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Behind The Scenes

The Five Photography Books That ORA Thinks You Should Own

Just because she’s busy sourcing metals, custom-casting beads, and hand-braiding her rad bracelets doesn’t mean ORA designer Lanya Snyder has completely forgotten her photography—she studied the art as an undergrad at Bard and took pics for a living before launching her line. To I.D. her aesthetic, Lanya is giving us a tour of the five photobooks that mean the most to her (ones that also happen to pretty up her apartment). Behold, her almost encyclopedic knowledge of them. —jiayi ying The Last Picture Show by Douglas Fogle: “This is a catalogue for a show that, in my opinion, is one of the most important shows in the past decade or two. Douglas Fogle, who worked at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis at the time, organized this show. He included some early artists who weren’t necessarily known for their photography—they incorporated it into their work. It’s just one of those shows that was really important to me. It encompassed a lot more than just a single artist.” Double Game by Sophie Calle: “Sophie Calle is a French conceptual artist who uses photography as part of her art. A lot of her work is based on fictional characters whose persona she sort of takes on. For this book, she collaborated with this writer named Paul Auster, and took on a character, Maria, from one of his novels. It’s such a beautiful book—but it isn’t just a straight book of photos. It’s a combination of fiction, and she uses photos as evidence for this whole narrative that she’s created. I remember going to a show of her work once and just being completely mesmerized—thinking, ‘Who is this artist? And how much of this is based on her own reality and how much of it is made up?’ I think that’s part of the fun with this book, too, and why it’s called Double Game. There’re so many layers to it.” Uncommon Places by Stephen Shore: “Stephen Shore is one of the most important photographers to me. He lived in New York all his life, and, when he was 23, he drove cross-country with a friend. So while he was in the car, as a passenger, he took pictures of the country with his 8x10 camera. It’s just a really inspirational, seminal work. He’s one of those photographers whose use of composition and colors can make the most banal subject matter—things people would overlook, a building or a mailbox—into a beautiful photograph and work of art. I have the first edition of this book, and every time I look at it, I see something different in his images. It’s one of those books that’s like a Bible to so many young photographers and even to photographers of his generation.” The Book of 101 Books by various authors: “This was one of the first books dedicated to the history of photobooks in the 20th century. If you go through it, you find all these different photo historians talking about why Robert Frank and Irving Penn, among others, were so important—they cover everything from Richard Avedon, who people in fashion are super into, to pop culture and war photography. It’s filled with really thoughtful essays and compelling arguments, and it shows why photography is a super-dynamic medium.” Jens F. by Collier Schorr: “Collier Schorr is an incredible artist who’s also a photographer. She makes all these beautiful collages of her contact sheets, photos, and drawings. It’s one of those books where it doesn’t feel like you’re flipping through a book of pictures—it feels like every picture is a work of art by itself. But the entire thing is an art in itself, too—every page has handwriting on it in pencil or pen. You feel like you’re working with her. The books are out of an edition of 1000, and every one comes with her signature. I have number 783. It just feels very special.” See the amazing bracelet set the designer made us. With their tiny gold beads, they are pretty photogenic, if we do say so ourselves.
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A Cordial Invitation to an Arm Party With ORA

When Lanya Snyder began ORA, her line of amped-up, gold-flecked friendship bracelets, in fall 2011, she gained some early, avid supporters. Among them were Wendy Nichol, of the way-cool apparel co. that goes by the same name, and Jen Mankins, the owner of Brooklyn’s super-hot Bird boutique—who loved the bracelets so much, she scooped up every last one. The bracelets’ appeal? Well, besides the childhood-nostalgia factor, their simple form, compelling color palette, and teensy beads mesh well with anything else hangin’ on your wrist. Here, with the help of family and friends, Lanya shows off a few of her stylin’ ways. —jiayi ying Don’t miss out! Grab a set of the silky, gold-beaded bracelets that ORA made for us right here! Lanya’s sister’s ORA stack. “That’s my younger sister’s arm. She’s always liked bright colors, so a lot of our prototypes, as well as ones from the classic collection, are on her arm. She doesn’t mind mixing gold and silver, so she’s wearing a lot of different beads that we’re working on, too. She just piles them on there and never takes them off.” Lanya’s set, photographed here with a stone from her crystal collection (yes, crystal collection).“What I think is nice about the bracelets is that you can wear them by themselves or pile other jewelry on with them. I like a little bit of gold—a little bit of something—on my wrist, so as I was making these guys, I started sourcing different metals—gold, rose gold, white gold—to make them a bit nicer. I’ve had some of the bracelets on since January—I’ve been in the ocean with them, and I shower with them every day. That’s how I like to wear my jewelry.” Pals Audrey (left) and Mara with a rainbow of ORA bracelets each.“Audrey and Mara are wearing colors from the classic collection. You can play around with the beads—stick them together or spread them apart. As for the name ORA, I choose it because it holds different meanings to me. In Hebrew, it means light, or her light—I’ve always liked the idea of one’s aura. And then ore is a derivation of gold—which we work with a lot!”
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