memories.

What I miss about NYC is... friends, and friends and friends. Also the metro and people watching.

This is how I wind down... with a chilled bottle of Jacqure on my roof.

It's important to... remember where you come from, and be truthful to yourself.

If I could live one year over again it would be (?) because... 2004 - when I lived in Paris...because... it's Paris!!

*Follow @MetalepsisProjects on Instagram and visit their website here.

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