Moms have always been eager to spout the play-it-safe mantra that nothing good happens after midnight. But Louis DiCicco and Mari Ouchi of FAUX/real didn’t heed it: The designers behind the architecturally sound jewelry line were partying into the wee hours at a mutual friend’s place when Louis picked Mari up, spun her around, and ripped her dress in the process. Somehow, this fashion sabotage led to insta-friendship, and to a working relationship a few years later. “The two of us together is a perfect balance,” says Mari, of their right-brain/left-brain partnership that shines through in their exceedingly unexpected, sculptural jewelry.
Drawing inspiration from toilets, bad bosses, and gym equipment, the duo combines atypical materials (rubber! neoprene!) in crazy-creative ways…and showcases their work on a website surrounded by GIFs of cats doing pushups and stock photos of strangers. But not even flashing dots or glowing text can distract from the sort of pieces that garner attention anywhere—they make subway companions do a double-take and will earn you many a dance partner during your own big nights out. —carlye wisel