These jewelry designers can find inspiration in a refrigerator.READ MORE
Before Sarah McLellan (left) and Kristina Ortega started their jewelry line, Mctega—an amalgamation of their two last names—they thought they’d have to choose between science and fashion. “We both started college with the intent of studying science. Sarah was pre-med until her junior year, and I was a microbiology major,” Kristina explains.
But when the duo—who met interning for Rodarte in 2007—started concepting their first creations, it quickly became clear that maybe this wasn’t an either/or situation. “We found these mirrored plexiglass pieces shopping in the garment district, and Sarah said, ‘Oh, these look like carbon link structures!’ We went from there, casting them in plastic to make our first necklace ever,” Kristina says. “The plastic casting is something I had been doing since high school. My parents had this really old chemistry manual from the sixties that I used to go through all the time.”
Now they spend hours and hours experimenting with resins and silicones and conjuring up new color combinations in their L.A. backyards. “Everybody here has a fashion line, a jewelry line. A lot of people will ask us where we buy our beads. They’re handmade!” Kristina adds. “We try to be legitimate about what we do.” —erica
BEHIND THE SCENES
Who needs to find the perfect rocks when you can make them from scratch
Spoiler alert: It takes more than kick-ass design (and internships at Rodarte).