Baroque Necklace

Whether it's a tie-dye t-shirt in acid bright hues or a pair of graffiti-covered jeans, Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez--the brilliant brains behind Proenza Schouler--endear themselves to fashion fanatics around the world with the way they include an element of haute hand-craftiness in their beloved brand. For fall, the dynamic duo created yet another standout collection, which is inspired by Santa Fe and full of swoon-worthy pieces, like Native American-influenced print separates, geometric and asymmetrical color-block dresses, and stunning, baroque-style bib necklaces. While the majority of these standout items have yet to hit stores and require a certain amount of fiscal investment, you don't need patience or a large budget to start getting the Proenza Schouler look. In fact, you can actually make a similarly chic necklace at home, as we'll demonstrate in today's Do It Yourself!

While the entire collection is amazing, we decided to focus our D.I.Y. efforts on one exceptional accessory, specifically the White Metal Necklace ($675, available at select Nordstrom stores). Our sartorial hearts skipped a beat the minute we saw the intricately sculpted bauble--typically styled over a button-up blouse in a contrasting hue--and immediately knew it would be one of the season's most covetable items! Unlike the industrial and futuristic tribal necklaces we've been seeing lately, this piece has a more romantic, 17th-century vibe, thanks to its curvy shape and ornate flourishes. With a truly unique look and stunning presence, we believe it makes for the perfect complement to fall's luxurious ensembles!

Though we seriously contemplated splurging on this must-have necklace, our budget-conscious side opted to enlist the help of D.I.Y. master Erica Domesek, of P.S. I Made This, to help us create our own version instead! Happily, she obliged, and to our delight created a spot-on necklace! And the best part: it's quite easy to make--you just need a few simple and inexpensive ingredients! So if you're ready to try your hand at this homemade creation, be sure to read on for all the step-by-step instructions, and you'll have your very own Proenza Schouler-inspired necklace in a flash!

Note: an oven and baking tray are required to complete this project.

-Sculpey Polymer Clay ($14)
-Rolling Pin (or cylinder jar/glass)
-Loew-Cornell Wood Carving Knives ($8)
-Parchment Paper
-13 6mm Jump Rings ($3/100 rings)
-Fine Sandpaper 150 Grit ($3 for 5 9x11" sheets)
-1/4 inch White Grosgrain Ribbon ($.49/yard)

1. Slice and roll out 9 pieces of clay. Each piece should be rolled out so that it is approximately 1/4 inch thick.

2. Once rolled out, draw each pendant pattern onto parchment paper to create a stencil for each shape. (Note: if you consider yourself an expert artist, you can skip this step and carve each pendant free hand)

3. Place the stencil on top of clay and use a carving knife to trace around your drawing and gently pierce through the paper, cutting the entire shape out of clay.

4. After each piece is cut out, carefully transfer them to a non-stick baking tray, placing the pieces in the shape of the completed necklace. (PS: Be sure to place the pendants very close to one another in order for the jump rings to be able to connect.)

5. Use a chopstick to carve detail ridges into the pendants. Press gently into the clay and make soft, curvy lines.

6. Using a toothpick, poke holes into pendants where you want them to connect. Make sure that all the holes line up perfectly before baking and that they are big enough for the jump rings to fit through.

7. Bake in the oven at 275 degrees for 15-20 minutes and let cool for an hour. (Note: bake time may vary depending on oven.)

8. Once the pendants are cool, use a piece of lightweight sandpaper to smooth the outside edges and achieve a clean, soft look on the surface.

9. Using the pliers, connect each pendant with jump rings. 10. To finish the necklace, cut ribbon to desired length and loop through the end/final jump rings. To secure the ribbon around each jump ring, glue or knot it (depending on the look you want to achieve).