One to Watch: Dauphines of New York

Big, preppy headbands a la Blair Waldorf in "Gossip Girl" seem to come and go on the fashion cycle, but Summer Rej -- the designer behind boutique hair accessories label, Dauphines of New York -- launched her collection in the fall of 2010 intent on exploring headbands as veritable pieces of jewelry.

"I'm very inspired by New York City and the sights, happenings and people," says Rej, a native Upper Eastsider who migrated downtown to manage her studio.

The glamour and frivolity of Marie Antoinette also served as an early inspiration for the line, which debuted with a series of trunk shows at Henri Bendel before being picked up by heavyweight online retailers like 

"One of my favorite ways to wear a headband is draped atop the hair, like a tiara," Rej says of her royal inspirations. "I love to incorporate semi-precious stones -- agate, labradorite, amethyst, citrine, turquoise and rhinestone crystals."

Glittery though some styles may be, the Dauphines head bands are anything but prissy. "We also mix a lot of edgy, weightless metal chains," offers Rej, who tempers the tougher materials with subtle pearl or stone accents. "I'm also starting to work with an embroidery atelier, and will start introducing custom embroidery pieces in upcoming seasons."

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